Although he didn’t play a part in Sunday’s high-profile, post-race incident, Ryan Blaney understands all too well the importance of maintaining cordial relationships with teammates and, when necessary, mending them, too.
Following late-race fireworks on Sunday at Circuit of The Americas between Alex Bowman and Trackhouse Racing teammates Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez, the No. 12 Ford driver for Team Penske relayed his thoughts on teammate conflict and the importance of working through any issues that could arise from such tension.
Although tending to certain driver relationships might only require “a nail” of effort, Blaney believes that “you have to mend those fences” regardless. However, when it comes to a teammate, relationships have to be accounted for more succinctly with “screws, wire and maybe even a little bit of glue.”
Such a mindset comes from forging relationships with fellow Team Penske teammates Austin Cindric and Joey Logano.
“Just because you’re trying to work together, and at the end of the day, everybody is gonna come together, no matter if you’re a teammate, worst enemies, best friends, you’re gonna get into it with everybody, intentional or not, and those things just happen,” Blaney said in a Wednesday teleconference with reporters. “The teammate side, Joey [Logano] and I have had a couple run-ins over the years, me and Austin [Cindric], and you get over that stuff. You talk about it. You get over it, and you move on from it. Those things you have to do, I think, fairly quickly. There is still probably something in the back of your head, but at the same time, you’re a team, and if you’ve got two teammates pissed off at each other, that doesn’t help the camaraderie of the whole organization.
“So, I’m sure those guys got over it, but like I said, I don’t know their business. It’s important to try to set things straight when you and a teammate have a run-in because you can’t be walking around the race shop and crew members, you can’t have them being mad at each other, too. It’s a weird situation between those guys. It’s like, ‘Oh, my driver is mad at the teammate driver. Should we be mad at each other, too?’ Then it’s a weird dynamic in the shop, so those things have to be dealt with quickly.”
The NASCAR Cup Series field will next race at Richmond Raceway on April 2 (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).