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May 21, 2024

Ryan Blaney eager to cast Cup Series champion’s ballot in Hall of Fame Voting Day

Ryan Blaney on the Cup Series qualifying grid at Darlington Raceway
Meg Oliphant
Getty Images

The NASCAR Hall of Fame has extended a Voting Day invitation to each reigning Cup Series champion since 2014. The latest title-holder to join the voting panel is Ryan Blaney, who won his first Cup crown last year and says he’s accepting the invite with a measure of gratitude.

The latest group of three inductees will be selected Tuesday in the Charlotte Convention Center as a panel of industry figures, legends and media gather to cast ballots for the Hall’s Class of 2025. The two selections from the Modern Era Ballot, the single inductee from the Pioneer Ballot, plus the Landmark Award recipient for outstanding contributions to NASCAR will be announced Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET in the shrine’s Great Hall.

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For his first go-around, Blaney will have a list of 15 nominees — 10 on the Modern Era side, and five among the Pioneer choices — to consider. And though some names are more familiar to the 30-year-old driver, Blaney says he’s embracing the opportunity.

“It’s a big honor to be a part of. I’m really looking forward to that,” Blaney said Friday during All-Star Weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway. “You know, some of the folks on the ballot, I grew up watching. Others, I wasn’t around when they were racing or participating in the sport, but I enjoy seeing videos and hearing stories of them, so it’s just going to be a really cool process.”

Jimmie Johnson was the first Cup Series champion to join the Hall of Fame Voting Panel. He participated after claiming his sixth and record-tying seventh titles, and he became a Hall of Fame inductee with the Class of 2024 last year.

Blaney becomes the second consecutive driver from Team Penske to take part in the Hall of Fame voting process. Teammate Joey Logano made his second appearance on the voting panel after achieving his second Cup Series title in 2022.

The panel will hold discussions before each vote. There are typically history lessons to be heard in each discourse.

“I think just to get to sit down in the room with everybody who votes for the Hall of Fame, too, I think that’s all those legends and people I admired, that’s a really cool thing to be a part of,” Blaney said. “So I’m really giddy for that on Tuesday.”