What an amazing finish to the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season after 36 points-series races across nine months of the calendar year where the same Ford team has won another championship in Team Penske, but this time it’s Ryan Blaney who is now your new drivers’ champion for the first time at age 29. Great start by William Byron with his opening stage win but was inconsistent as the race goes on where failure to stay ahead up front was the one weakness that ultimately costed him the race & championship itself in 4th. Meanwhile, unlucky from Christopher Bell due to a brake issue before things went bad to worse after he made contact with the wall in Stage 2. Then Byron’s team-mate at Hendrick Kyle Larson may entered the fight late into the 3rd & final stage in a bid to add Championship win No.2, but he couldn’t defend & stay ahead of Blaney under pressure at the last restart in 3rd where he had to settle as runner-up on the final drivers’ points standings of 2023.
And last but not least, it’s the man of the hour Ryan Blaney who steered this No.12 Ford Mustang home that secured him his first major silverware of NASCAR, despite finishing 2nd in the race to Ross Chastain (Trackhouse). He may have started slow & steady from outside the Top 10 earlier on, but he gradually improved along the way towards the Top 2-3 places before Blaney locked out both Hendrick Chevy cars at the checkered flag. Roger Penske will be thrilled to see another championship-winning race car showing up at his race shop in Mooresville after Blaney’s team-mate Joey Logano won his 2nd Cup crown just one year ago in the sister No.22 team. Enjoy the 14-15 weeks of off-season before we go back all over again for the next NASCAR Cup Series season beginning with the 66th edition of the Daytona 500 on Sunday February 18th, 2024.