CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 17: NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney poses for a photo during the 2024 NASCAR Production Days at Charlotte Convention Center on January 17, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ryan Blaney Thinks Stigma Against NASCAR is Changing

NASCAR has undergone plenty of changes in the last 10 years, and it certainly isn't what it was 10 or even 20 years ago. Ryan Blaney the defending Cup Series champion is one good example of the change in the perception of NASCAR.

Plenty of people just thought NASCAR drivers were just a bunch of "rednecks" racing in circles. Blaney is far from that. Yeah, he comes from a racing family, but he's young and has tattoos, and that is far from the drivers of yesteryear.

Diversity in NASCAR is bigger than ever, and the drivers that make up the Cup series today come from all over. Not to mention drivers aren't all coming from the typical racing family.

Ryan Blaney appeared on the Money Lap Podcast, a show on YouTube hosted by Parker Kilgerman, who races in the Xfinity Series full-time and works for NBC, and Landon Cassill a longtime driver in the sport.

Blaney made some points about the perception drivers get in public. He also pointed out how the stigma is changing as new fans have been introduced to the sport, especially with how well the Netflix Series NASCAR: Full Speed is doing.

"I think it (the perception) is turning in a positive way, you know," Blaney said. "NASCAR gets this, or it did for a long time, it gets this label on it's like, 'Oh you're just country, southern boys running around in circles,' you know? That's just the stigma it had for a long time. It's things like the Netflix deal and all this access, it's showing that we're not all just like dumb rednecks."

Blaney continued by talking about how the Netflix show has given more perspective on what the drivers actually go through, and people are realizing that it's more than just cars driving in circles.

"There's personality behind it, there's a lot that goes into these things and to make cars go around the race track it's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into it," Blaney said. "I feel like once you show that, people appreciate it, they just get a new perspective on things, which is good."

Blaney is just one of the many representatives in the new generation of NASCAR, which includes drivers such as William Byron, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. The sport's future is in good hands with compelling, compassionate and diverse drivers who aren't "just a bunch of rednecks" out there.

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