NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney meets Wabash National employees

Blaney got a tour of the plant, and got to shake hands and sign autographs for fans.

Posted: Sep 6, 2019 3:30 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2019 10:45 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Workers at Wabash National said the factory has been buzzing all week in anticipation for Friday's special guest.

"We have Ryan Blaney, he is the driver of the number 12 Wabash National Ford Mustang that's running in the Brickyard on Sunday," said Tom Rodak, Vice President of Marketing at Wabash National.

Blaney got a tour of the plant, and got to shake hands and sign autographs for fans. Mike Green works at Wabash National. He said it will be special to see his employer represented.

"There will be a lot of them that think it's a pretty neat thing and feel honored that we're getting some kind of recognition," he said.

Green attended a special meet-and-greet with Blaney where he got to ask the driver questions. Tickets to Sunday's race were also given to several lucky employees.

"It's been really nice to meet a lot of the workers and see what they do on a day to day basis," said Blaney.

He said he has learned to appreciate making connections with the people who support his team.

"It's a lot more than just a sticker on a car," he said. "It's a personal relationship that you build with these people."

This is his fourth Brickyard 400. He is the third generation racer, his dad is David Blaney, a semi-retired professional stock car driver. Ryan said he remembered his first time racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, how intimidating it was going into turn four, which seem like it's an almost 90 degree turn from the driver seat.

He hopes to make the best out of his run at the historic racetrack.

"You appreciate where motor sports in general has come and it pretty much started here," he said. "So it's always a special feeling when you drive through the tunnel on the weekend."

You can bet on who the Wabash National family will be rooting for this Sunday.

"The Brickyard is an important race especially for Roger Penske, so for us to be on the car in our own backyard in Indianapolis is pretty exciting," said Rodak.

The 2019 Brickyard 400 starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday. There are still tickets available. Click here to get yours.

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