Ryan Blaney makes a startling joke about Bubba Wallace, which stuns the show’s host, and prompts the driver to apologize

Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney’s friendship is well documented. As with any intimate friendship, there are times when you joke at each other’s expense. Usually this is done in private. Not this week.

This week, when the Team Penske pilot appeared as a guest on NASCAR Race Center, he was asked to give his appreciation on the season of his friend. Blaney then made a startling remark that left the show host covering her mouth and prompting him to apologize.

Ryan Blaney uncomfortably analyzes the Joey Logano-William Byron dispute

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Ryan Blaney has been a regular guest on FS1 NASCAR Race Center This year. During this week’s appearance, he found himself in an awkward position when asked to analyze the Darlington incident between Penske teammate Joey Logano and his sister’s boyfriend William Byron.

“Well,” Blaney said before pausing. “Teammates with one. My sister is dating the other. Thank you all for inviting me back this week to discuss these topics. I mean, hey, being a runner, I can understand both sides there. From William’s frustration to Joey’s state of mind, you know, he put me in the fence to take the lead, so if I come back to him, I’m going to make sure I come back in the lead.

“But in Byron’s situation, he thought he was wronged by – he thought Joey was putting him in the fence. I mean, hey, whoever you’re a fan of, you’re going to side with it. It is exactly what it is. I can understand both sides as a runner. If I was William, I would be upset. If I was Joey, I would feel justified in what I did. You’re always going to have different mindsets, but ultimately we saw those things happen towards the end of these races – people rubbing their fenders and bumps and racing.

“Let’s not forget the race was so good for this to happen. Nobody ran away with these things. They were excellent finishes. I know people have been like it’s dirty, clean, what’s up with sports. It has always been so. We just have to appreciate how close he’s always been to having those great finishes this year.

Blaney jokes at Bubba Wallace’s expense and apologizes

Later on that same show, Blaney and Michael Waltrip compared the 2022 performances of Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace. The numbers interestingly revealed that despite Hamlin’s victory, he and his 23XI Racing driver have the same number of top 10 finishes (one), but Wallace has a higher average finish of 20.8 to 22.3.

When host Kaitlyn Vincie asked Blaney what he thought of the year Wallace had had, the Team Penske driver first paused, then offered a surprising response.

“Well, you know, I don’t know. He got engaged and his year went downhill,” Blaney said with a laugh.

“Oh man!” Vincie responded by covering her mouth.

“Just kidding,” Blaney quickly replied. “I’m kidding,” he repeated. “I think his year has been pretty decent so far. He runs really well. He almost won the (Daytona) 500. He had a chance to win Talladega and I think the other tracks are going to come his way. So I think he’s had a pretty good year on the right track.

“I’m sorry I said that,” Blaney said with a big smile on his face. “I’m really. Mainly Amanda. Not Bubba.

“I didn’t expect you to say that,” Vincie concluded.

The joke missed the mark

While Blaney’s comments were all very funny, he still apologized. Maybe he realized from Vincie’s shocked reaction that he had approached the line if not stepped over it.

What made his remarks even more interesting was the timing. He talked about Wallace’s engagement and how his season was going downhill. The 23XI Racing driver got engaged last July to his longtime girlfriend Amanda Carter. Wallace won his first Cup Series race after that announcement.

Blaney was a nice addition to FS1 and his NASCAR coverage on both racing hub and during Xfinity Series broadcasts. But his attempted prank at his friend’s expense missed the mark and prompted him to publicly apologize. Chances are this won’t be his last apology for saying it.

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Javier E. Swan