HARTFORD - It was a normal day in the life of the Blaney family Tuesday.
Brothers Dave and Dale were in the pits at Sharon Speedway preparing to compete in the next event on the Ohio Speedweek schedule. Dave's son Ryan would have been here but he stayed home in preparation for his third race on the NASCAR Nationwide series Friday at the Kentucky Speedway.
It would have made the late Lou Blaney proud to know that his two sons and grandson are carrying on his auto racing legacy.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Brothers Dale, left, and Dave Blaney stand together at Sharon Speedway during Sprint Speedweek on Tuesday.
"He wouldn't say anything but he'd be pretty happy," said Dale, who's second in points on the All Star Circuit of Champions with 3,591. "I'm sure he'd be smiling."
It never slows down for the Blaneys as they travel throughout the country following their love of racing. Dave is in his 15th season in NASCAR, driving the No. 36 for Tommy Baldwin Racing. He balances his career and the developing career of his son.
"I've been racing with him for seven or eight years," Dave said. "It's just that it's now on a bigger scale and more people see it. He's doing well, like he always has. I hope it continues. He's been having some pretty big days on a big stage there in Nationwide, so it's been fun."
Ryan, 18, is a rookie on the Nationwide circuit driving the No. 35 Seal/Wrap Repair Tape Chevy Impala. He made a grand debut by finishing seventh at Richmond in April. He was involved in a wreck early in his next start at Darlington last month.
Dave was confident that Ryan wouldn't be overwhelmed by the moment. Ryan was successful at every step on the ladder to NASCAR, and it's possible he'll develop into a Nationwide star.
"That first race at Richmond was hard to believe, standing there and watching it and how composed he was," Dave said. "Whatever situation in the race he handled it perfectly. He handled the lead-up to the race. He was excited; he wasn't nervous.
"All of us involved - me and Tommy Baldwin and the sponsors and Seal/Wrap - thought he was ready to do that. That's why we made the jump. That was a pretty big jump not even having a truck start."
Dave is 33rd in Sprint Cup points after competing in each of the 16 races. With his 50th birthday coming up Oct. 24, Dave knows his NASCAR days are numbered.
"Everybody's time comes," he said. "It's going to be tough stepping away from racing, period, when that time comes. But Ryan's doing well now so we can race with him a little bit."
Dave has no intention of stepping away from the driver's seat anytime soon. Like his father, he hopes to continue running cars at some level. He's most comfortable racing sprints, which is where he earned fame as the "Buckeye Bullet" before making the move to NASCAR.
"It depends on what happens to Ryan and where all that goes," he said. "That would be something I'd be real interested in."
It must be a different world for Dave as he watches Ryan race. Dave's father would usually watch the start of Daytona 500 and then return to Dave's motor home. One close friend said that Lou felt nervous for Dave because of the high speeds.
Dave now must understand what his father felt every time he stepped into a car.
"I really don't get nervous," Dave said. "I get anxious some. I haven't gotten that bad. I don't know why. I think because early on he knew what he was doing. He can handle himself. For him taking care of himself, his race car and his surroundings, he does a good job."
Dale has kept busy racing in 32 All Star circuit events.
"We're doing pretty well," Dale said.
The same can be said for the all the racing Blaneys.