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Ryan Blaney secures first career NASCAR Cup championship





AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Ryan Blaney needed only to defeat Kyle Larson and William Byron to win his first NASCAR championship.

He needlessly added Ross Chastain to his list, too, racing him pointlessly hard in an attempt to win the race Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. When he couldn't pass Chastain, Blaney angrily ran into the back of his car.

It was a side of Blaney his team and competitors know very well. The public? Not so much.

The soft-spoken third-generation racer from Ohio used a pugnacious second-place run at Phoenix to win the Cup title in a drive that showcased a fire that apparently blazes inside the typically mild-mannered Blaney.