MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Bubba Wallace was one of the first drivers to victory lane to hug close friend Ryan Blaney when Blaney scored his first Cup win earlier this year.

The two are somewhat of a tandem _ on social media, playing video games together, road trips _ and share in each others' successes. So Blaney was pleased to celebrate Wallace's hiring this week as the full-time Cup driver next season at Richard Petty Motorsports. 

"That was really special for him," said Blaney. "I’m just really pumped up for him and I know he couldn’t be happier. He deserves it.  He’s worked really hard his whole career."