Tommy Baldwin Racing is the little team that could.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Team owner Tommy Baldwin believes every team “from 27th on back” in the Sprint Cup point standings “needs to be worried” entering Daytona 500 qualifying on Sunday.
Baldwin, whose No. 7 Toy State/Nikko Chevrolet is currently 33rd in the point standings, is taking a conservative approach to time trials with his young driver Alex Bowman.
“I told him, ‘if you’re good, you can stay up front,” Baldwin said. “If not, just take care of the equipment.”
Baldwin believes that the Budweiser Duels “will be a lot calmer than last night” where after four cautions only 12 cars remained to decide the contest.
On Thursday, it’s all about getting into the race.
“On Thursday, it’s all about getting into the race,” Baldwin said. “It is what it is. I think we have a good plan.”
The right tools
Baldwin's crew chief is his buddy and 2010 Daytona 500 winner Kevin "Bono" Manion. TBR competes with Richard Childress Racing cars but hang their own bodies.The team will have ECR engines for Daytona – and 21-year-old upstart Alex Bowman behind the wheel looking to make a good impression with his new team.
Anything can happen, but hopefully we’re in a position to race our way into the Duels.
“We were really good in practice yesterday,” said Bowman, who was 35th fastest in the first session and then jumped to 11th on the speed chart during second practice. “The car sucks up really good in the draft. We’ve got great horsepower and the car drives straight.
“Anything can happen, but hopefully we’re in a position to race our way into the Duels. We ran one session with the RCR cars and the second with the 18 (Kyle Busch) and the 11 (Denny Hamlin). Just shook the car down. I’m going to take it conservative – want to see how it all shakes out.”