Tommy Baldwin Racing press release
Blaney’s 30th-place Finish at Kansas Moves Team to 32nd in Owner Standings
KANSAS CITY, KAN. (October 10, 2011) – Dave Blaney drove the No. 36 Big Red Chevrolet from the 38th starting position to a 30th-place finish in the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) team’s second start at Kansas Speedway this season. The finish in the Hollywood Casino 400 moved the TBR team to 32nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Owner Points.
Blaney posted the 40th-, 38th- and 34th-fastest times in first, second and final practice, respectively. He drove the No. 36 Big Red Chevrolet to the 38th starting spot for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400.
The No. 36 Big Red Chevrolet started the 400-lap event at Kansas Speedway from the 19th row, and Blaney drove up to the 33rd position by lap 15. A spin on the frontstretch brought out the first caution on lap 21. The TBR team took the opportunity to pit for four tires and a trackbar adjustment.
The field restarted on lap 24 with Blaney in the top-35. He worked up to the 30th position by lap 30. As the long green-flag run continued, the Big Red Chevrolet slipped to 31st by lap 45. The Big Red pit crew made a four-tire, green-flag pit stop and air pressure adjustment on lap 66. By lap 75, the No. 36 fell a lap down.
Debris on the racetrack brought out the second caution on lap 85 and allowed the No. 36 team to make another pit stop. During the caution period, the team changed four tires and made a wedge adjustment. Blaney restarted 31st, one lap down, on lap 89. This restart saw another long green flag run. The Big Red Chevrolet fell to the 35th spot by lap 105. Crew Chief Philippe Lopez called for the Hartford, Ohio native to bring the No. 36 down pit road for another green-flag, four-tire pit stop on lap 131.
Blaney returned to the track, and by the halfway point at lap 134, he drove into the 33rd position. With Blaney in the 34th position, the Big Red team made a green-flag pit stop on lap 177. The crew changed four tires and made an air pressure adjustment. Blaney returned to the track in the 32nd position. By the third caution of the day on lap 206, the No. 36 Big Red Chevrolet was still in the 32nd position. Lopez decided to stay out.
Ten laps after the restart, the No. 51 and No. 78 had an accident on the frontstretch bringing out the fourth caution of the day. The Big Red team made another four-tire pit stop during the yellow flag condition. Blaney once again restarted in the 32nd position. He held onto the position until the next caution period on lap 241 which was called for debris on the racetrack. Lopez called Blaney down pit road for another four-tire pit stop and air pressure adjustment.
Blaney restarted 32nd and was poised to hold the position at the end of the 267-lap race. With three laps to go, Jeff Gordon had an engine failure and put oil on the track. NASCAR called a caution for oil on the track on lap 266, lining up a green-white checker condition. With nothing to lose and wanted to test one more change to the car, the team made a pit stop and a small air pressure adjustment. The team was penalized for too fast exiting pit road and had to start at the tail end of the field. Blaney took the checkered flag in the 31st position, three laps down.
The 31st-place finish moved the TBR No. 36 team up to the 32nd position in NSCS Owner Points. The team is now five points ahead of the No. 13 and 74 points behind the No. 34 in the 31st spot. The No. 36 is locked into the top-35 by 55 points. Blaney gained on Casey Mears in 31st and is now just 21 points behind Mears in the 32nd position in NSCS Driver Points. He also extended his lead over Andy Lally in 33rd to a 17-point lead.
“The car was pretty good on Saturday, so we felt good about the race,” explained Blaney. “The first run was good, but then it went down hill from there. We dinged the body up a little bit on the right rear corner and that might have hurt us a little. We just kind of lost the balance and never got going again. We tried some different changes than usual to see if they worked and basically used the last few runs as a test session.”
Blaney will start the Bank of America 500 in the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.