Pocono II: Dave Blaney preview

Dave Blaney No. 22 Cat Racing/Dave Blaney Event Preview Pocono Raceway News and Notes * Blaney's No. 22 Camry...The Caterpillar Racing team plans to utilize chassis No. 108 for this weekend's event at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The car...

Dave Blaney No. 22
Cat Racing/Dave Blaney Event Preview

Pocono Raceway News and Notes

* Blaney's No. 22 Camry...The Caterpillar Racing team plans to utilize chassis No. 108 for this weekend's event at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The car was built for last weekend's event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the team has opted to run it again after a strong ninth-place finish last Sunday.

* Blaney's Career Stats...Dave Blaney will make his 254th career NASCAR Nextel Cup Series start when the green flag waves Sunday. He made his first career Cup Series start in October 1992 at [Rockingham] North Carolina Speedway and finished 30th after qualifying 35th for his first Cup Series start at Pocono in 2000. Like this weekend, Blaney was aboard a Bill Davis Racing-owned machine.

* Blaney at Pocono...Blaney has started as high as 14th (2007) and finished as high as ninth (2003) on the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track and has scored two top-10 finishes and six top-20 finishes there. Blaney has driven a Bill Davis Racing-owned entry in seven of his 15 starts at Pocono.

* BDR at Pocono...Competitors driving Bill Davis Racing-owned cars have been racing at the track since 1993 and have made 37 starts. Those drivers have posted one top-10 finish.

* A Sigh of Relief...Following its ninth-place finish last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Caterpillar Racing team moved into 36th place in the owners' point standings. Though technically outside the top 35, the No. 13 team did not enter last weekend's event, and NASCAR officials lock in the top 35 teams that enter every event, thus ensuring the No. 22 team a spot in the starting field for this weekend's event.

* June Race recap...During the Cup Series' visit to Pocono in June, Blaney posted the best qualifying effort of his Cup Series career at this track. It was Tommy Baldwin's first race as crew chief of the Cat Toyota Camry team. Blaney was involved in an accident on lap 56 of that race, and the car was too damaged in the incident to allow the team to continue.

* Practice Makes Perfect...The Caterpillar Racing team spent Tuesday, July 31, testing at Virginia International Raceway in preparation for the upcoming road-course event at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

* Bring Your Sharpie...Blaney will sign autographs at the Caterpillar souvenir trailer Sunday morning. Stop by the Cat souvenir trailer or visit www.daveblaney.com for updates and additional information.

* Pocono's Broadcast Schedule...Qualifying for Sunday afternoon's event is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 3. The 200-lap event is scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 5, and will broadcast LIVE on ESPN (TV), MRN (radio) and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Blaney's Thoughts on the Weekend...

"There's a big weight off our shoulders knowing that we're locked in for qualifying again this weekend. It's been a long time since this Caterpillar team has been in this position, and it feels really good. The way we approach the whole weekend will change. That said, we don't have a huge cushion over the rest of the guys trying to get our spot inside the top 35, but it will be nice to be the hunted this week instead of the hunter. Hopefully, we can keep our momentum alive and get ourselves another good finish so we can pad our position a bit, and we'll never have to go through another Friday feeling like we have for the last 15 races. The stress involved is just unbelievable.

"Tommy [Baldwin] and the rest of these guys have really been doing a nice job getting this team closer to where we need to be. We've been good right off the truck in most places lately, and even when there was some work to be done to make the Cat Toyota better for the race, Tommy has made all the right decisions. I'm really excited about the way this team has performed. Our finishes may not always show it, but we've been strong almost every week."

-credit: bdr

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Series NASCAR-CUP