Bill Davis Racing-- ...
Bill Davis Racing--#93 Amoco/Siemens Dodge
Blaney's Decision To Leave Bill Davis Racing And The #93 Amoco/Siemens Dodge Team Accompanied By Considerable Gratutude And Regret As Well As Optimism For The Future
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- After four seasons with the #93 Bill Davis Racing team, Dave Blaney made the decision to move to the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford team for the 2002 season after a difficult process during which he reaffirmed his gratitude to car owners Bill and Gail Davis for giving him the opportunity to make the transition to NASCAR in 1998 after 15-plus seasons of open-wheel racing.
Jasper Motorsports Car Owners Doug Bawel, Mark Wallace and Mark Harrah announced Tuesday that Blaney, 38, would replace Robert Pressley in the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford, beginning in 2002. Blaney, a native of Hartford, Ohio, joined Bill Davis Racing in 1998 and after only 52 Busch Series starts over two seasons, moved to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 2000 with the #93 Amoco/BDR team despite having only seven starts in fendered cars of any kind at any level prior to leaving his position as a World of Outlaws front-runner following the 1997 season.
"Bill and Gail Davis gave me the chance to make the move to NASCAR from the World of Outlaws and I'm grateful to them for putting me in a situation that a lot of guys trying to make the transition from a background of open-wheel or dirt-surface racing don't get very often," said Blaney. "Bill and Gail were patient with me and our team when we struggled early on and gave me the time to get settled in and learn what I needed to learn about stock cars when a lot of owners might have asked for more sooner from a driver.
"The support from (sponsors) Amoco and Siemens and two good crew chiefs --Gil Martin (1998-2000) and Doug Randolph (2000-2001) --allowed me to get to the point where we could be competitive in the Winston Cup Series week-to-week. We built a good nucleus with the team over four years and it would have been great to be able to go into the future with those guys and that program.
"But BP-Amoco's decision this summer not to return to NASCAR as a sponsor as well as a combination of things that have affected the economy have made it tough on everyone in the sport to identify and sign new sponsors and we've experienced the same thing at Bill Davis Racing.
"I still believe Bill Davis and (General Manager) Mike Brown will find the right sponsor for the #93 team and that they will move forward but I had a great offer from the #77 team. Given the way things are with so many teams out there looking for sponsors this late in the year, I just couldn't wait any longer to get something done. In a situation like this, you have to think about your career and your family first and that's what it really came down to.
"I feel like the Jasper Motorsports team has a ton of potential. They have an excellent engine program already established and one of the best young crew chiefs in the sport in Ryan Pemberton. We'll run as hard as we can these last six races with the #93 team to see if we can finish up on as good a note as possible for Bill and Gail and our sponsors but I'm really looking forward to next season and beyond."
Entering this weekend's EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Blaney ranks 23rd in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings, 138 points behind Martinsville winner Ricky Craven in 22nd. Blaney has a best-start of fourth (Michigan-June) and best-finishes of sixth (Texas-April, Michigan-August) in 30 starts during this season. BLANEY ranks 20th in miles-completed (92%), with more than 85% of his unfinished miles coming in the Daytona 500 (engine failure) and in New Hampshire, Dover and Charlotte (blown tires).
With Blaney, the #93 Amoco/Siemens team finished the 2000 season ranked 33rd in the NASCAR Winston Cup team standings, 34 points behind the #4 Morgan-McClure team. Blaney ranked 31st in the 2000 Winston Cup driver point standings, closing his first Winston Cup year and his third-ever stock car season with a flourish, finishing eighth at Phoenix, ninth at Miami and challenging for the win in the season-finale at Atlanta. He finished third behind Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the 2000 WC Rookie-of-the-Year standings, winning the top-rookie awards three times.
Blaney and Amoco Ultimate Team 93 completed the 1999 Busch Series season ranked sixth in the team owner standings and Blaney ranked seventh in the driver's standings after his second NASCAR season. Among his 15 top-15 finishes in 1999 were seconds at Atlanta (March) and Darlington (September). He made five Winston Cup starts in 1999, qualifying in the top-ten at Miami (4th) and Atlanta (7th).
One of open-wheel racing's most respected and successful racers of the 1990's, Blaney won 192 feature sprint-car events in 1,349 starts (14.2%) over 17 seasons of competition in the division's three major organizations. He won the 1995 World of Outlaws championship and finished second every other year (four times) between 1993 and 1997.
Blaney owns the #10 DB Racing World of Outlaws team for which his younger brother Dale -- a former All-American basketball player at West Virginia University -- drives. In 2000, the team finished seventh in the overall WoO standings, winning two events including the prestigious $100,000-to-win King's Royal at Eldora (OH) Speedway.