Darlington: Dave Blaney preview

Darlington Raceway News and Notes * Darlington's Camry...The No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Dave Blaney is scheduled to drive in the event this weekend is COT 17. This is the same Car of Tomorrow...

Darlington Raceway News and Notes

* Darlington's Camry...The No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Dave Blaney is scheduled to drive in the event this weekend is COT 17. This is the same Car of Tomorrow the team used last weekend in Richmond, where Blaney drove to a season-high 11th-place finish. The team also participated in a Goodyear tire test at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in March.

* Richmond Rewind...Blaney qualified the Cat car in 10th place and ran in the top 15 for most of the afternoon before posting an 11th-place finish. The finish helped the team gain three positions in the owners' point standings. The team now stands in 37th place, 80 markers outside the top 35.

* Blaney's Career Stats...Blaney will make his 245th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start when the green flag waves Saturday evening. He made his first career Cup Series start in October 1992 at [Rockingham] North Carolina Speedway and finished 26th after qualifying 15th for his first Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway in 2000. Like this weekend, Blaney was aboard a Bill Davis Racing-owned machine.

* Blaney at Darlington...Blaney has made 10 starts on the 1.366-mile oval during his Cup Series career, starting as high as 10th (2003) and finishing as high as third (2003). He has scored one top-10 finish in Cup Series competition at Darlington and has qualified in the top 15 three times.

* BDR at "The Track too Tough to Tame"...Competitors driving Bill Davis Racing-owned cars have been racing at the track since 1993 and have made 34 starts. Those drivers have posted two wins (2000, 2001), four top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes and have completed 10,104 of 11,051 possible laps (91.4 percent). A BDR entry also sat on the pole at Darlington in 1996.

* Practice Makes Perfect...Like most of their competitors this weekend, Blaney and the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing team spent Monday and Tuesday testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway (in Concord, N.C.) in preparation for the upcoming events there. They will also head to Dover (Del.) International Speedway next Monday and Tuesday for two days of testing at that track. Blaney also plans to take part in NASCAR Busch Series testing at LMS, which is also scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

* Blaney's Busch Battle...Blaney holds the third spot in the Busch Series drivers' point standings. He will attempt to gain ground on the leader again this week during the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Friday evening. Blaney has made four Busch Series starts at the track. He has qualified in the top 12 three times and has finished inside the top 10 twice.

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

Dave Blaney on Darlington Raceway..."Last weekend was a step in the right direction. We did exactly what we needed to do in qualifying and then backed it up during the race. We picked up some of the ground we've lost on the top 35, so we're hoping to have another good weekend in Darlington with the goal of getting ourselves into the top 35 within the next couple of weeks. We know we've got a good Toyota Camry -- we're taking the same car we ran last weekend in Richmond -- so we've just got to make sure we get in the show and go from there. It was good to go out and be competitive last weekend. We've put together some good runs here and there, but that was one of the first times we were able to run well the entire weekend and get a decent finish out of it. Finishing these things has been a struggle this season so maybe we're over the hump now."

-credit: bdr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dave Blaney
Teams Bill Davis Racing