Four Toyota Camrys started today's NNCS race at Darlington Raceway one day later than scheduled. Heavy rain and thunderstorms forced the race to be postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. Dave Blaney made his 10th start of season in the...
Four Toyota Camrys started today's NNCS race at Darlington Raceway one day later than scheduled. Heavy rain and thunderstorms forced the race to be postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. Dave Blaney made his 10th start of season in the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry and consistently ran in the top-20 all afternoon before his engine overheated - ending his day with only 12 laps remaining in the race.
Blaney finished in the 32nd position. Making his first-career start at Darlington Raceway, AJ Allmendinger in the No. 84 Red Bull Camry battled in the top-25 throughout the afternoon, but a blown tire and contact with the wall forced him to a 36th-place finish after lengthy repairs.
Rookie David Reutimann in the No. 00 Domino's Camry started the race from the 14th position and finished 33rd after his engine overheated late in the race - forcing him to the garage. The No. 83 Red Bull Camry sustained serious damage in a lap-122 accident when another car got into Brian Vickers, spinning him into the inside wall. Vickers was credited with a 43rd-place finish. The best NNCS result for a Toyota Camry was when Brian Vickers finished 10th at California Speedway (Feb. 25).
Toyota Camrys have led a total of 14 laps in NNCS competition in 2007. Dave Blaney led two laps today in Darlington. Other Camry lap leaders include Vickers (Atlanta and Texas) and Mayfield (Bristol).
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing: Finished: 32nd
Can you talk about your day? "I really thought we were going to come out of here with a solid top-20 finish and that is really what we needed to keep gaining on the top-35 in points. The car was real loose early in the race and we came in and kept making adjustments all day - then we got too tight. I battled the track all day and they team kept trying to get the car where we needed to be, but it was a struggle between the corners to really get consistent all the way around the track. There towards the end the water temperature was spiking and we started blowing water so I knew it was just a matter of time before the motor let go. And ultimately that's what ended our day."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Domino's Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing: Finished: 33rd
Can you talk about your day? "Our day pretty much started going down hill early. But we came in and kept adjusting on it, and there at the mid-point of the race we had actually gotten the car pretty good. We could run about middle of the pack and we just kept tuning on it. Then it got hot and we kept coming in and trying to cool it down. We finally got to the point where we got it hot and cooled it down too many times and they really aren't very open to that. After that, it just let go and that was it. At this point, I'm just glad to be leaving Darlington."
Can you talk about your team's race today at Darlington? "From the beginning the car was a little bit tight, but AJ (Allmendinger) did an excellent job here for his first time. We continued to make changes throughout the race to make it better. At one time we were on a lap by ourselves and that was when we blew a right front tire and it went downhill from there. But at that point we were going to be 20th or 21st and our goal was to finish in the top-25 or at least on the lead lap. All up to that point, it was going real well for us. But we can't control everything just like we couldn't control the weather yesterday.
"We feel like we did our job because we came here, to a place he's never been, we qualified solidly in the field and raced well. AJ learned a lot and that's the main thing, for him to feel comfortable with what he's done. We're real happy with what he's done this week."
Were you surprised that AJ survived the entire race here at Darlington? "AJ never surprises me. It's unbelievable what he's accomplished since the first time I put him in a truck. He's got a huge amount of potential and once we work through the first half of this season we'll come back and I think you'll see that he'll be someone to contend with each week."
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Team Red ull: Finished: 43rd
Are you all right and what happened to take you out of the race? "I'm all right, just real disappointed for our Red Bull Toyota team. We had a tight car at the beginning of the race and we were getting it better and better with every run. We were coming off turn two and everybody was getting stacked up. The 26 (Jamie McMurray) just ran into us and turned us around. There was really nothing I could do, I was just along for the ride. I just hate it for our team, everybody's been working so hard and we've been consistently improving. But we will head back to Charlotte and get ready for next week."
-credit: toyota motorsports