Dave Blaney looks to improve at Darlington

DAVE BLANEY and Amoco Ultimate Team 93 enters the Mall.com 400 at Darlington Raceway ranked 29th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series team standings and 33nd in the WC driver standings entering this weekend's event at Darlington despite missing...

DAVE BLANEY and Amoco Ultimate Team 93 enters the Mall.com 400 at Darlington Raceway ranked 29th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series team standings and 33nd in the WC driver standings entering this weekend's event at Darlington despite missing the WC race at Rockingham two weeks ago; BLANEY produced the best all-around weekend of his brief Winston Cup career last weekend at Atlanta, qualifying ninth and finishing 20th as the best of six rookies who made the field. In three career NASCAR Busch Series starts at Darlington Raceway, BLANEY had an average start of 11.3 (best-10th on 9/5/98) and an average finish of 20.6, including his runner-up finish last September (to Mark Martin)-one of six races BLANEY led during the 1999 season. In the 2000 Raybestos Winston Cup Rookie-of-the-Year standings, BLANEY ranks fourth with 28 points, winning his first event top-rookie award last weekend at Atlanta; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is the top Raybestos rookie (42 points) followed by Matt Kenseth (37 points), and Stacy Compton (34 points); trailing BLANEY are fifth-place Jeff Fuller (25 points), Scott Pruett (22 points) as well as Ed Berrier (16 points) and Mike Bliss (9 points), who failed to qualify for the WC race in Atlanta. In eight career NASCAR Winston Cup starts at Bill Davis Racing, BLANEY has registered three top-ten starts (Miami-4th, Atlanta 7th and 9th), has an average career WC start of 20.25 and an average career WC finish of 32.875, including his career-best 20th-place finish at Atlanta. BLANEY and Amoco Ultimate Team 93 completed the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series season ranked sixth in the team owner standings with 3,691 points, and BLANEY ranked seventh in the driver's standings with 3,582 points in his second NASCAR season; among his 15 top-15 finishes in 1999 were second-place finishes at Atlanta (March) and Darlington (September); he made five WC starts in 1999, qualifying in the top-ten for each of his last two season-ending starts at Miami (fourth) and Atlanta (seventh). BLANEY tied with Jeff Green for the most NASCAR Busch Series pole positions in 1999 (four) and was one of only six NASCAR Busch Series regulars to win a pole (32 races) in 1999; not including NCMS & California (started/points), BLANEY's average start (12.21-29 races) ranked fourth behind Earnhardt (9.04-29 races), Green (10.38-29 races) and Matt Kenseth (10.92). In his last 39 BGN starts, Blaney won five BGN pole positions at Charlotte (10/1/98), Atlanta (3/13/99), Texas (3/27/99), Colorado Springs (7/23/99) and Michigan (8/19/99) (the latter four track records) and outside poles at St. Louis (10/17/98) and Charlotte (10/7/99); BLANEY's career average BGN start (49 races) since the start of his rookie season (2/98) is 13.31; he qualified in the top-ten in 17 of the 30 qualifying sessions in 1999 (two races on points) and in the top-ten in each of his four career restrictor-plate starts, including fifth (Daytona) and fourth (Talladega) in 1999; including Ward Burton's track-record pole at Darlington (9/3/99), BDR engine builder Brad Thrower registered six BGN pole positions (5 track records) with BLANEY and Burton. After making the transition from sprint cars, BLANEY's first 12 races in his rookie Busch Series season yielded a 30.2 average finish, eight DNF's and a 68.6% laps-completion mark; in his 39 races since Darlington, 1998, BLANEY had an average finish in his BGN starts of 15.85, five DNF's, a 98% laps-completed mark and 22 top-15 finishes including a career-high seconds at Atlanta (3/98) and Darlington (9/99) 14 other top-ten finishes; he led six races in 1999 (Atlanta, Texas, Charlotte, Pikes Peak, Michigan, Darlington) and ranked sixth in times-led (14). Entering this weekend's race at Darlington, BLANEY has 66 career stock car starts (51st Busch, 9 WC, 6 ARCA) , including five WC starts in 1999 (Michigan, New Hampshire, Indianapolis, Miami, Atlanta); Blaney's improvement in the team points standings (29th to 6th) during the 1999 season was the best among all NASCAR Busch Series drivers during the period. 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 between 1993 and 1997 (four times). Car owners BILL & GAIL DAVIS rank 14th in overall NASCAR car owner career earnings ($9,911,499) entering this weekend's race at Darlington, DAVIS, who also owns the #22 Caterpillar Pontiac Grand Prix (WC) and the #02 Polaris Pontiac (BGN) for driver Ward Burton and the #20 AT&T Pontiac (BGN) for driver Mike Borkowski, is one of only five NASCAR owners (Rick Hendrick, Jack Roush, Larry McClure, Butch Mock) to register wins in both WC and BGN races; DAVIS won six Busch Series races with Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon in five seasons (1988-1992) before moving up as a full-time WC owner in 1993. Crew Chief GIL MARTIN, who served as co-owner and crew chief for the #81 FilMar team from 1988 through 1997, has won 10 NASCAR Busch Series races with five drivers, including Kenny Wallace (5), Jeff Burton (2), David Green, Bobby Hamilton and Rick Mast; with $4 million+ in earnings in 12 seasons, Martin is one of the sport's most respected young team managers.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Matt Kenseth , Jeff Fuller , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Stacy Compton , Scott Pruett , David Green , Rick Mast , Ed Berrier , Mike Bliss , Mike Borkowski , Jack Roush , Dave Blaney , Mark Martin
Teams Bill Davis Racing