Dave Blaney finished 12th in his No. 22 Caterpillar Camry and secured a position within the top-35 in NNCS owner points. The No. 44 UPS Camry of Dale Jarrett earned his best finish of 2007 finishing 17th. Jarrett completed his final full season...
Dave Blaney finished 12th in his No. 22 Caterpillar Camry and secured a position within the top-35 in NNCS owner points. The No. 44 UPS Camry of Dale Jarrett earned his best finish of 2007 finishing 17th. Jarrett completed his final full season of NNCS competition. David Reutimann made his career-first NNCS start at Homestead-Miami Speedway today and finished 25th in the No. 00 Burger King Camry. The No. 83 Red Bull Camry of Brian Vickers finished 42nd after an accident on lap 159 ended his night. Johnny Benson made his third NNCS start of the season and second in the No. 36 Camry for Bill Davis Racing. Benson suffered a motor problem and finished 43rd.
Camry drivers have led a total of 165 laps across 16 races in NNCS events this season. Vickers has led the most of the Camry contingent with 106 laps over seven races (Atlanta, Bristol, Texas, Charlotte, Michigan, California and Talladega-2). Blaney has led 41 laps over seven races (Atlanta, Richmond, Darlington, New Hampshire, Kansas, Talladega-2 and Homestead). Mayfield has led six laps over three races (Bristol, Charlotte and Watkins Glen). Waltrip has led eight laps over three races (Michigan-1, Dover-2 and Talladega-2). Reutimann led one lap at California (September) and two laps at Talladega (October). Allmendinger led one lap at Atlanta (October). Camry drivers have two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in NNCS competition. Bill Davis Racing moved to 34th in unofficial NNCS owner standings with the No. 22 Camry guaranteeing them a starting position in the first five races of the 2008 season.
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Finishing position: 12th
How big is it to finish the season in the top-35 in owner points after battling for that position most of the season? "It's huge -- it's a different world to be in 35th versus 36th. We had to get in there and our whole team did a great job to get us there. We get a head start on those first five races and we just have to do better in the first five. This year we had DNFs (did not finish) in the first three so that really put us behind right from the start. We're in so we have to take advantage of it."
How much did the track change during the race today -- from day to night? "We had a top-10 car almost all night -- I slipped a little at the end and gave up a couple positions, but overall it was a good night for us. The track changed quite a bit, but it was just a slippery tonight as it was during the day. This is a great track and a lot of fun to run on -- you can run just about anywhere. I ran the high line most of the night, but there were times that I just had to follow the car to whatever line it wanted to race and where it was fastest."
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing position: 17th
Is there any consolation for this team to get its best finish of the season in the last race? "It took us all year to do it, but we did it. It was hard work and determination. I'm really proud of all of these guys and this team. It certainly wasn't what anybody wanted, but we made a lot of gains and that will be beneficial down the road for this team."
What are your emotions after your last full season driving? "I've been very fortunate to have a great career and be associated with a lot of great people. I'm just very blessed."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Burger King Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing position: 25th
How did the handle on your car change during the race? "It would be really tight and I could only run the top line with it. As the race went on, I had to turn the wheel more to keep it off the fence -- it would grab and jump sideways on me in the corners. I thought the adjustments were helping and then it wouldn't give us anymore room to make it any better and I bounced it off the fence a couple times. These cars are so dependent on aero so when you wrinkle up the fenders they don't work anymore. The car was actually pretty good at times, but the first time I hit the wall with it made the car not nearly as good."
What do you think of your first season in the Cup series? "It's been disappointing for the most part. Everyone has done a great job, but the results on the race track have just been disappointing. I don't aim to do that again next year -- we'll get out of the box next year. My team is getting better and stronger. We've had too many lows and not enough highs so we'll work on that in the off season. I'm excited about next season, but I'm not excited about losing Dale Jarrett as a teammate."
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Team Red Bull Finishing position: 42nd
What happened that ended your night? "The No. 70 car (Johnny Sauter) spun in front of us -- as we were all slowing down we got hit from behind. That spun us and we got into the inside wall. It was a pretty hard hit, but I'm fine." How was your car handling before the wreck? "I don't know what happened with the handling on the car -- we were good in practice and qualifying, but tonight we were tight as soon as the race started. I was only using a quarter of the throttle and the tires were chattering every lap. The team never gave up and kept trying different changes, but we couldn't seem to correct the problem."
-credit: toyota motorsports