Tommy Baldwin Racing press release
Oil Leak Ends Promising Day for No. 36 Golden Corral/NHOF/Richie Evans Chevrolet
Blaney finished 35th in Sylvania 300
LOUDON, N.H. (September 26, 2011) – Paying tribute to NASCAR Modified legend and 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF) Inductee Richie Evans, Tommy Baldwin Racing ran an orange and blue paint scheme at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). Dave Blaney wheeled the No. 36 Golden Corral/NHOF/Richie Evans Chevrolet to the 22nd starting spot for the Sylvania 300. Unfortunately 17 laps into the 300-lap event, Blaney radioed that the car was smoking. By lap 83, he drove the Chevrolet back into the garage with an oil leak, giving him a 35th-place finish.
The Golden Corral team unloaded fast, and Blaney was happy with the No. 36 right off the truck. He posted the 29th-, 16th- and 33rd-fastest times in the first, second and final practices, respectively. The No. 36 Golden Corral/NHOF/Richie Evans Chevrolet captured the 22nd-place starting spot for Sunday’s event in qualifying on Friday.
Blaney took the green flag from the outside of the 11th row. He fell to 24th by lap two and radioed that the car was very loose on the gas at the start of the run. He stayed in the top-30 until lap 17 when Blaney told the Golden Corral crew that something was wrong with the car. He explained that it was smoking and smelled like oil. Unsure of the problem and not loosing speed on the racetrack, crew chief Philippe Lopez instructed his driver to stay out and see if the problem persists.
On lap 37, Blaney radioed that the No. 36 Golden Corral/NHOF/Richie Evans Chevrolet was tight in the center, while he held the 31st position. He fell one lap down by lap 51. On lap 59, Blaney made the first scheduled pit stop. The Golden Corral team changed four tires and made a trackbar adjustment. The Golden Corral/NHOF/Richie Evans Chevrolet drove away with the gas can still attached, and Blaney had to perform a stop-and-go penalty.
He returned to the racetrack three laps down as green-flag pit stops continued. Once pit stops concluded, the No. 36 Golden Corral/NHOF/Richie Evans Chevrolet was in the 34th position, two laps down, but handling much better this run. Blaney radioed that the car was as good as it was in practice and he was happy with the handling.
Twenty-four laps later, the smoke got worse, and Lopez called Blaney down pit road to assess the issue. The team looked under the hood and concluded that something was leaking and they needed to go to the garage to see where. Once at the garage stall, the team found an oil leak in the rear, main seal of the engine. The leak was terminal, and Blaney finished 35th in the No. 36 Golden Corral/NHOF/Richie Evans Chevrolet.
The 35th-place finish kept the No. 36 team in the 33rd position in NSCS Owner Points. The team is now seven points ahead of the No. 32 in the 34th position and nine points behind the No. 13 in 32nd. The Golden Corral team is locked into the top-35 by 58 points. Blaney also held onto the 32nd position in NSCS Driver Points. He is 10 points ahead of Andy Lally in 33rd and 35 points behind Casey Mears in 31st.
“The car was loose to start,” explained Blaney. “After the first pit stop, it was really good, just like in practice. It’s unfortunate that the leak stopped us from competing. I think we could have had a really good finish. These things happen, so we’ll take it and move on to Dover. It is just promising that the car was so good off the truck and really throughout the entire weekend.”
“It was an honor to represent Richie this weekend,” he continued. “He really impacted our sport for the better. I just wish we could have posted a better finish for that.”