Monday August 18, 2008
Dave Blaney/Caterpillar Racing – 3M Performance 400
Michigan International Speedway
BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 17, 2008) – Dave Blaney and the Caterpillar Racing team qualified in the 24th position for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The Caterpillar car was on par for a top-20 finish before being involved in an accident on lap 84 of the 200-lap race. After spending extensive time behind the wall while repair work was completed, Blaney was credited with a 41st-place finish.
The No. 22 Bill Davis Racing team was the 26th of 44 teams to take to the track for qualifying Friday afternoon. Blaney posted a speed of 184.639 mph around the two-mile oval, which earned the team the 24th starting position for Sunday’s event.
The green flag waved for the start of the event, and it didn’t take long for Blaney to move into the top 20. Lap five communication between the veteran driver and his Bill Davis Racing crew chief Tommy Baldwin indicated that Blaney was satisfied with his No. 22 Caterpillar Camry for the time being. As the run wore on, the car’s handling became tight in the center, and Baldwin made plans for air pressure and track bar adjustments during the first pit stop of the day. A yellow flag on lap 19 enabled the team to make those changes and send Blaney back out on the track in the 27th position for the lap-26 restart.
Blaney’s Camry was extremely good for the first five or 10 laps following the pit stop, and he was able to easily move past traffic and into the 21st position by lap 36. The second stop of the day occurred on lap 66, and after another set of track bar and air pressure adjustments, Blaney left the pit stall. Unfortunately, as Blaney was leaving his stall, Reed Sorenson was entering his. The two cars made contact, and by the time the No. 22 machine made it off pit road, the leader was close behind with Blaney running in the 35th spot.
Blaney patiently began to make his way past slower traffic, and by lap 82, he stood in the 32nd position. As Blaney went low on the track to get by the No. 12 and No.15 cars, those two cars made contact. Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12, lost control of his car and turned into the side of the Cat car. Blaney’s car was sent spinning and made heavy impact with the outside wall of turn two. He was able to drive the car to the garage area where the crew repaired the damage. After extensive repair work, Blaney drove his BDR machine back out on the track on lap 140. The team was able to pick up one spot due to attrition and was credited with a 41st-place finish.
The Caterpillar Racing team will travel to the high banks of Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway next weekend for the Sharpie 500. Qualifying for the event is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 22. Coverage of the event is scheduled for an 8 p.m. ET start Saturday, Aug. 23, and will broadcast on ESPN (television), PRN (radio) and Sirius Satellite Radio. Before heading to Bristol, Blaney will spend Tuesday evening at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the third and final event in the Ollie’s 360 Challenge. Blaney, along with Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart, will race against the region’s top 360/358 drivers.
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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Kim DeHaven.
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