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Monday September 15, 2008
Dave Blaney/Caterpillar Racing – Sylvania 300
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 14, 2008) – Rain showers cancelled qualifying for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and the Caterpillar Toyota lined up on the starting grid in 31st place. The No. 22 Bill Davis Racing team was not satisfied with its car during the two practice sessions Saturday and went to work to fix it. Unfortunately, the adjustments to the car weren’t enough, and after struggling with handling issues for most of the event, driver Dave Blaney drove the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry to a 33rd-place finish.
The Caterpillar Camry was scheduled to be the 35th of 45 competitors to take to the track for qualifying Friday afternoon, but for the second week in a row, persistent rain showers forced the cancellation of the qualifying session. NASCAR Sprint Cup officials set the grid based on current owners’ points, and the No. 22 BDR team was to start the event in 31st place.
The green flag waved for the start of the Sylvania 300 after a brief delay due to additional rain showers that passed through the area Sunday morning. Blaney let Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin know that the Cat Camry was acting much the same as it had the day before, despite the slew of changes the team had made Sunday morning before the start of the event. Baldwin planned to make a significant track bar adjustment during the first pit stop in an effort to help the car turn. NASCAR officials scheduled a competition caution on lap 37 of the 300-lap race, and Blaney drove down pit road to the attention of his awaiting crew a lap later. After the crew completed the chassis adjustment and bolted on four fresh tires, the veteran driver returned to the track in the 36th spot for the lap 41 restart.
Unfortunately, the changes made to the car offered little relief, and Blaney went one lap down to leader Jimmie Johnson on lap 76. At the lap 100 mark, the BDR Toyota held the 39th spot. The Caterpillar crew utilized every opportunity given to them to make changes to the handling of the car throughout the remainder of the event, but it struggled to find the right combination. The crew put together quick pit stops all day, and several accidents during the race helped the BDR Camry pick up several positions. When the checkered flag waved, Blaney held the 33rd position.
The Caterpillar Racing team will return to Dover (Del.) International Speedway next weekend for the Camping World RV 400. Qualifying for the event is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 19. Coverage of the event is scheduled for a 2 p.m. ET start Sunday, Sept. 21 and will broadcast on ABC (television), MRN (radio) and Sirius Satellite Radio.
This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Kim DeHaven.
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