Monday September 29, 2008
Dave Blaney/Caterpillar Racing – Camping WORLD 400
Kansas City, Kan. (Sept. 28, 2008) –The No. 22 Caterpillar Camry team headed to the Midwest this weekend for the Camping World 400. Dave Blaney considers Kansas Speedway one of his favorite tracks, and the team was looking to capitalize on another top-15 run during Sunday’s 267-lap event.
The No.22 Bill Davis Racing Camry team worked primarily on race trim during Friday’s practice session. The team simulated some changes to its Camry to see how the car would react on Sunday. Blaney said the car handled a little loose at both ends of the track, and he needed to be more stable in order to be consistent on a long run. Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin changed the shock and spring combinations, hoping to find a balance that was both comfortable and fast. By the end of practice, the team had a direction for Saturday’s final practice sessions and planned to use that time to dial its machine in for Sunday’s main event. Both of Saturday’s practices were beneficial for the No. 22 Camry team. The team found a combination that would help the car get through the center of the corner, and Blaney could get aggressive with the accelerator pedal. Blaney finished practice in the top 10 on the speed chart, and the team was looking forward to another top-15 run.
Blaney lined up 26th for the start of the 267-lap event. On the first lap, he explained to his team that the car was loose on the start of the run, and he needed to stay on the bottom of the track in order to let the tire pressure increase. Baldwin explained to his driver that the track was loose, and Blaney should just take care of the car.
By lap 20, the NASCAR veteran had moved into the top 20 and was running lap times that were among the 10 fastest on the track. Blaney again told his team that the car was still extremely loose, and he needed a big adjustment on the first pit stop.
That first stop came on lap 51 during green flag conditions. The team made a wedge adjustment to the right side and an air pressure adjustment during the four-tire stop. After a great stop by his crew, Blaney gained three positions on the track.
Blaney soon communicated to his team that the adjustments helped, but the car was still loose at both ends of the track. However, the loose condition did not hinder him from passing cars, and the Caterpillar Camry was consistently one of the best cars on the track.
Blaney visited pit road again on lap 118, this time under caution. After the four-tire stop and a track bar adjustment, Blaney restarted 21st on lap 121. On lap 153, Blaney reported that the car was so loose it was almost backing itself into the corners. He was having to really slow it down, which was hurting his momentum. The team knew it only had a couple more opportunities to improve the handling before the checkered flag waved.
The team made its second green flag stop of the day on lap 176; it was again a four-tire stop with a track bar adjustment. Blaney was doing all he could trying to make up time on pit road, but he was a little too quick, and NASCAR penalized the team for speeding on pit road. Blaney had to drive down pit road, which relegated the team to the 33rd spot, two laps behind the leader.
The team spent the remaining 91 laps trying to get back on the lead lap, but to no avail as the race remained under green flag conditions. Blaney finished in the 31st position.
The No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Camry team heads to the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the final superspeeday race of the 2008 season. Coverage of the event is scheduled for a 2 p.m. ET start Sunday, Oct. 5, and will broadcast on ABC (television), MRN (radio) and Sirius Satellite Radio.
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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Kim DeHaven.
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