Monday November 3, 2008
Dave Blaney/ Caterpillar Racing – Dickies 500
Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 2, 2008) – With just three races remaining in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign, Dave Blaney and the Caterpillar Racing team qualified in the 41st spot for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Friday afternoon. The team fought both tight and loose handling conditions during Sunday’s race, and Blaney took the checkered flag in the 29th spot.
Sunny skies dominated the weather conditions Friday, and Blaney was the 18th of 48 competitors to take to the track for qualifying that afternoon. His speed of 184.300 mph around the track, though disappointing for the Cat Racing team, earned the team 41st-place on the starting grid.
The green flag waved for the start of the event, and Blaney immediately communicated to crew chief Tommy Baldwin that the Cat Camry was handling extremely tight through the corners. The leader was wasting no time getting around the 1.5-mile oval, and the No. 22 Toyota went one lap down on lap 39. Meanwhile, Baldwin planned for a track bar adjustment during the first pit stop of the day. Baldwin called Blaney into the pits for that adjustment, as well as four tires and fuel, on lap 55 of the 334-lap event.
The caution flag waved several laps after Blaney’s pit stop, and Baldwin decided to leave the car out on the track. Several of Blaney’s competitors made pit stops, and when the green waved for the lap 65 restart, the No. 22 BDR entry held the 32nd position.
Track conditions began to change as the sun set, and the Caterpillar Camry’s handling went from tight to looser and looser. Blaney was in danger of falling another lap in arrears when a caution flag waved, enabling the team to remain only one lap down. For this round of pit stops, Baldwin called for several changes to the car, including air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments. Blaney returned to the track for the lap 149 restart in 31st place.
The adjustments made to the car seemed to help in the late stages of the event. Blaney was able to catch and pass several of the cars on his lap and had worked his way into 27th place before the final pit stop of the day. Several different strategies took place during that stop; Baldwin called for right side tires and fuel, while some teams opted for four fresh tires or none at all. When the checkered flag waved, the No. 22 Camry held the 29th place.
The Sprint Cup Series will return to Phoenix International Raceway next weekend. Qualifying for the Checker Auto Parts 500k is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 7. Coverage of the 312-lap race is scheduled for a 3:45p.m. ET start, Nov. 9, 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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