Promising Night at Richmond International Raceway Ends in Disappointment for Tommy Baldwin Racing
Blaney finished 29th and Reutimann finished 33rd
RICHMOND, Va. (April 30, 2012) – Following top-25 finishes in both races at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) last year, Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) had high hopes for two solid finishes. Unfortunately, that was not in the cards in Saturday’s Primetime race. David Reutimann battled handling issues during the 400-lap event and finished in 33rd place, after starting in the same position. Dave Blaney, who started from the 17th position, fell two laps down early and could not make up the laps when the team fixed the handling of his No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet. He finished 29th in the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia Is For Lovers.
David Reutimann – No. 10 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet:
Reutimann took the green flag of the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia Is For Lovers from the 33rd position. He drove into the 32nd spot by lap 17 and radioed to the crew that the No. 10 TBR Chevrolet had trouble getting off the corner. He fell back to 33rd before falling a lap down on lap 43. He continued to describe the car’s handling and told the crew that the Chevrolet was loose going into the corner and had no turn off the corner.
NASCAR Officials called the competition caution on lap 52, and Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin called Reutimann down pit road for a four-tire pit stop and major adjustments. The No. 10 Chevrolet restarted in 37th place on lap 57, and the Zephyrhills, Fla., native drove back to the 32nd position by lap 90 but fell a second lap down to the leader.
The No. 51 Chevrolet spun on the .75-mile track bringing out the caution on lap 118. Reutimann made a four-tire pit stop and major chassis adjustments during the caution period. He restarted in the 32nd position, two laps down. He fell a third lap down and radioed that the No. 10 Chevrolet was about to wreck getting into the corner on each turn.
Baldwin called for a green-flag pit stop on lap 204. The TBR team changed four tires and made more chassis adjustments. Reutimann returned to the track in the 33rd spot, five laps down. When pit stops cycled through, he sat four laps down in 33rd place.
On lap 228, NASCAR Officials called a caution for debris on the track. Reutimann told his crew that the car was loose getting into the corner and went into a four-wheel slide in the center of the corner. As they just made a pit stop, Baldwin called for the No. 10 Chevrolet to stay out and get the wave around. Reutimann restarted in the 33rd spot, three laps down, on lap 237.
On lap 303, the team made a green-flag pit stop for four tires and adjustments. NASCAR Officials called another debris caution on lap 311, and the No. 10 team stayed out to get a lap back. The field restarted on lap 319, with Reutimann in the 32nd position, five laps down. He held onto the position until five laps to go when he fell to 33rd place.
The finish dropped the No. 10 team to the 35th position in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Owner Points. The team is five points behind the No. 83 and 21 points ahead of the No. 33 Chevrolet in the 36th position. Reutimann is 31st in the NSCS Driver Points. He is ahead of teammate Blaney by six points and trails David Gilliland by two points.
“It was a disappointing night for us,” explained Reutimann. “We had high expectations going into the weekend, but the car just didn’t handle well. We’re not really sure what the problem is, but the guys in the shop will investigate and fix it.”
Dave Blaney – No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet:
Blaney started the 400-lap, primetime event from a season-high 17th position, but by lap 15, he fell to the 21st spot. He radioed to the crew that the car was really tight in the center of the corner. He continued that he was very loose in and very tight in the center as he fell back to the 29th position by lap 40.
NASCAR called the competition caution on lap 50 with the No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet in the 31st position, one lap down. As the first car a lap down, Blaney received the lucky dog and returned to the lead lap. The SealWrap team pit for four tires, and Crew Chief Ryan Pemberton called for major chassis adjustments.
The No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet restarted in the 31st spot and raced up to 28th place by lap 58. Still struggling with the same handling conditions, he fell back to 30th place and told the crew he did not have any grip on either side of the car. By lap 90, he fell a lap down to the leader. On lap 118, NASCAR Officials called the caution for a one-car spin. Blaney drove the SealWrap Chevrolet down pit road for a four-tire pit stop and adjustments. Once he got back on track, Pemberton called him back down pit road to make more adjustments.
The Hartford, Ohio native restarted in the 30th spot, one lap down, on lap 123. He fell a second lap down on lap 182 while holding onto the 30th position. On lap 193, Blaney radioed that something went wrong on the No. 36 Chevrolet. As he assessed the problem, he told the crew he was not sure what happened but the car’s drive off the corner was better than before.
Following the incident, Blaney drove up to the 27th position. On lap 206, he made a green-flag pit stop, and the SealWrap team changed four tires and made no adjustments to the Chevrolet. NASCAR Officials found debris on the track and called a caution on lap 228. Pemberton elected to have Blaney stay out and get the wave around. The No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet restarted in the 31st position, two laps down.
Blaney felt better about the handling of the car on the next run, and his lap times increased as the run went on. The team made another green-flag pit stop on lap 305 and changed four tires and made an air pressure adjustment. NASCAR Officials called another debris caution on lap 311 with the No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet in the 31st position, four laps down.
The team did the wave around, and Blaney restarted in the 31st position, three laps down. He drove into the 29th spot by lap 354 and held the position for the remainder of the race.
The No. 36 team is now 33rd in NSCS Owner Points. The team is four points behind the No. 32 and one point ahead of the No. 83. They are locked into the top-35 by 27 points. Blaney is 32nd in NSCS Driver Points. He trails teammate Reutimann by six points and is one point ahead of Landon Cassill.
“I was very disappointed with how the race went,” explained Blaney. “I had high hopes for a good finish after last season. I drove my favorite car and liked what we had in final practice. We qualified fairly well but did not have a good race at all. I’m not sure what went wrong from qualifying to the race.”
Blaney and Reutimann will head to Talladega Superspeedway next weekend. Returning to the track of the team’s best finish of third, TBR will look for two good runs in the Aaron’s 499.
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About Tommy Baldwin Racing:
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin formed Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) in 2009. Baldwin utilized a declining economy to open a NSCS team with a stringent budget. The team worked to build to full-time competition, and by the 2011 season, the team’s third season, TBR competed in every race and locked the No. 36 Chevrolet in the top-35 in NSCS Owner Points. Dave Blaney drove the No. 36 Chevrolet to TBR’s highest finish of third in the October 2011 event at Talladega Superspeedway. TBR also fielded a second car for select races in the past two seasons with multiple drivers.
Based in Mooresville, N.C., TBR will compete in the NSCS in 2012 with NASCAR veterans David Reutimann and Dave Blaney. The team will also compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Ryan Blaney, Bobby Santos and Ryan Truex.
For more information on Tommy Baldwin Racing, visit tommybaldwinracing.com or follow us on Facebook, facebook.com/TBR.HBR, and Twitter, twitter.com/TBR_Racing.
Heather Lumpp – email@example.com – o: 704.696.0036 – c: 847.302.5509