Solid Day for Tommy Baldwin Racing at Darlington Raceway
Blaney finished 27th in the No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet
DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 14, 2012) – Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) looked to have a solid finish in the Bojangles Southern 500 on Saturday night. Dave Blaney drove to the 34th-place starting spot in Friday’s qualifying. The No. 36 SealWrap team worked on the handling all night and made strides to make the car better. Blaney finished in 27th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) primetime event.
Blaney wheeled more than 50 laps in both practice sessions on Friday. He posted the 35th and 43rd fastest times in first and final practice. The Hartford, Ohio native drove the No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet to the 34th starting spot for the Bojangles Southern 500.
The green flag dropped for NASCAR Primetime event with Blaney in the 17th row. He worked the SealWrap Chevrolet up to the 29th position by lap two. Blaney radioed that the car was tight as he fell a lap down to the leader by lap 45. Crew Chief Ryan Pemberton called the No. 36 down pit road for a four-tire pit stop with adjustments on lap 50.
Blaney returned to the track in 30th place and told the crew the car was loose. Throughout the run, the loose condition became worse. The team made another four-tire stop with adjustments on lap 100. As Blaney drove onto pit road, he hit the commitment cone and dragged it to the pit box. He received a pass-through penalty for hitting the cone, and the penalty caused the SealWrap Chevrolet to go two more laps down. The No. 36 Chevrolet ran in the 35th position, three laps down.
Despite the issues during the stop, the changes the crew made helped the handling of Blaney’s racecar. He radioed that the balance was good but the car lacked some grip. Pemberton suggested a small air pressure adjustment on the next stop to help find more grip. The SealWrap team made another green-flag pit stop on lap 150 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment and returned to the track in the 33rd position, four laps down.
NASCAR Officials called a caution on lap 173 for debris on the track. The No. 36 team utilized this caution to get the wave around. The SealWrap Chevrolet restarted in the 33rd spot, three laps down, on lap 180. A lap-195 debris caution allowed the 36 team to pit for four tires and an air pressure and trackbar adjustment.
The field restarted on lap 200 with Blaney in the 32nd position, three laps down. He drove into the 31st spot before a third debris caution on lap 231. The team elected to stay out and receive the wave around. The No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet restarted 30th, two laps down on lap 236. Blaney radioed that the car was tighter this run. He held onto the 30th spot but fell to three laps down before the team pit for four tires on lap 255.
The TBR driver radioed that the car was really loose in turns one and two but drove into the 29th position by lap 297. The No. 47 car spun on the track and brought out the caution on lap 299. The team made a four-tire pit stop with no adjustments and came back down pit road with one to go to top off the fuel.
Blaney restarted on lap 304 in the 29th position. Five laps later, the No. 78 Chevrolet spun and brought out another caution. With concerns about the fuel window, the team elected to pit for fuel only during the caution period. The SealWrap Chevrolet restarted in the 29th spot, three laps down, on lap 312.
Contact between the No. 1 Chevrolet and No. 22 brought out the sixth caution of the night on lap 317. Pemberton called Blaney down pit road to change four tires on the No. 36 Chevrolet. He restarted in the 29th position and worked up to the 27th spot when the No. 32 spun and brought out the caution on lap 331. Blaney told the SealWrap crew that the car felt really good, and Pemberton confirmed he was running the fastest laps he had all race.
During the caution period, the team made one more pit stop to test one more change. Blaney restarted 27th on lap 335. An accident in turn two between the No. 39 Chevrolet and No. 51 Chevrolet brought out the final caution of the primetime event on lap 362. The No. 36 SealWrap Chevrolet stayed out and finished the race in the 27th position, three laps down.
The No. 36 team is now 33rd in NSCS Owner Points and locked into the top-35 by 52 points. The TBR team is trailing the No. 32 by two points and is two points ahead of the No. 10 TBR Chevrolet. Blaney is 32nd in NSCS Driver Points. He is five points behind teammate David Reutimann and three points ahead of Landon Cassill.
“It wasn’t a bad day for us,” said Blaney. “We worked on improving the handling all night. By the end of the race, we had the car pretty good but were stuck three laps down. Darlington is a tough track especially to handle well on both sides of the track. By the end, we did that, so I would say it was a successful night.”
Blaney will return to the No. 36 TBR Chevrolet for the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday, May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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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 – firstname.lastname@example.org – o: 704.696.0036 – c: 847.302.5509