Monday, April 6, 2009

Blaney Leads 2009 Rankings After Brakes Burn Out At Texas

Dave Blaney picked up the 7th last-place of his career in Sunday's Samsung 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #66 Prism Motorsports Toyota suffered a brake failure after completing 48 of the race’s 334 laps.

On Friday, Blaney squeezed himself into the Texas field with a speed of 186.111 mph. Blaney’s lap time was just enough for Blaney to beat five “go-or-go-homers” with Joe Nemechek, the fastest of them, missing Blaney’s time by just 12 thousandths of a second. Blaney started 43rd on Sunday, but the long green-flag run at the beginning of the race taxed his car’s equipment. The #66 made at least three green-flag stops in the first 45 laps and, after completing just 48 laps, fell out of the race with a brake problem.

For both Blaney and team, it was their second last-place finish in three races. Blaney is now the only driver with more than one last-place finish in a 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points-paying race. It is the first time a last-place finisher fell out with a brake failure since owner-driver Morgan Shepherd's #89 Victory In Jesus Dodge finished 43rd in the 2006 Chevy Rock ‘n Roll 400 at Richmond.

Jeff Gordon, last year’s 43rd-place finisher in the Samsung 500, went on to claim his first Texas victory. Contrary to the statistic that has been frequently quoted this week, however, Gordon has not two, but five last-place finishes in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career: (1) 1993 First Union 400 at North Wilkesboro, (2) 1993 Tyson Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro, (3) 1997 Primestar 500 at Atlanta, (4) 1999 Primestar 500 at Texas, and (5) 2008 Samsung 500 at Texas.

43) #66-Dave Blaney / 48 laps / brakes
42) #09-Mike Bliss / 76 laps / clutch
41) #47-Marcos Ambrose / 216 laps / engine
40) #96-Bobby Labonte / 229 laps / crash
39) #7-Robby Gordon / 249 laps / engine

1st) Dave Blaney (2)
2nd) Mike Bliss, Todd Bodine, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Joe Nemechek (1)

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