Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blaney’s 5th Last-Place Finish Comes When Engine Expires Early at Chicago

Dave Blaney picked up the 10th last-place finish of his career in Saturday night’s 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway when his unsponsored #66 Prism Motorsports Toyota lost the engine after 10 of the race’s 267 laps.

On Thursday, Blaney qualified a solid 18th with a speed of 180.723 mph, making him the third-fastest car outside the top 35 in owner’s points. However, despite running mid-pack in the early stages of Saturday’s race, Blaney pulled behind the wall under green on lap 10 with engine problems. David Gilliland nearly took the finish from Blaney when he suffered transmission problems, but he completed one more lap than Blaney before heading to the garage.

It is the first time Blaney has ever finished last in two consecutive points races. It is the third time a driver has finished last with an engine failure in 2009.

With the finish, Blaney now sits 11th on the all-time list and became just the eighth driver ever to score five or more last-place finishes in a single season. The other seven are Jimmy Pardue (1961), Jimmy Helms (1965), Wayne Gillette (1969), J.D. McDuffie (1969), Derrike Cope (2003, 2006), Todd Bodine (2004), and Joe Ruttman (2004). As mentioned last week, Derrike Cope is the only driver with more than five in a single season: six in 2006.

43) #66-Dave Blaney / 10 laps / engine
42) #71-David Gilliland / 11 laps / transmission
41) #87-Joe Nemechek / 30 laps / clutch
40) #09-Mike Bliss / 58 laps / electrical
39) #36-Mike Skinner / 60 laps / engine

1st) Dave Blaney (5)
2nd) Mike Bliss, Patrick Carpentier, David Gilliland, Tony Raines (2)
3rd) Todd Bodine, P.J. Jones, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Joe Nemechek (1)

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