Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blaney Ties Cope’s Season Record After Crashing Out At Bristol

Dave Blaney picked up the 11th last-place finish of his career in Saturday night’s Sharpie 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #66 Prism Motorsports Toyota fell out with crash damage after completing 8 of the race’s 500 laps.

Coming into Saturday’s race, Blaney and team appeared to have one of the fastest cars in the field. Blaney was 8th fastest in Friday’s first practice session, 16th fastest in Happy Hour, and qualified an impressive 4th at a speed of 123.970 mph. However, trouble found him early in Saturday’s race. While running 5th on lap 3, his Toyota pushed in turns one and two, then was bumped by Joey Logano on the backstretch, bouncing his car hard off the outside wall. Blaney stuggled to hold on, having also suffered damage to his left-front fender, then came to pit road just before Logano crashed to bring out the first caution on lap 11. By then, Blaney was behind the wall and out of the race.

By scoring his sixth last-place finish of 2009, Blaney has now tied the all-time record for most last-place finishes by a driver in a single NASCAR Sprint Cup Season, set by Derrike Cope in 2006. Blaney has also finished last in both Bristol races this season: he spun from 2nd early in the Food City 500 and parked it soon after. Two other drivers have accomplished this feat: Richard D. Brown finished last in both Bristol races in 1972 and Ronnie Thomas did the same in 1987.

43) #66-Dave Blaney / 8 laps / crash
42) #37-Tony Raines / 27 laps / transmission
41) #87-Joe Nemechek / 48 laps / wheel bearing
40) #08-Terry Labonte / 244 laps / rear end
39) #71-David Gilliland / 354 laps / crash

1st) Dave Blaney (6)
2nd) Mike Bliss, Patrick Carpentier, David Gilliland, Joe Nemechek, Tony Raines (2)
3rd) Tony Ave, Todd Bodine, P.J. Jones, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Mike Wallace (1)

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