Sunday, April 25, 2010

CUP: Blaney Rounds Out Field With Rear Gear At Talladega


Dave Blaney picked up the 15th last-place finish of his career in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway when his unsponsored #66 PRISM Motorsports Toyota fell out with rear gear problems after he completed 33 of the race’s 200 laps.

Blaney was switched back to PRISM’s #66 as Talladega marked Michael Waltrip’s one-off appearance as driver of the team’s #55. When a severe storm warning in the Talladega area cancelled qualifying on Saturday, both cars made the field: Blaney got the 42nd starting spot with Waltrip in 43rd. On Sunday, Blaney pulled behind the wall under green just a few laps after the first competition caution on lap 20. Waltrip and his Aaron’s-sponsored ride contended for the lead with former teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr. before a wreck on lap 84 took him out of the race.

The race marked the fourth consecutive last-place finish for PRISM Motorsports between its #55 and #66 teams. It is Blaney’s second consecutive last-place finish and first at Talladega. It was the first time both the #66 and PRISM Motorsports had ever finished last in a Sprint Cup race at Talladega. No Cup driver had ever finished last at Talladega due to a rear gear problem.

Blaney broke his tie with Joe Nemechek for the most last-place finishes in the Car of Tomorrow. He is now tied with Ward Burton and the late J.D. McDuffie for the second-most last-place finishes since 1972 and is tied with Richard Petty, among others, for the sixth-most all time.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #66-Dave Blaney / 33 laps / rear gear
42) #87-Joe Nemechek / 47 laps / ignition
41) #36-Johnny Sauter / 83 laps / crash
40) #13-Max Papis / 83 laps / crash
39) #55-Michael Waltrip / 84 laps / crash / led 4 laps

DRIVER RANKINGS
1st) Aric Almirola, Dave Blaney, Michael McDowell, Joe Nemechek (2)
2nd) Robby Gordon (1)

TEAM RANKINGS
1st) #55-PRISM Motorsports, #66-PRISM Motorsports, #87-NEMCO Motorsports, #09-Phoenix Racing (2)
2nd) #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports (1)