Blaney Amoco Finish 40Th

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Dave Blaney’s string of bad luck followed him to Indianapolis for Brickyard 400 weekend, the second most important date annually on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule.

Blaney qualified 24th in the newly-configured #93 Amoco/Siemens Dodge and moved quickly into the top-20 in the early laps of the 400-mile event before collecting Elliott Sadler from behind on a Lap 35 restart. As the final half-dozen cars in line brake-checked for position, the single-file line slowed off Turn 4 and Blaney plowed straight into the #21 Motorcraft Ford, effectively ending his day. He returned on Lap 75, 42 laps down to the leaders but eventually retired with engine problems in the final laps, 60 laps down in 40th-place to race-winner Jeff Gordon.

In reality, Blaney’s problems began in the last 20 minutes of the final practice session on Saturday, when his #93 Amoco/Siemens Dodge began sputtering as he prepared to make his final practice run in race-trim. After three futile attempts to solve the problem, Crew Chief Doug Randolph and the Amoco crew were forced to sleep on the problem, one with which they could not start the race nor determine corrected before the green flag fell.

Subsequently, Randolph and crew were faced with the huge task of changing anything in the #93 Amoco Dodge that affected with electrical or fuel supply in the three hours prior to race-morning inspection. Over the race’s first 20 laps, Blaney noticed no problem as he carved his way through the field.

But on his first pit-stop of the day on Lap 20, Blaney’s car died as it entered the pit stop and showed critically low voltage once he did get the car fired and back out on the track. Eleven laps later, Blaney was forced to pit out-of-sequence with the rest of the field to replace his battery on a long pit-stop.

The stop put Blaney at the end of the field, where he rear-ended Sadler three laps later on the restart. With the devastating finish, Blaney and the Amoco team dropped to 29th in the WC standings, now 200 points behind 20th-place Ken Scrhrader and 82 points behind 24th-place Jeremy Mayfield. Teammate Ward Burton ran at the front throughout the eighth NASCAR race at IMS, finishing sixth and moving into 17th in the WC standings entering this weekend’s race at the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Qualifying for the 23rd race of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season is scheduled for Friday, August 10 at 3:05 p.m. EDT with the race scheduled for Sunday, August 12 at 1 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and the NBC Networks (TNT, CNN-SI, NBC) will televise the second road-course race of 2001.

In the NASCAR Busch Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park, BDR driver Scott Wimmer attoned for a mediocre qualifying effort (29th) by rallying with a run into the top-10, only to be swept up in a multi-car crash in the race’s final 10 miles and finish 31st. Wimmer fell to 16th in the standings for the Busch Series, which is off this week but returns in two weeks with the Winston Cup cars at Michigan,

Dave Blaney will spend the week attending preliminaries for the Amoco Ultimate Knoxville Nationals, the most prestigious American sprint-car race. Dale Blaney will drive the family-owned #10 US Print/MBNA Mopar sprint car in the Thursday night opening sessions, after which brother Dave will fly with fellow World of Outlaws owner Tony Stewart to Watkins Glen for their Winston Cup weekend commitment.

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2001

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