Tuesday All Right For Toyota
August 22, 2007 | 10:30 P.M. EST
Right in the backyard of Detroit's big three automakers – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – a little bit of history was made, as two Toyotas finished in the top 10 for the first time in the Cup Series.
Bill Davis Racing's Dave Blaney and Red Bull Racing's Brian Vickers finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in Tuesday's rain-delayed running of the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Blaney raced his way from the 17th starting position to his second top 10 of the season. More importantly, the finish pushed the No. 22 Caterpillar Team back into the top 35 in owner's points.
"That's a big relief to get into the top 35, but you have to enjoy a nice run like this even more than that," Blaney said. "When you can run like this you're not going to be out of the top-35 very long. If we can keep this up week in and week out - we'll be fine."
Early in the race, Vickers proved he was a contender after leading three times for 11 laps while racing NEXTEL Cup champions Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. In the end, Vickers could not make a charge at the leaders as his No. 83 Camry was too tight on the final restart after taking two tires and no fuel.
But the good news is Vickers' third top 10 of the year ended a streak of six finishes of 21st or worse and three DNQs.
"We've gotten better and better," Vickers said. "These guys do a great job. Toyota brought a new package this weekend - a new intake manifold - and that helped."
Now the Toyota drivers will head to Bristol Motor Speedway where Vickers was the top finisher for the manufacturer, finishing 15th in March.
Like Michigan, maybe the second time around will prove to be benefical for Toyota.