Through a small-team, one-race alliance, David Reutimann drove the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, and Dave Blaney shifted to the driver’s seat of the No. 10 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Blaney started 42nd and drove to a 25th-place finish in the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR.
Blaney and the TBR team utilized two test days and two practice sessions to get acquainted with the new pavement at the 2.5-mile track. Blaney posted the 42nd-fastest lap in qualifying as he struggled with an extremely loose racecar.
Blaney took the green flag of the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR from the outside of row 21 and drove into the 28th position by lap 10. He radioed that the Chevrolet was loose, especially in the entry and center of the corner. The second caution of the day on lap 15, called for a three-car incident in turn three, allowed the team to make their first pit stop. The team changed four tires and made a trackbar adjustment.
Blaney returned to the track in the 26th spot. The adjustment made the car tight, mainly through turn three. On lap 43, the Hartford, Ohio native made his first green flag pit stop. The TBR team made another four-tire stop and trackbar adjustment. While 10 cars received speeding penalties during the round of green-flag pit stops, Blaney did not speed and held onto the 26th position. By lap 58, he radioed that the Chevrolet felt good in turns one and two but was too tight in three.
A single car incident in turn two brought out the caution on lap 67 with the No. 10 Chevrolet in the lucky dog position. The team utilized the caution period to make four-tire pit stop with a wedge adjustment to fix the tight condition in turn three. Blaney restarted in the 23rd position on lap 72. Three laps later, debris in turn one brought out the fourth caution of the event. Crew Chief Ryan Pemberton called Blaney down pit road for fuel only during the caution and topped off the fuel with one lap to go. The No. 10 Chevrolet restarted 27th on lap 83.
Eight laps into the green flag run, Blaney radioed that something may have broke in the car and explained that he heard something popping. By lap 100, he told the crew that the Chevrolet was loose but tight in the center of the corner. He continued that the balance was completely different than before. On lap 107, Pemberton called his driver down pit road for a green-flag pit stop. The team changed four tires and made a trackbar and wedge adjustment.
When he returned to the track, Blaney was turning his best laps of the day. By lap 123, he told the crew that they needed an adjustment to make the car freer. NASCAR Officials called another caution for debris on lap 125, and the TBR team pit for four tires and a trackbar adjustment. The field went back to green-flag racing on lap 129 with Blaney in the 25th position. He held onto the position until a one-car incident brought out the caution on lap 138.
Pemberton called the No. 10 Chevrolet down pit road for a four-tire pit stop and a trackbar and air pressure adjustment to help the car on restarts. Blaney restarted in the 24th position on lap 144. Debris in turn two brought out the final caution on lap 150. The team made their final pit stop of the 160-lap race. They changed four tires and made an air pressure adjustment.
Blaney restarted in 27th place on lap 153. He wheeled the car up to the 25th position in the final seven laps of the event.
The No. 10 team is now 32nd in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Owner Points and locked into the top-35 by 71 points. The team is 27 points behind the No. 93 and ahead of the No. 32 by 12 points. Blaney is 33rd in NSCS Driver Points. He is six points behind teammate David Reutimann and four points ahead of Landon Cassill.
“The guys worked hard all week to dial the car in on the new pavement,” said Blaney. “We had an issue in qualifying but bounced back quickly in the race. A 25th-place finish is a solid finish and will hopefully give us some momentum for Michigan.”