Blake and the team were pretty confident heading into the race that they could make a move towards the front. They did just that and Blake had a very quick Daystar Dodge Challenger during long runs. Even after getting lapped, Blake was able to keep up with the leaders and actually, re-pass them. Unfortunately, fuel mileage became the main issue of the race and running out of gas with just a few laps to go cost the team another top-20 finish. When the checkered flag flew, Blake was left with a 27th place result.
It didn’t take long for Blake to learn the race track as he was quick on his first trip out during practice. The team used the rest of the 3 hours fine-tuning the Daystar.com No. 81 Dodge and finished the session off 26th on the charts. Blake was pumped up to put some sticker tires and really see what the car was capable of in qualifying. After pulling in to the pits, Blake was surprised how good the car was. “I didn’t know it was going to stick that well,” Blake said after qualifying in 26th position.
Blake’s Daystar Television Network No. 81 Dodge took a little while to get going during the race, but once it did, it was strong. Heading into his first pit stop he had advanced into the 24th position. With quick service from his crew, he gained another position and ran most of the remainder of the race in 23rd.
At this point the field was really getting spread out making it hard to make up positions. Blake’s car was really fast though and it showed as he ran right with leader and eventual winner, Denny Hamlin. Late in the race it was going to be close on fuel for some of the cars. With 3 to go Blake’s car ran out of gas and he had to pit when pit road was still closed. This cost the team a probable 20th place finish and left them with a disappointing 27th.
Blake actually moved up a position in the driver’s standings to 24th place after the race, despite the bad luck. The No. 81 car however lost a position in the owner’s standings and now sits 27th.
MacDonald Motorsports PR