Early Incident Spoils Hopes of a Top-10 Finish for the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet

Blaney finished 39th at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (July 3, 2011) – High-hopes ended in disappointment for the No. 36 Golden Corral team. Dave Blaney looked to repeat this season’s superspeedway success this weekend in the event at Daytona International Speedway. Blaney started the 400-mile race from the 40th spot. As he did in both superspeedway races earlier this season, Blaney hung back for the beginning of the race. An incident on lap 47 relegated the team to a 39th-place finish. The Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 36 Chevrolet fell to 33rd in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) owner points.

Blaney took to the track Thursday for a rain-shortened 45-minute practice session. He posted the 44th-fastest time of 50.139 seconds in the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet. On Friday, Blaney posted the 40th-quickest qualifying lap of 50.387 seconds.

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Blaney took the green flag on Saturday from the 40th spot and planned to hang back at the beginning of the 400-mile race. The Hartford, Ohio native quickly found TBR teammate Geoffrey Bodine, and the pair raced in a two-car draft by lap four. The first yellow flag waved on lap six for a three-car incident in turn one. Trying to avoid contact, Blaney flat-spotted his tires. TBR owner Tommy Baldwin called for the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet to come down pit road for a four-tire pit stop.

The field restarted on lap eight with Blaney in the 29th spot. Without a drafting partner, he fell back to the 35th position to team up with Bodine. An incident on lap 24 caused the second caution of the night, and the Golden Corral pit crew made a two-tire pit stop. Blaney restarted 25th on lap 27 with Bodine restarting in the 24th spot. The pair got back together following the restart. By lap 32, the twosome swapped positions giving Blaney the 35th spot.

By lap 40, Blaney radioed that the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet was shaking really bad like a wheel was loose. He continued that he might have issues with oil pressure. Four laps later, the TBR team decided to swap positions once again to let the No. 35 Luke & Associates Chevrolet cool down. Crew Chief Philippe Lopez, making his debut with the team, radioed that the pair was 2.5 seconds slower with Bodine in front, so on lap 46, the twosome swapped again.

Still learning the nuances of the two-car draft, Bodine drove high into the corner and caught the right rear quarter panel of the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet on lap 47. Blaney spun in the corner and hit the outside wall. The Golden Corral Chevrolet came to rest on the apron of turn one and could not restart.

Blaney finished 39th in the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet. The team is now 33rd in NSCS owner points, 45 points ahead of 36th and two points behind 32nd. Blaney is 31st in NSCS driver points, 66 points behind David Gilliland in 30th.

“It was an unfortunate night for the Golden Corral team,” explained Blaney. “We were really looking forward to coming back here to Daytona and trying to get a top-10 finish so kids could eat free on Monday. We started having problems with the engine just before the spin. Unfortunately, situations like this are just a product of this type of racing.”

Blaney will return to racing next Saturday for the NSCS debut at Kentucky Speedway. He will pilot the No. 36 Big Red Chevrolet in the 400-mile event.

About Golden Corral Corporation:

Founded in 1973, privately held Golden Corral Corp. is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. Golden Corral currently has 485 restaurants in 41 states. The company’s vision is to be the leader in the family restaurant segment by making pleasurable dining affordable for every guest, at every restaurant, every day. Golden Corral restaurants nationwide have long been strong supporters of the U.S. Military and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Golden Corral helped raise more than $1,000,000 for the DAV in 2010 as part of its annual “Military Appreciation Monday” initiative. For more information on Golden Corral, visit www.goldencorral.com.

About Tommy Baldwin Racing:

Tommy Baldwin Racing was formed in 2009 by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin. Baldwin utilized a slumping economy to open a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team with a stringent budget. The team competed in two full seasons with multiple drivers behind the wheel of the No. 36 Chevrolet and improved in the standings each year.

Based in Mooresville, N.C., TBR will compete in the full NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule in 2011 with NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney piloting the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet. Looking to improve on-track performance, TBR found success early in the 2011 season with partners Golden Corral, Big Red and Accell Construction. TBR’s driver development program, Heinke-Baldwin Racing, will also compete in various NASCAR series in 2011.

For more information on Tommy Baldwin Racing, visit tommybaldwinracing.com or follow us on Facebook, facebook.com/TBR.HBR, and Twitter, twitter.com/TBR_Racing.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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