Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dave Blaney

Dave Blaney is a natural born racer with many talents. He was born on October 24, 1962 in Hartford Township, Ohio, where he was raised. Dave owned his own team in Sprint racing for years, and that is just as agonizing as owning one in the cup series, which if you was to ask Tony Stewart, or Robby Gordon is an amazing feat. Dave never really planned to get into NASCAR, but it just happened.

Blaney was the 1983 All-Star Sprint Circuit Rookie-of-the-Year.

He raced in the United States Automobile Club (USAC) Silver Crown Series in 1984 and won the national touring series' championship.

Blaney won his first World of Outlaws race at Tri-City Speedway in 1985 and won the Championship in 1995.

After two very successful season’s in Sprint cars, Dave took up his friend Stan Hover on an offer to drive one of his cars; he made his NASCAR Winston (Sprint) Cup debut in the #80 Daffron's Body Shop Ford for Hover Motorsports in the 1992 AC Delco 500 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C, finishing 31st. In addition to that, Blaney started a few ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) races when his busy and grueling sprint car schedule allowed. Running Sprint cars was his main priority since it was keeping a roof over his and his family's head. However, stock cars had definitely got Blaney's curiosity.

In the 1997 season, he won the Gold Cup at Eldora Speedway, and the Knoxville Nationals, which is considered the premiere event in Sprint car racing. He was the first driver who did not defend his Knoxville win, when he moved into NASCAR full time. After moving to NASCAR, he kept his sprint car team going, fielding a car for his brother Dale and the late Kevin Gobrecht.

In 1998 his Sprint car sponsor Amoco decided to bring Blaney with them to pilot the #93 Amoco Pontiac, Busch (Nationwide) Series car for Bill Davis Racing. That business decision by Amoco resulted in three sixth-place finishes and a pole position at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.

In 1999, he ran a full-time schedule in the Busch (Nationwide) series; He won four poles and ended the season a career-best seventh in points. That season, he returned to the Winston (Sprint) Cup series with Davis, earning a best finish of 23rd at Homestead in the #93 Amoco car.

In 2000, Blaney and his Amoco team moved up to Winston (Sprint) Cup full time and posted two-top tens. He would end up finishing third in the NASCAR Winston (Sprint) Cup Rookie of the Year award standings for the 2000 season. He would return to the Busch (Nationwide) Series in 2000 with a limited schedule in Bill Davis Racing’s #20 AT&T Pontiac, gaining a pole position at Charlotte and also finish 3rd twice.

In 2001, Bill Davis Racing switched from Pontiac to Dodge and he competed in all the races with a best finish of 6th, three times. He left Davis at the end of the season because of changes with his sponsor Amoco internally; he then signed with the #77 Jasper Motorsports team.

Blaney had the best season of his Cup career in 2002, finishing in the top-10 five times and completing 96.3 percent of all laps run in his 2002 campaign. He also cracked the top-20 in points for the first time, finishing 19th. His best finish of the year came in Phoenix, where he finished seventh after qualifying fifth.

Blaney started the 2003 season with three top-tens and a pole the first five races, but fell to twenty-eighth in points at the end of the season. Jasper Motorsports was bought by Penske Racing South forcing Blaney to move on to Bill Davis Racing yet again.

Blaney returned to Bill Davis Racing in 2004 for a limited schedule, because of lack of sponsorship. Part of his deal was making his Craftsman (Camping World) Truck Series debut for Davis in the #23 truck at Dover, where he finished sixth. After two eleventh-place finishes, Blaney joined a more promising Richard Childress Racing, taking over the #30 American Online Chevrolet for eight races. After two top-fifteen finishes, he was replaced by Jeff Burton; Blaney would also start one race for Roush Racing in the #99 Kraft Foods Ford in the place of rookie Carl Edwards, who missed the start due a Craftsman (Camping World) Truck Series race that ran late. Blaney exited the car on Lap 24, and Edwards went on to finish 37th after a crash. He also ran the spring race at Richmond International Raceway for Ultra Motorsports in the #7 Dodge, and finished fortieth.

Blaney returned to Richard Childress Racing in 2005 to drive the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet. During the season he would post two top ten finishes and finish 26th in points.

In 2006, he returned to the Bill Davis stable after being replaced by rookie Clint Bowyer at RCR to run the #22 Caterpillar Dodge. His best finish of 2006 came at the Richmond International Raceway, where he finished 4th. He also scored his first Busch (Nationwide) Series victory at Lowes Motor Speedway, when Matt Kenseth spun on the last lap when Blaney was second, which resulted to him inheriting the lead, to win.

In 2007 Bill Davis Racing switched to Toyota which eventually led to their bankruptcy in late 2008. Dave drove the #22 Caterpillar Toyota, to thirty-first in points.

In 2008, he had two finishes in the top ten, and moved up to thirtieth in points in the Busch (Nationwide) series.

In 2009 Blaney was a start and park driver in the #66 automobile for PRISM Motorsports. Blaney made his first race at California. He also qualified eighth for the 2009 Food City 500, and even with a good run he still parked due to a lack of team members. Last October at Charlotte in a Nationwide race Blaney finished third.

As with many other drivers, Blaney's hobbies center on racing. He owns a World of Outlaws team for which his brother, Dale, is the driver. He also owns a "Outlaw Driving Experience" driving school for sprint cars, which is based in Hartford, Ohio. He and his family also own Sharon Speedway in Hartford.