MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 19, 2012) – Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) had a solid point day for both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) teams at Bristol Motor Speedway. David Reutimann started 19th in the Food City 500 and battled the handling of the No. 10 Tradebank Chevrolet to finish in 21st-place. The solid finish catapulted the No. 10 to 36th place in the NSCS Owner Points, four points outside the top-35. Dave Blaney started 35th and looked to have a good day when the sway bar broke loose on the right front and caused the No. 36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet to go 83 laps down. Blaney finished in the 34th position, which kept him in the top-25 in NSCS Owner Points.
David Reutimann: No. 10 Tradebank Chevrolet The No. 10 Tradebank Chevrolet rolled off the truck fast as Reutimann posted the 24th-fastest time in practice on Friday and the 19th-quickest qualifying lap. The car improved Saturday, and the Zephryhills, Fla., native posted the 16th and third-fastest times in the final two practice sessions.
Reutimann started the Food City 500 from the 10th row and worked up to the 16th position by the first caution on lap 25 for a seven-car incident. He radioed to the crew that the Tradebank Chevrolet was very loose. NASCAR Officials called the competition caution during the first caution period, and the No. 10 team pit for two right-side tires and a trackbar adjustment.
The No. 10 Chevrolet restarted 21st on lap 47. Reutimann drove into the 19th position 15 laps later. Reutimann radioed that the car was better but needed help turning in the center of the corner. During the lap 117 caution, Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin called a four-tire pit stop and air pressure adjustment. When the field went back to green-flag racing, the No. 10 Tradebank Chevrolet was in the 19th position.
By lap 200, the No. 10 fell a lap down while in 20th place. Reutimann radioed that the car was really tight, had no front grip and slid the nose in the center of the turn. The Tradebank team made a green-flag pit stop on lap 245. Baldwin called for four tires and a wedge adjustment.
On lap 292, Reutimann fell a second lap down, and Baldwin reassured his driver that the team would make a big adjustment on the next pit stop to help the handling of the No. 10 Tradebank Chevrolet. David Stremme spun in turn four on lap 340 and brought out a caution. The No. 10 team made a four-tire pit stop with major chassis adjustments.
Reutimann took the green flag on lap 372 from the 24th position. NASCAR Officials called a caution for Jeff Gordon’s incident in turn three on lap 361. Reutimann told the team that the car was better but still had trouble turning. Baldwin opted to change right-side tires and make an air pressure adjustment.
The No. 10 Tradebank Chevrolet restarted 21st on lap 372. Reutimann continued to race in the top-22 and reinforced that the car was tight and would skid the nose and get loose in the center of the corner. The final caution was called on lap 479, and the team took one last opportunity to adjust the Chevrolet. The No. 10 team made a two-tire pit stop and trackbar adjustment. Reutimann finished in the 21st position, three laps down.
The No. 10 team is now in 36th place in NSCS Owner Points, four points outside of the top-35. The team is six points ahead of the No. 21 in 37th and four points behind the No. 83. Reutimann is 30th in NSCS Driver Points. He is four points behind David Gilliland and two points ahead of Casey Mears.
“The weekend started off really well,” commented Reutimann. “The car unloaded really fast, and the team made some really good adjustments during practice. By final practice, I felt very good about the car’s handling. Unfortunately, the car struggled with handling during the race. We tried a few different things but just couldn’t get it to turn in the center of the corner. All in all, it was a good point day. We just have to focus on making up the four points and getting in the top-35 by Martinsville.”
Dave Blaney: No. 36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet Blaney posted the 32nd-fastest time in practice on Friday and qualified the No. 36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet into the Food City 500 with a 35th-quick qualifying lap. Saturday, the team worked on the car’s race setup and posted the 32nd and 26th-fastest times in the day’s two practice sessions.
Blaney took the green flag of the Food City 500 from the tail end of the field because the team changed the transmission of the No. 36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet. He drove up to the 30th spot by the first caution on lap 25. As NASCAR Officials called the caution as the competition caution, the No. 36 team pit for two tires and a trackbar adjustment. The team restarted in the 26th position on lap 47.
The Hartford, Ohio native kept the SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet in the 26th position until the second caution for the No. 32 car in turn two on lap 117, just one lap after the leader passed Blaney. Recipient of the lucky dog, Blaney pit for four tires and trackbar and air pressure adjustments, and the No. 36 restarted in the 26th position on the lead lap.
Four laps after the restart, Blaney radioed that something felt wrong with the No. 36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet. By lap 180, Blaney radioed that the problem was getting worse and they needed to pit. He pulled down pit road and the SealWrap/Widow Wax team quickly assessed that it was a problem with the sway bar. Crew Chief Ryan Pemberton called for the team to push the car behind the wall to fix the problem. While the team worked to reconnect the sway bar, Blaney fell 80 laps down.
The No. 36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet returned to the racetrack on lap 261. Blaney radioed that the car was tight in the corner. NASCAR Officials called a caution on lap 341 for the No. 30 in turn four. Pemberton called for the team to make a four-tire pit stop and trackbar adjustment to help the tight condition. The field went back to green-flag racing on lap 347 with Blaney in the 36th position.
Still struggling with a tight condition, Blaney pit for four tires and a chassis adjustment during the lap 361 yellow flag. The No. 36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet continued to race in the 36th position and moved to the 35th spot on lap 420. Blaney held onto the position until the checkered flag.
The 35th-place finish moved the No. 36 Chevrolet to 25th place in the NSCS Owner Points. The team is four points ahead of the No. 22 and six points behind the No. 9. Blaney is also 25th in NSCS Driver Points. He is four points ahead of AJ Allmendinger and six points behind Marcos Ambrose.
“The team worked really hard on improving the car during the practice sessions, and I felt we had a good package for the race,” Blaney said. “We were gaining spots at the beginning and worked to better the handling of the car. Unfortunately, we had the sway bar come off early in the race and went laps down while we fixed it. We are still solid in the top-35, so we just have to focus on having a decent run next weekend.”
TBR will head out west for the Auto Club 400. Reutimann will pilot the No. 10 TBR Chevrolet, while Blaney attempts to qualify the No. 36 TBR Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway.
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About Tommy Baldwin Racing: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin formed Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) in 2009. Baldwin utilized a declining economy to open a NSCS team with a stringent budget. The team worked to build to full-time competition, and by the 2011 season, the team’s third season, TBR competed in every race and locked the No. 36 Chevrolet in the top-35 in NSCS Owner Points. Dave Blaney drove the No. 36 Chevrolet to TBR’s highest finish of third in the October 2011 event at Talladega Superspeedway. TBR also fielded a second car for select races in the past two seasons with multiple drivers.
Based in Mooresville, N.C., TBR will compete in the NSCS in 2012 with NASCAR veterans David Reutimann and Dave Blaney. The team will also compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Ryan Blaney, Bobby Santos and Ryan Truex.
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.