Dave Blaney is 10th-Fastest in New Hampshire Qualifying

September 22, 2012

LOUDON, N.H. (September 21, 2012) – Dave Blaney, filling in for Sam Hornish Jr. here today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, qualified the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge 10th with a lap of 28.453 seconds (133.863 mph) in this afternoon’s time trial session for Sunday’s Sylvania 300.  Blaney is at the wheel while Hornish concentrates on Saturday’s Kentucky 300 Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway.  Hornish is set to drive the car here on Sunday in the 300-lap battle on the tight 1.058-mile NHMS oval.

“I thought my three and four wasn’t very good on my second lap; kind of over-run it a little bit, but not bad,” Blaney said of his laps against the clock.  “Sam will be last anyway (smiles), but I wish I could have got a good one for him.  I didn’t feel like I got it all, but thanks for letting me run it to everybody at Penske, Shell-Pennzoil; everybody.

“It’s been fun all day, you know,” said the veteran driver whose son, Ryan, is a promising young driver who recently joined the Penske Racing lineup.  “Obviously, we’re making runs and learning and gathering information for Brad’s (Keselowski) car and hopefully it’s going well.  It’s just been enjoyable to jump in and do.  I hope tomorrow goes well and I hope Sam (Hornish Jr.) has a good run in it on Sunday.” 

Jeff Gordon, second-fastest in today’s practice and next-to-last to qualify, claimed today’s Coors Light Pole Award.  His fast lap of 28.232 seconds (134.911 mph), knocked Kyle Busch (28.265 seconds/134.753 mph) off the point.  Tony Stewart was third-fastest with a 28.304-second (134.568 mph) lap.  Brian Vickers (28.322 seconds/134.482 mph) was fourth and Carl Edwards (28.349 seconds/134.354 mph) fifth.

Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr. and Blaney rounded out the top-10 qualifiers.  Keselowski was 15th-fastest (lap of 28.506 seconds/133.614 mph) in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge.

“Dave did an excellent job for us here today,” said Shell-Pennzoil Dodge crew chief Todd Gordon.  “Even though Sam will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear, Dave’s effort here today will get us a good spot on pit road to work from in the race.  We’ll be trying quite a few things here in tomorrow’s practices that hopefully work to help both Penske Racing teams.”

Saturday’s action here at NHMS includes practice sessions from 9:15 a.m. till 10:15 a.m. and from 11:00 a.m. till 11:50 a.m. (live on SPEED-TV).  Sunday’s SYLVANIA 300 (300 Laps, 317.4 Miles) has a 2:00 p.m. EDT starting time.  Live coverage of the race will be provided by ESPN-TV and PRN Radio.