Blaney to drive for Childress

Dave Blaney is expected to be named as the fulltime driver for Richard Childress' third racing team during the events surrounding the awards banquet. Speculation is that Jack Daniel's will sponsor the team and that Philippe Lopez will serve as crew chief. The news couldn't come at a better time for the Hartford [OH] native and Badger High School graduate. Blaney is coming off a season in which he wasn't able to land a fulltime ride. He had a few rides for Bill Davis Racing's No. 23 team early in the season, and he landed a spot on RCR's No. 30 AOL team for a few races. With sponsorship money hard to come by and Blaney at the age of 42, it appeared he might not get another chance at NASCAR's elite circuit. "It crossed my mind,'' he said. "But I really thought the way things were going that I would get a chance to get with a good team and have a chance to continue on with my career.'' Childress, who also owns teams for drivers No. 29-Kevin Harvick and Robby Gordon, has reportedly long been impressed with Blaney's driving skills. Blaney likes what Childress has to offer in terms of support. "It's not like we knew each other (well),'' Blaney said. "I knew him and had respect for what he's done. He's a really good guy. He's hard working. He's got his stuff together. He knows what he's doing and can make things happen.'' Childress called on Blaney midway through the season when rookie Johnny Sauter was dropped from the AOL car. Blaney thought there was a chance that the deal might have secured him a ride for the remainder of the season, but he was replaced after Jeff Burton was released from Jack Roush Racing. "It was kind of a race-to-race thing,'' Blaney said. "He (Childress) told me up front that they were trying to sign Jeff Burton, so it wasn't a shock to me. When he told me I didn't think it would happen because I didn't think Roush would let Jeff Burton go. But what are you going to tell Richard Childress, no, I don't want to drive your car?" More at the Tribune Chronicle

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