NASCAR & Auto Racing

Move into top 35 'a big relief,' Blaney acknowledges

Heading into Saturday night’s race at Bristol, Bill Davis Racing entry Dave Blaney was on a bit of roll.

Blaney’s only top-10 finishes of the season have come in the past four races, with a ninth-place finish last month at Indianapolis and a season-best sixth earlier this week at Michigan. That surge helped Blaney move into the top 35 in car owner points, meaning he was guaranteed a starting spot at Bristol.

It’s the first time the No. 22 Toyota has been in the top 34 since the season-opening Daytona 500. Teams outside the top 35 in owner points must rely on qualifying times to make the race.

“It’s a big relief to get into the top 35, but you have to enjoy a nice run like (Michigan) even more than that,” Blaney said after his strong showing at Michigan.

“When you can run like that, you’re not going to be out of the top 35 very long.”