Car number: 23 • Manufacturer: Toyota • Sponsor: Caterpillar
Owner: Bill Davis
• Team: Bill Davis Racing
• Crew Chief: Kevin Hamlin
Final Points Standing
After First 26 Races
Lead Lap Finishes
2007 Spin Although Michael Waltrip Racing is technically Toyota's factory team, we believe Bill Davis Racing will be the flagbearer. The organization will enjoy factory support for the first time since 2003, and with Dave Blaney and new hire Jeremy Mayfield, it could experience the most success of any of the Toyota-backed outfits.
Blaney continues to run admirably in less-than-stellar equipment. He doesn't tear up the car and can sneak in a couple of solid finishes per year.
As for the Caterpillar team itself, it should improve on last year's mediocre-at-best campaign. Increased time in the wind tunnel and an influx of capital will go a long way in helping Blaney & Co. get on the right track.
Also a plus is BDR's expansion to a two-car organization. Waltrip and his NAPA-sponsored "hot rod" were more of a detriment than an asset to the company last season, as they were simply looking for a roof over their heads and a dry place to sleep. With Mayfield and the 360 OTC team sharing shop space, notes and financing, the squad as a whole will benefit.
The other feather Blaney and the CAT team have in their hardhat is that they finished in the top 35 in Owner's Points last season. The importance of this cannot be overstated. He is locked in to the Daytona 500 and the following four races while many "bigger name" drivers are not. Also, he is the only Toyota-backed driver to be shoed in (Dale Jarrett will have a Past Champions Provisional to fall back on as well).
While things seem brighter for the team, it still has a long way to go to catch up to the sport's powerhouses. Five to eight top 10s seem to be the ceiling here.
2006 Recap In its final season sans manufacturer support, the Bill Davis Racing team struggled. The lead-lap finish at Daytona in the first race of the season would be the only one until Michigan, 14 races later. In that time, Dave Blaney sank from 22nd in the point standings - his highest ranking of the year - to 30th, eventually bottoming out at 33rd.
As mentioned before, the team ran the full season without manufacturer support, its third straight.
To the team's credit, Blaney did pick up the pace in the second half of the season. From the July Daytona event through Homestead, he recorded 10 lead-lap finishes - highlighted by two top 10 finishes - and upped his position to 26th in the point standings.
Blaney did this in spite of his road course woes, where he registered the only two DNFs of the season.
• The Good: Dave Blaney recovered from a flat tire to finish ninth at New Hampshire in the fall. He salvaged a decent finish by keeping his cool and driving smart.
• The Bad: Blaney punted Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the straightaway at Pocono just past the halfway mark of the race. While things like this happen, it was especially painful for Junior, who dropped out of the top 10 in points due to the accident.
• The Ugly: Blaney proved why he is not considered a road racing ace, as he found the grass during both races and notched a best finish of 39th.