July 7, 2007 - Daytona Beach, FL - In Saturday night's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS) Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Jamie McMurray edged past Kyle Busch en route to victory lane and Dave Blaney was the top-finishing Toyota.
Blaney, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry, finished 23rd after starting 40th. He ran portions of the race in the top-10 and was running among the top-15 late in the event when David Gilliland made contact with Blaney's Camry. It forced Blaney to the pits and he wasn't able to work his way back up through the field.
"We were pretty strong tonight," said Blaney, after the race. "We were able to come up into the top-10 during the long runs. We had a really fast car the whole time. I got in trouble with the No. 38 (David Gilliland) a little bit and it put us to the back. I still should've gotten back into the top-15, but I made a couple mistakes and just couldn't get it done."
The three other Camry drivers in the field were David Reutimann, Dale Jarrett and Brian Vickers. Reutimann guided the No. 00 Burger King Camry to a 26th-place finish and Jarrett finished 27th in the No. 44 UPS Camry. Toyota drivers that did not start the race were AJ Allmendinger, Jeremy Mayfield, Michael Waltrip.
Vickers started 36th and crossed the finish line 29th in the No. 83 Red Bull Camry. He ran a number of laps among the top-15, but late contact with Joe Nemechek's car relegated him to the back of the field.
"We got some points, but we could have been better," said Vickers, after the race. "We got hit by the No. 13 (Joe Nemechek) late in the race and couldn't get back to where we were."
McMurray squeezed past Kyle Busch at the finish line to record his first victory of the season in his Roush Racing Ford. It was the first win for McMurray in 166 races -- his last victory came at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October of 2002. Crossing the finish line behind McMurray and second-place Busch were Kurt Busch (third), Carl Edwards (fourth) and Jeff Gordon (fifth).
The next NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on the schedule will take place at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday (July 15) at 4:00 PM (EST).
In Saturday morning's NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona -- which was rescheduled from Friday evening due to rain -- Blaney's Camry was one of the strongest cars in the field, but he lacked drafting partners during the ‘green-white-checkered flag' finish to pass eventual race-winner Kyle Busch.
Despite not leading a lap, Blaney ran among the leaders throughout the 250-mile race at the 2.5-mile Florida superspeedway. "It was a good day," said Blaney, after the race. "We had a great car here in February and it was the same thing today. We got it handling better and better as the race went on. I wish we could've gotten to the front one time because I think it would've been over, but we couldn't quite get there. Kyle (Busch) was way fast and running a good line."
Blaney's Braun Racing teammate, Jason Leffler, finished eighth in the No. 38 Great Clips Camry. It was his sixth-straight top-15 finish. Leffler started on the pole -- the second pole for Toyota in the Busch Series -- and ran among the leaders throughout the race.
Brian Vickers finished 13th in the No. 32 Fort McDowell Resort Camry in his first Busch Series start in a Camry. David Reutimann wound up 40th in the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry.
The next race on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule is July 14 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Toyota NNCS Finishing Positions at Daytona International Speedway 23rd, DAVE BLANEY 26th, DAVID REUTIMANN 27th, DALE JARRETT 29th, BRIAN VICKERS DNQ, MICHAEL WALTRIP DNQ, AJ ALLMENDINGER DNQ, JEREMY MAYFIELD Toyota Drivers in the NNCS Point Standings following Daytona International Speedway ** 35th, DAVE BLANEY 1,197 Points 39th, BRIAN VICKERS 899 Points 40th, DALE JARRETT 835 Points 41st, DAVID REUTIMANN 789 Points 45th, AJ ALLMENDINGER 464 Points 48th, JEREMY MAYFIELD 388 Points 52nd, MICHAEL WALTRIP 191 Points **Unofficial Point Standings Toyota NBS Finishing Positions at Daytona International Speedway 3rd, DAVE BLANEY 8th, JASON LEFFLER 13th, BRIAN VICKERS 40th, DAVID REUTIMANN Toyota Drivers in the NBS Point Standings following Daytona International Speedway** 3rd, DAVID REUTIMANN 2,095 points 4th, DAVE BLANEY 2,056 points 5th, JASON LEFFLER 2,033 points **unofficial point standings
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