NASCAR confiscated the 66 Toyota Camry driven by Dave Blaney after yesterdays race. Blaney had qualified fifth for the race, navigated to the rear and later led three laps when everyone else pitted before pulling down pit road itself and directly into the garage area.
The official reason for the 66 cars departure from the race was engine failure but that may not have sat well with NASCAR. Blaney, a veteran of the sport, drove the car in 30 races last year and had attempted to make the Daytona 500.
Blaney drives for Prism Motorsports one of the “start and park” teams currently filling the rear of a NASCAR field.
The biggest beef with these teams is that they show up to collect a race check. To cut cost they run no longer then a fuel run before pulling themselves behind the wall.
Prism Motorsports isn’t the only team starting and parking on the circuit. Joe Nemechek has been doing much the same for his team, and on any given week five or so other teams attempt to make the race with the same idea in mind.
Even on NASCAR’s official website they noted the 66 ride as a start and park team stating that they had finished 5th in their race, referring to the fifth qualifying spot Blaney claimed on Friday.]
The decision by NASCAR to take Blaney’s car is especially tough for Prism Motorsports who currently has two cars and is trying to run two teams. Should they not return the 66 car in time for qualifying it’s possible that Blaney and company won’t even get a chance to be in the race at Las Vegas.
For what it’s worth John Darby states that NASCAR cannot predict which teams will start and park on any given weekend though I’d tell Darby he simply has to look at what cars has logos on them to get his answer.
On the other hand, NASCAR does take a look at two cars that fell outside of the top five every week so at some point you’d think the 66 or 55 cars would have garnered a look.
Of course should the car be put in the field every week (either top 35 in points or another method) maybe it would actually get some sponsors and then be able to run a full race that wasn’t titled the Daytona 500.