Chat with Dave Blaney
HBO PPV will host the third annual "Nextel Prelude to the Dream," on Wednesday, June 6 starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The event will take place on the dirt track, bringing racing back to its old school dirt track roots.
Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Dave Blaney, Ryan Newman, Kyle Petty, Mark Martin and others form a 27-driver field from all types of disciplines. All will drive a 2,300-pound dirt late model stock car and some will have lots of dirt track experience and others will have little experience.
Blaney drives the No. 22 car in the Nextel Cup Series, racing the Toyota Camry for Bill Davis Racing. He's won over $1.2 million this season while driving in the Nextel Cup Series. He also drives the No. 32 car in the Busch series for Braun Racing. He's currently in third place in the Busch points standings.
Send your questions for Blaney now and join him in The Show on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET.
Buzzmaster (2:02 PM)
Dave should be here any minute now! Keep sending in your questions!
Buzzmaster (2:03 PM)
Dave will be here soon, so please keep the questions coming!
Buzzmaster (2:08 PM)
Hey gang, we are having some technical problems but Dave should be here in 5 minutes.
Dave Blaney (2:12 PM)
Hey welcome to the chat! Let's get going!
Have you ever run at Eldora before? What makes Eldora "the dream"? I've heard it's the mecca, but why?
Dave Blaney (2:14 PM)
Yes, I have run there lots of times, and I do have a lot of experience there. What makes it famous is the shape and the size and the banking of the track. It makes you run right up against the wall, which makes it very exciting to watch. It is just the perfect shape to make for a very good race. And it has a lot of history with Earl Baltes.
Oliver (Arlington, TX)
besides the obvious goal of winning each week, what are your big picture goals for the rest of the season in your toyota?
Dave Blaney (2:15 PM)
Well, obviously we want to get back in the top 35 in points. We have 5 DNFs this year, so that has hurt us a lot. After that, we need to steadily improve and become more consistent.
Sam, Indianapolis, IN
Dave, This race doesn't have a huge pay day and you aren't racing for points. Will it still be ultra competitive?
Dave Blaney (2:16 PM)
I think it will be. All of us, even if we came from dirt tracks, do not run on dirt tracks anymore. So it will be fun. But you can bet the guys racing in the top 5 will be very serious about winning it. There will be a lot on the line.
JW ERIE. PA
WHAT ARE THE FUTURE PLANS FOR SHARON SPEEDWAY AND DOES IT INCLUDE LATE MODELS? HOW IS YOUR DAD DOING?
Dave Blaney (2:18 PM)
Right now nothing for certain. It could go in any direction as far as new classes or different classes. Nothing is certain right now. And my dad is doing well, day to day taking care of the speedway.
Tom (Erie, PA)
It's great to see you race twice every weekend...but I've wanted to ask you how much of an advantage it is to run the No. 22 car on weekends you have a Busch race at the same track?
Dave Blaney (2:19 PM)
I've felt like some weekends it has been an advantage to get more track time and get used to everything. Other weekends, I have felt it has not been an advantage.
Jonathan (Charleston WV)
I know your brother Dale played basketball at WVU, and I was wondering if you and your brother still keep up with the program. Thanks!
Dave Blaney (2:20 PM)
Dale does a lot more than I do. But Dale still keeps up with everything that is going on down there, but I am not sure to what extent.
Ricky (Martinsburg, WV)
How has it been driving a Toyota this year? And how is the adjustment period going as the season goes on?
Dave Blaney (2:21 PM)
We feel like Toyota has really good equipment. It is just a matter of getting all the areas put together. And we've had a few races where we have had cars capable of running in the top 10. So all the Toyota teams are learning and getting better every week.
James (New Castle, PA)
How hard was it to organize this event, considering all of your busy schedules?
Dave Blaney (2:24 PM)
We have some openings during the course of the week, and everyone plans for it and puts it in their schedule ahead of time. And everyone, I think, enjoys doing it. So we put time aside for it.
Quite a field you've got for the Prelude...How do you like your chances at Eldora?
Dave Blaney (2:26 PM)
I think my chances are really good. I led most of the race last year, and Tony passed me with only a few laps to go. We had a very fast car last year and I will be driving the same car this year. Chad Ruhlman is the regular driver, and he runs great at Eldora. So we should run well.
Hey Dave, comment on Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo racing on dirt. Obviously you are one of the more experienced dirt racers so I'm curious how you think they will be able to compete?
Dave Blaney (2:28 PM)
Well I have raced with Jeff Gordon at Eldora, it was a long time ago, but I think they will both do fine. I have been very surprised in the past at how quickly NASCAR drivers catch on to the dirt track. It is really impressive how well they adapt. It says a lot about the NASCAR drivers and how much talent they've got.
Pete (Columbia, SC)
Whose idea was it to do this event at Eldora? Outstanding idea and you've got a PPV buyer here for sure.
Dave Blaney (2:30 PM)
I don't really know. I'm sure Tony Stewart had a lot to do with it, wanting to put on a show for the fans there. I thought the PPV idea was great, as far as raising money for charity. So I'm sure Tony had a lot to do with it, as did all the people at Eldora.
Who do you think are the top five cars to beat in the prelude?
Dave Blaney (2:31 PM)
I think Stewart is obviously one. Kenny Schrader and Kenny Wallace are two others. After that, it is wide open. I would not be surprised to see anyone up front.
Bobby, Charlotte, NC
It seems like Tony Stewart is sometimes difficult to get along with. Why are so many superstars willing to race in his event?
Dave Blaney (2:33 PM)
I think most everybody likes Tony Stewart. Personally, there is not a nicer, better guy. He has a really good heart. Yes, he is very competitive, and we compete hard against each other all the time. So we can't always be friends. But he is a great guy with a great heart and that is why everyone is so willing to go out and do this.
Dave Blaney (2:36 PM)
Thank you for the chat. I look forward to a great race at Eldora, so be sure to either come out to the track or buy the event on PPV Wednesday, June 6 at 7 p.m. ET! Take care everyone!