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NASCAR BP won't sponsor Blaney

Published: Wed, July 4, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.

Car owner Bill Davis said that a new sponsor will get a driver who is hitting his stride.

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- BP announced Tuesday that it will not renew its sponsorship of the No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge and driver Dave Blaney for the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.

"It's always tough to end a long-term sponsorship program," car owner Bill Davis said. "But this one's especially significant to our program at Bill Davis Racing because it was Amoco that helped get us together with Dave Blaney and it was that partnership that helped us realize our goal of adding a second Winston Cup team to the No. 22 Caterpillar team."

Blaney is a native of Hartford in Trumbull County.

Ward Burton is Davis' driver for the No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge team.

"This partnership has been a good one over the past four years and we wish everyone at Bill Davis Racing every success in the future," Motorsports manager Alan McGown said.

More races: BP still plans complete support behind the 2001 program, McGown said, including a three-race schedule in October for a BP-branded car similar to the No. 93 entry driven by Blaney in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. last month.

Davis said, "Amoco has been with us four years and had expanded its involvement from a long-time associate to a primary Winston Cup sponsorship and had grown right along with Dave as he made a real difficult transition from sprint cars to NASCAR.

"They helped him realize a big career goal, but they're going a different way with their entire marketing plan and racing just didn't fit in.

Contender: "In Dave, crew chief Doug Randolph and the No. 93 crew, we believe we've got an outstanding group that is growing into a bigger role as a week-to-week contender at the Winston Cup level.

"It's always tough to have to look to replace a sponsor, but someone's going to step into a great situation with a driver hitting his stride and with our Dodge program as it reaches maturity in its second year in 2002.

"We expect Siemens -- the major associate sponsor on the No. 93 -- to continue to have a significant role at Bill Davis Racing next season.

"It's a great opportunity for a company to come into our sport with a team ready to win at a time when the new television package and increased exposure across-the-board are really delivering for sponsors."

Rookie: Amoco joined Bill Davis Racing as primary sponsor of former World of Outlaws champion Blaney for an abbreviated (20 races) rookie NASCAR Busch Series season in 1998.

Blaney finished sixth in the Busch Series points in his first full NASCAR season (1999) and collected six pole positions -- all in track-record time -- in only 59 Busch Series starts.

He graduated to the Winston Cup Series in 2000 when he finished third in the rookie-of-the-year battle behind Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

In 2001, Blaney ranks 26th in the overall point standings through last weekend's race at Sears Point, trailing only Sterling Marlin among all Dodge drivers in Top 10 finishes (Rockingham, Texas, Michigan) in the car's historic return to stock car racing this season.


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