Thursday, April 27, 2017

3/2/97: Morgan Shepherd’s hood flies up, then engine lets go at Richmond

PHOTO: ESPN
On March 2, 1997, Morgan Shepherd picked up the 10th last-place finish of his NASCAR Winston Cup career in the Pontiac Excitement 400 at the Richmond International Raceway when his #1 Delco Remy Pontiac fell out with engine trouble after 131 of 400 laps.

The finish, which came in Shepherd’s 449th series start, was his first since April 28, 1996 during the Winston Select 500 at Talladega, where his #75 Remington Arms Ford crashed after 20 laps.

2017 marks Shepherd’s 50th year in NASCAR, an incredible career dating back to his first-ever start at the tough Hickory Motor Speedway in 1967.  His first Cup start came at the same track three years later, a race where that year’s series champion Bobby Isaac won by two full laps.  Shepherd, who finished 19th in a 1969 Chevrolet, was 28 years old.  He went full-time in 1981 driving the #5 Performance Connection Pontiac.  The car owner, Cliff Stewart, had fielded Cup entries since 1962, when Jim Paschal scored the team’s only win.  But at Martinsville on April 26, 1981, a 39-year-old Shepherd ended the streak, lapping all 30 other starters but second-place Neil Bonnett.  It was one of the first NASCAR races broadcast by ESPN.

From then on, Shepherd continued to make a name for himself in NASCAR.  By 1997, Shepherd had driven for 32 different car owners in Cup, ranging from owner-drivers Cecil Gordon, Jimmy Means, D.K. Ulrich, Elmo Langley, and Buddy Arrington to some of the biggest teams of the day, including RahMoc Enterprises, Jim Stacy, Hal Needham, Kenny Bernstein, and Petty Enterprises.  He scored another three Cup victories, all of them at the fast 1.522-mile perfect oval in Atlanta, and each for a different single-car operation: Jack Beebe in 1986, Bud Moore Engineering in 1990, and the Wood Brothers in 1993.  He also fielded his own cars, both in Cup and in the brand-new Busch Series, where he scored the first two of his 15 wins during the inaugural season in 1982.  His best overall finish in points was a 5th in 1990, a year the 48-year-old started by racking up eleven consecutive Top 10 finishes, snagging the point lead for a week before mechanical trouble hit the next time out at Sonoma.  But a reunion with Butch Mock’s team in 1996 didn’t go well, leaving him outside the Top 15 in points for the first time since 1988, and he was with a new team by SpeedWeeks ’97.

Car owner Richard Jackson came to NASCAR in 1985, when he and brother Leo founded Jackson Brothers Racing, a two-car effort sponsored by smokeless tobacco companies Skoal and Copenhagen.  It was this two-car effort that brought on another brotherly pair on to drive, fellow racers-turned-analysts Benny and Phil Parsons.  The pair earned two wins together: Phil’s only checkered flag at Talladega in 1988, then a spring 1989 Darlington win for Harry Gant, whose iconic Skoal Bandit #33 changed hands from Hollywood director Hal Needham the previous year.

By 1990, Richard and Leo Jackson parted ways with Gant driving for Leo in the #33 Skoal Bandit.  Richard’s new team, which later became known as Precision Performance Racing, would campaign the #1.  The first black-and-white Oldsmobile, sponsored by Skoal Classic, raced to a close 2nd in the Daytona 500 with Terry Labonte behind the wheel.  Journeyman driver Rick Mast joined the team the following year, the start of a six-year business relationship.  During this time, Mast gave Richard Jackson his first three poles, including the famous 1992 Hooters 500 at Atlanta and the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.  Mast also earned a career-best 2nd in the penultimate race of ’94 at Rockingham, where he was edged for the win by newly-crowned seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt.  But by the end of 1996, Mast and Shepherd switched rides, putting the Virginian in #75 and Shepherd in the #1.  Skoal Classic had left as a sponsor after the 1995 season.  Hooters, which joined in ’96, was gone as well.  While Delco Remy America and Cruisin’ America signed on for ‘97, it was not yet clear if the team could run the full season.

Teamed with crew chief Michael “Fatback” McSwain, who years later would become a winning crew chief for Ricky Rudd and Bobby Labonte, Shepherd, now 55, qualified for his 15th Daytona 500 and bumped Rick Mast and his old ride out of the show.  After starting next-to-last in the 200-lapper, Shepherd’s white #1 Pontiac was in the lead pack, holding fast to a finish inside the Top 15.  Then, coming to four laps to go off Turn 4, a multi-car pileup unfolded directly in front of him, destroying his new car.  As Jeff Gordon cruised under caution to claim his first Daytona 500, Shepherd was left a disappointing 29th, out of the race.  He rebounded to finish 10th the next time out at Rockingham, then prepared to journey north to Richmond.

With rain washing out qualifying, Shepherd qualified 19th in the 43-car field based on the #1 team’s 1996 rank in Owner Points.  Sent home by the rain were perennial underdog Billy Standridge in Jim Wilson’s #78 Diamond Rio Ford, 1985 July Daytona winner Greg Sacks in the #20 Hardee’s Ford, one of the last Cup cars fielded by longtime car owner Harry Ranier, and Mike Wallace in the #91 SPAM Chevrolet fielded by current Circle Sport with The Motorsports Group co-owner Joe Falk.  According to ESPN, all three were sent home because their NASCAR entry forms were received last.

Starting last that day was Gary Bradberry, who was making his first start of the season after back-to-back DNQs at Daytona and Rockingham.  He would be driving the #19 Child Support Recovery Ford fielded by Mark Smith of TriStar Motorsports, the same team which currently fields Cole Whitt’s #72 Chevrolet in Cup and J.J. Yeley’s #14 Toyota in XFINITY.  1997 would be TriStar’s final season of Cup competition until the team began growing their current operation as a “start-and-park” effort in 2012.  Joining him were two backup cars: Johnny Benson, Jr. in the #30 Pennzoil Pontiac, and Ricky Craven, sent to a backup #25 Budweiser Chevrolet following a crash in Happy Hour.

Benson held the 43rd spot on the opening lap, and by Lap 6, the spot went to Dick Trickle in Junie Donlavey’s #90 Heilig-Meyers Ford.  On that same sixth circuit, contact from a fast-closing #10 Tide Ford of Ricky Rudd spun 7th-place starter Rusty Wallace in Turn 2, and Wallace’s #2 Miller Lite Ford had to stop on the apron as the entire field went by.  Wallace avoided any damage, but avoided losing a lap.  Not so fortunate was last-place starter Bradberry, who was held a lap by NASCAR prior to the Lap 10 restart.  By Lap 48, Bradberry was still last, three laps down, but Jeff Burton was then poised to take the spot.  That time by, Burton pulled his #99 Exide Ford behind the wall with brake issues.  Burton passed Bradberry for last on Lap 52.

Around Lap 125, Morgan Shepherd was running in the middle of the pack in a tight race with rookie Mike Skinner in Richard Childress’ #31 Lowe’s Chevrolet.  Skinner bumped Shepherd, and as the two entered Turn 3, Skinner slowed in front of Shepherd and the two made contact, caving in the nose of #1 and shearing the hood pins.  Moments later, as the two exited Turn 4, the hood flew up on Shepherd’s car.  Somehow, the veteran continued to run with the hood blocking his view, pulling to the inside and running a slower speed.  No caution was thrown, but the black flag came for Shepherd, and he was forced to make an unscheduled stop to remove the hood.  That same incident must have damaged the radiator as Shepherd ran just a few more laps before retiring with engine trouble.  Jeff Burton returned to finish 152 laps down, dropping Shepherd to last in the closing stages.

Behind 42nd-place Burton were Bobby Hillin, Jr., whose ride in Doug Bawel’s #77 Jasper Engines / Federal Mogul Ford ended with rear end trouble; 41st-place Kenny Wallace, who lost the engine on his #81 Square D Ford with 24 laps to go; Joe Nemechek in 40th, 20 laps down in Sabco Racing’s #42 BellSouth Chevrolet; and Gary Bradberry, 11 laps down, rounded out the Bottom Five.

The race ran at a torrid pace with 371 consecutive green-flag laps after Wallace’s Lap 6 spin.  Wallace raced back through the pack to take the lead in the final 100 laps, but was soon caught by Dale Jarrett.  With seven laps to go, Jarrett was leading when Ernie Irvan crashed in Turn 3, allowing the leaders to race back to the line.  As Jeff Gordon zipped past to get his lap back, Wallace caught Jarrett and raced side-by-side past Irvan’s wreck.  Gordon slowed at the crash site, allowing 3rd-place Geoffrey Bodine to catch all three, and the four drivers fanned out four-wide.  Jarrett held the lead over Wallace and Bodine, who also put Gordon back down a lap.  In the ensuing three-lap sprint to the finish, Wallace caught Jarrett sleeping on the restart, cut down low, and sped to his only win of the year.

The very next week, the Winston Cup teams arrived at Shepherd’s favorite track, the Atlanta Motor Speedway.  The veteran impressed once more, leading 10 laps and challenging Ernie Irvan for 2nd all the way to the finish line.  The 3rd-place finish turned out to be the 12th and final Top 5 finish for Precision Performance Racing, which closed its doors at season’s end.  Richard Jackson passed away on May 31, 2010.  It was also the 63rd and most recent Top 5 of Shepherd’s Cup career.

Today, Shepherd is known for his longevity and his devout religious beliefs.  A born-again Christian, Shepherd has carried “Racing With Jesus” on the hood of nearly all his cars since 2002, when he returned to Cup as a team owner of the #89.  Shepherd Racing Ventures transitioned from Cup to XFINITY competition in 2007.  As of this writing, he has competed in 517 Cup races, 404 in XFINITY, and 57 in the Truck Series.  At Loudon in 2014, he beat his own record as the oldest driver to start a Cup Series race at 72 years, 9 months, and 1 day (in addition to the oldest driver to finish last in Cup, set earlier that year at Phoenix).  Now 75, Shepherd can still be seen either roller skating down pit road or preparing another car painted like those he’d raced over the past five decades.  For more on Shepherd and how you can support his team, check out his website at http://www.morganshepherd.com/ and follow the team on Twitter @MShepherd89.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This was Shepherd’s first last-place finish in a Cup Series race at Richmond since September 13, 1987, when his #26 Quaker State Buick crashed out after 12 laps of the Wrangler Jeans Indigo 400.  He was the second driver to finish last on both Richmond’s half-mile fairgrounds configuration and today’s three-quarter-mile oval, following Derrike Cope (Spring 1988, Fall 1992).  As of this writing, Shepherd has four Cup Series last-place finishes at Richmond, which ties J.D. McDuffie for the most all-time.
*This marked the first last-place finish for the #1 in a Cup Series race since February 24, 1991, when Rick Mast’s Skoal Classic Oldsmobile – also owned by Richard Jackson – finished under power, 179 laps down, in the same event, the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #1-Morgan Shepherd / 131 laps / engine
42) #99-Jeff Burton / 248 laps / running
41) #77-Bobby Hillin, Jr. / 336 laps / rear end
40) #81-Kenny Wallace / 376 laps / engine
39) #42-Joe Nemechek / 380 laps / running

SOURCES
*1997 Pontiac Excitement 400, ESPN
*MorganShepherd.com
*Racing-reference.info

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Preliminary Entry List Storylines: Richmond

PHOTO: @XFINITYRacing
CUP SERIES
Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond

For the seventh time in 2017 and the second race in a row, there will be a short field this Sunday.  And for the second time this year (joining Martinsville, three rounds ago), it will be a season-low 38 cars taking the green flag.  This marks the shortest starting field for a Cup race at Richmond since September 9, 1995, when 38 took the green in the Miller Genuine Draft 400.

Missing this week are both Derrike Cope and the #55 Premium Motorsports entry.  Cope, who finished 34th in that 1995 race, steered clear of danger Monday at Bristol and finished a season-best 31st.  It was his best finish since May 15, 2004, when he ran 29th at Richmond for Arnold Motorsports.  As at Bristol prior to Monday, Cope has not run at Richmond since 2006, when he finished last for Raynard McGlynn.

Cope’s teammate Reed Sorenson in Premium’s #15 Chevrolet, Timmy Hill in Rick Ware Racing’s #51 Chevrolet, and Cole Whitt in TriStar Motorsports’ #72 Chevrolet, are the three teams which do not have sponsors listed for this weekend’s race.

Like Cope, Sorenson enjoyed his best run of 2017 at Bristol, finishing 28th, and Whitt flirted with his first Top 20 finish since Atlanta before settling for 21st, matching his standout performance at Martinsville.  It was TriStar’s best Cup finish at Bristol since March 31, 1996, when the late Dick Trickle came home 8th driving the #19 HealthSource Ford during the Food City 500.  Hill ended up 37th when suspension issues left them more than 50 laps behind in the garage before they called it a day.  Hill’s best Richmond finish was also his only Cup start at the track, a 34th for Go FAS Racing in the spring of 2013.

Speaking of Go FAS Racing, kudos to Matt DiBenedetto, who finished a strong 19th at Bristol.  Shades of his breakthrough Top 10 in the same race in 2016, DiBenedetto’s run was his second-best of the year and his first Top 20 finish since coming home 9th in the season-opening Daytona 500.

Jeffrey Earnhardt finished 27th at Bristol, the best run for both driver and team at the track, and just one spot shy of matching Earnhardt’s season-best 26th in the Daytona 500.  This week, Circle Sport with The Motorsports Group welcomes Towne Bank as sponsor of the #33 Chevrolet.  Earnhardt’s best Richmond finish in three starts was also a 27th, which came last September.

XFINITY SERIES
ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond

42 drivers are slated to attempt this Saturday’s XFINITY Series race, and barring another rain storm, the same number will arrive this weekend.

Back on the list after withdrawing at Bristol is Tommy Joe Martins and his #45 Diamond Gusset Jeans Chevrolet.  If he makes the show, it will be his first XFINITY start at Richmond since April 25, 2014, when he finished 36th in an unsponsored Dodge.  Missing this week is Obaika Racing and the #97 for Stephen Leicht, which made Bristol’s preliminary list before being withdrawn.  It’s still possible, however, that the team will be added late in the week as they have several times in the past.

Set to make his series debut is 19-year-old Kyle Benjamin, fresh off a K&N Pro Series East win earlier this month at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway.  Benjamin climbs aboard the high-powered Joe Gibbs Racing #20 which won the last two rounds with Erik Jones.  Race sponsor ToyotaCare will also back his entry.

Making his first XFINITY start of 2017 is Dylan Lupton, who made two series starts last year and four in the Cup Series.  Lupton climbs aboard JGL Racing’s “Young Guns” entry, the #24 Nut Up Toyota.  Lupton’s lone NASCAR start at Richmond came driving for BK Racing in last September’s Cup race, where he finished 25th – his only Cup finish inside the Top 30.  Matt Mills also returns for the first time since Phoenix this past March, again driving B.J. McLeod’s #8 Chevrolet in place of Jeff Green (who finished a season-best 25th at Bristol).

Driving for Precision Performance Motorsports, Quin Houff enjoyed a strong run in his XFINITY debut at Bristol, finishing on the lead lap in the 16th spot.  Driver and team are once again entered this weekend as Precision looks to make their first start at Richmond.  Fellow ARCA driver Josh Williams had a strong run as well, climbing aboard Mario Gosselin’s #90 BuckedUp Apparel Chevrolet and finishing 22nd.  Williams will not be racing this week as Truck Series driver Brandon Brown was already signed to drive the W.G. Speeks Chevrolet this Saturday.  Brown finished 23rd with the team earlier this year at Atlanta.

Also give a call to Motorsports Business Management, which had both its cars finish inside the Top 30 for the first time since Talladega in the spring of 2015, and for the first time ever since Carl Long took over the team from Derek White at the start of 2016.  What’s more, both Long and teammate Timmy Hill both drove Dodges, finishing 27th and 24th, respectively.  Both drivers – and Dodges – are again entered in Richmond, and along with B.J. McLeod’s #78, have not yet announced a primary sponsor.

Driving for TriStar Motorsports, J.J. Yeley finished 11th at Bristol, his best finish since he ran 10th last fall at Kansas.  Superior Essex will again sponsor his #14 at Richmond, where in this race last year he tied a track-best 12th set in 2007 with James Finch’s Phoenix Racing.

Bristol marked Morgan Shepherd’s first XFINITY Series start since Phoenix in March, and he’s again entered this Saturday.  Fellow owner-driver Mike Harmon is there as well in the #74 Veterans Motorsports Dodge, having picked up a season-best 30th, the last car to finish under power.

TRUCK SERIES
Next Race: May 12, 2017
Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas

Monday, April 24, 2017

CUP: Chris Buescher’s rough Bristol weekend results in two wrecked cars

PHOTO: @spencertitans
Chris Buescher picked up the 3rd last-place finish of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career in Monday’s Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway when his #37 Bush’s Beans / Scott Products / Kingsford Chevrolet was eliminated in a two-car accident after 53 of 500 laps.

The finish, which came in Buescher’s 50th series start, was his first of the season and his first in a Cup race since last July at Daytona, 27 races ago.

Buescher’s only other last-place finish came less than a month before his breakthrough win at Pocono, where he was leading when a fogbank cut the race short at 138 of 160 laps.  A thrilling five-race battle ensued where Buescher looked to stay inside the Top 30 in driver points to maintain his place in the Chase.  His most serious challenger was David Ragan and the #23 BK Racing entry.  With just 36 laps to go in the cutoff race at Richmond, both Ragan and Buescher found themselves in the middle of a multi-car pileup.  Ragan wrecked out while Buescher went on to finish 24th, locking him into the Chase.  While Buescher was eliminated in the first round, it was a stellar rookie season and another impressive accomplishment by Front Row Motorsports.

This season, Buescher debuts a second team for JTG-Daugherty Racing, his #37 fielded alongside the #47 of A.J. Allmendinger.  The deal came about after Roush-Fenway Racing leased JTG the Charter belonging to Greg Biffle and the now-defunct #16 team.  Buescher’s Chase berth secured him a spot in the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona, where he came home a strong 9th of 17 cars, and his best run of the season came at Martinsville, where he ran 11th.  Bristol looked to be a chance for another strong run, as a 5th-place run there last August helped pave the way for his spot in the 2016 playoffs.

Unfortunately, the weekend began with frustration.  Qualifying on Friday was rained out, leaving him 27th on the grid based on Owner Points.  He ran just 25th of the 39 entrants in opening practice, 19th in the second, and in Happy Hour, lost control off Turn 4, damaging the right-rear of his car.  22nd on the charts at the end of that session, Buescher’s team elected to roll out the backup, meaning that he would have to start at the tail end of Sunday’s 39-car field.  To make it up to his crew, Buescher bought a pair of large chocolate chip cookies with “My Bad 37” written in blue-and-white frosting.

The persistent rains which pushed the 500-lap race to Monday morning caught many campers in gathering floodwaters.  Buescher, still at the track late Sunday night, went out with a friend to help campers move their mobile homes to safety.  He posted pictures of RVs to Twitter to help alert their owners.  “We didn’t get recognized to the very end,” said Buescher, “incognito.”

On Monday morning, Buescher lined up at the tail end of the field.  Moving up one spot as a result was 39th-place starter Derrike Cope, who was making his first Bristol start since 2006.  Both Cope and Premium Motorsports teammate Reed Sorenson carried sponsorship from the Low T Centers, which joined the program two weeks ago on Cope’s #55.

By the end of the first lap, Buescher had dropped Cope to last, and on Lap 2, was running the high lane, six seconds behind the leaders.  By Lap 4, Cope had passed Timmy Hill, whose Rick Ware Racing-prepared #51 Chevrolet carried new sponsorship from SleepFresh Mattresses.  On Lap 9, Hill caught Cope in another challenge for position, but on Lap 13, race leader Kyle Larson sped by them both to put them a lap down.  On the 26th circuit, Hill and team discussed a potential problem with the engine, though little more was said about it under green.  On Lap 30, Hill went down a second lap, then a fourth the 46th time by.  Hill was still last when the first caution flew.

That moment came on Lap 56, when Kurt Busch’s #41 Haas Automation / Monster Energy Ford slid into Trevor Bayne’s #6 AdvoCare Ford off Turn 2, sending Busch sliding into the inside wall.  As the field slowed behind them, Buescher, who had passed more cars than anyone else to that point, rear ended the slowing #15 of Reed Sorenson.  Sorenson managed to keep going and, in fact, picked up a season-best 28th.  Buescher, however, trailed oil over some distance of the track before stopping on the apron.  As #37 was towed to the garage, Buescher was done for the day, and a five-minute red flag was needed to clean up all the oil.

Buescher officially took last from Timmy Hill on Lap 57.  Hill himself fell out with suspension issues after 234 laps, leaving him 37th.  Between Hill and Buescher was 38th-place Dale Earnhardt, Jr., whose #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet crashed hard when he slipped in more oil on a Lap 218 restart.  36th went to Danica Patrick, whose #10 Mobil 1Annual Protection Ford was damaged in an earlier incident, then eliminated after tangling with David Ragan on Lap 325.  Rounding out the Bottom Five was Kyle Busch, who hit the wall on Lap 210, then raced his way back into the Top 10 only to crash even harder on Lap 384.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This marked the first last-place finish for #37 in a Cup Series race since November 9, 2014, when Mike Bliss’ Accell Construction Chevrolet fell out with brake trouble after 16 laps of the Quiken Loans Race For Heroes 500 at Phoenix.  The number hadn’t finished last at Bristol since August 23 of the same year, when Dave Blaney’s turn in the Tommy Baldwin-prepared Accell Construction machine ended after 37 laps with overheating issues.

2017 LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Circle Sport with The Motorsports Group (3)
2nd) BK Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, JTG-Daugherty Racing, Rick Ware Racing (1)

2017 LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (6)
2nd) Toyota (2)

2017 LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP

XFINITY: Jordan Anderson sets second-longest last-place streak in NASCAR history

PHOTO: @j66anderson
Jordan Anderson picked up the 5th last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at the Bristol Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #93 RSS Racing Chevrolet fell out with electrical issues after he completed 13 of 300 laps.

The finish, which came in Anderson’s 12th series start, was his fifth of the season and fifth in a row, the second-longest last-place streak in NASCAR history.  The record is eight, set by all-time last-place leader Jeff Green in the summer of 2015.

Anderson, back in RSS Racing’s “start-and-park” entry, was originally one of 42 drivers who would attempt to qualify, but the very real threat of rain forced two withdrawals.  First on April 19 was Tommy Joe Martins, who was set to make his first XFINITY start of the year in his self-prepared #45 Diamond Gusset Jeans Chevrolet, and thus did not have a guaranteed spot in the field.  Next on April 21 was Obaika Racing, which again only entered the #97 Vroom! Brands Chevrolet for Stephen Leicht.  Reports indicate that the Obaika team arrived late to the track – minutes before practice – and was not allowed to pull into the infield.

In the weekend’s lone practice session on Friday, Anderson timed in 38th of the remaining 40, having turned just 12 laps, third fewest behind B.J. McLeod (6), Carl Long (8).  The washed-out qualifying session secured him the 39th spot in the 40-car field, one position ahead of Mike Harmon’s #74 Somerset Hardwood Flooring Dodge.  Prior to the start, both were joined by four drivers sent to the back: Roush-Fenway Racing teammates Darrell Wallace, Jr. and Ryan Reed for inspection penalties, Dakoda Armstrong’s #28 WinField United Toyota for unapproved adjustments, and Joey Gase’s #52 The Racing Warehouse Chevrolet for a tire change.

By Lap 14, Anderson was behind the wall, securing the last-place finish.  Two laps later came Morgan Shepherd, back in the race for the first time since Phoenix, his #89 Racing With Jesus / King’s Tire Chevrolet out with overheating as the listed cause.  38th went to Ryan Reed, who while climbing his way from the back pounded the Turn 2 wall on Lap 81, ripping the right-front tire from his #16 Lily Diabetes / ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes Ford.  37th was where Ray Black, Jr. finished in his #07 ScubaLife / HBOT Chevrolet following two accidents.  The second accident, which came off Turn 4 on Lap 221, also eliminated 36th-place David Starr – the Daytona last-placer – when B.J. McLeod’s #99 Double D Meat Co. / Striping Technology Chevrolet clipped the nose of Black’s stopped car.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This marked the first last-place finish for both Anderson and the #93 in an XFINITY Series race at Bristol.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
40) #93-Jordan Anderson / 13 laps / electrical
39) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 15 laps / overheating
38) #16-Ryan Reed / 79 laps / crash
37) #07-Ray Black, Jr. / 213 laps / crash
36) #99-David Starr / 227 laps / crash

2017 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) RSS Racing (5)
2nd) B.J. McLeod Motorsports, Kaulig Racing (1)

2017 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (7)

2017 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP