Sunday, January 25, 2009

10 Last-Place Facts

1) Only four of the eleven top-ranked last-place finishers have failed to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and all four of them were prolific owner-drivers: J.D. McDuffie, G.C. Spencer, Jimmy Means, and Neil Castles.

2) Derrike Cope holds the record for the most last-place finishes in a single season when he picked up six driving for owner Raynard McGlynn in 2006.

3) Jimmy Means’ owner-driver operation holds the modern-era record for most last-place finishes by a team in a single season when the team picked up 9 in 1992. Means picked up three while co-drivers John McFadden and Graham Taylor picked up four and two, respectively.

4) The most laps led by any last-place finisher was 95 by Greg Biffle, the polesitter for last May’s Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington. An engine failure knocked him out on lap 234.

5) Drivers have finished last without completing a single lap of the race 131 times in NASCAR history, most recently in 2006 when Tom Hubert crashed on the first lap of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway.

6) The season with the fewest first-time last-place finishers was one in 1997: when Buckshot Jones crashed out of the finale at Atlanta. Every NASCAR season has had at least one first-time last-place finisher.

7) No driver has ever picked up more than two last-place finishes in a row, but in May of 1997, Geoffrey Bodine’s team finished last in three straight races: Sears Point, Talladega, and Charlotte. Geoffrey drove the team’s #7 in the first two races, but was injured in a practice wreck at Charlotte. Geoffrey's brother Todd took over driving duties that weekend and was taken out in an early crash. As a side note, Geoffrey returned to the #7 the following week at Dover and finished next-to-last with Bobby Hillin, Jr. taking last place.

8) Not only have all three of road racer Tom Hubert’s last-place finishes come at the Infineon Raceway, but they happened in three consecutive years (2004, 2005, 2006).

9) Dale Earnhardt has five last-place finishes, including three in 1992, but he never finished 43rd.

10) Entering 2009, some notable active drivers without a single last-place finish include Clint Bowyer, David Gilliland, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Chad McCumbee, David Ragan, Boris Said, Johnny Sauter, and Regan Smith.


Unknown said...

I believe Jeff Gordon finished in 43rd place in the spring race at Texas last year (2008) and that was the first time in his 15-year career. A pretty impressive stat.

Brock Beard said...

Actually, according to my statistics, Jeff Gordon also finshed 43rd at Texas in 1999. Poor Jeff has had so much bad luck at that track!

Unknown said...

you as usual sir, are correct. That's the same race "Texas Tery" won. so Jeffy-O has had 2 last-place finishes. Still a pretty good ratio!

Brock Beard said...

Not bad for him at all if you check out some of the other guys in the rankings! In total, Jeff Gordon has 5 last-place finishes in his Sprint Cup career, but only those two happened in 43-car fields. His other three were Atlanta in the spring of '97 (42 cars) and both North Wilkesboro races in '93 (34 cars).