Monday, March 30, 2009

Bodine Blows Engine At Martinsville, Ties Cope For “1998-Present” Lead

Todd Bodine picked up the 16th last-place finish of his career in Sunday's Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway when his unsponsored #64 Gunselman Motorsports Toyota lost the engine on lap 3 of the 500-lap race.

As a result of Bodine’s wreck at Bristol the week before, Gunselman Motorsports was forced to debut another former Bill Davis Racing Toyota at Martinsville. The team struggled with the car through practice, but made the field when qualifying was rained out. Even so, the #64 barely made the show: the team was tied with Phoenix Racing’s #09 with two starts, five attempts, and the same number of owner points, but the #64 had better finishes in their two races and Bodine was given the 43rd starting spot. Unfortunately, Bodine was not in the race long as, on lap 3, he pulled behind the wall under green with engine problems.

The race was Bodine’s first last-place finish in just over four years, dating back to the 2004 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix. He now ties Derrike Cope with the most last-place finishes since 1998 (13), has collected the 3rd-most in the Modern Era, and the 5th-most all-time. The #64 had not finished last in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race since Connie Saylor’s Sunny King Ford, owned by driving legend Elmo Langley, finished 41st in the 1987 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 at Atlanta. Like Bodine, Saylor fell out of that race after three laps because of an engine failure.

43) #64-Todd Bodine / 3 laps / engine
42) #66-Dave Blaney / 49 laps / rear gear
41) #87-Joe Nemechek / 90 laps / brakes
40) #7-Robby Gordon / 349 laps / engine
39) #82-Scott Speed / 424 laps / running

1st) Dave Blaney, Mike Bliss, Todd Bodine, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Joe Nemechek (1)

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