Sunday, October 18, 2009
Nemechek Joins Battle For The Most Last-Place Finishes Since 1998 When Car’s Rear End Fails at Lowe’s
Joe Nemechek picked up the 16th last-place finish of his career in Saturday’s NASCAR Banking 500 only at Bank of America at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota fell out with rear end problems after completing 26 laps.
The late Thursday night qualifying session for this 500-mile race was particularly tough for this year’s last-place contenders. Despite getting sponsorship from the Denny Hamlin Foundation, last-place leader Dave Blaney failed to qualify for only the second time in 2009, dating back to the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas back in March. Joining Blaney on the DNQ list were three teams with multiple last-place finishes in 2009: Michael McDowell in Tommy Baldwin’s #36 (2 last-place finishes), Sterling Marlin in James Finch’s #09 Dodge (3 last-place finishes), and Travis Kvapil in Bob Jenkins’ #37 Dodge (4 last-place finishes).
Nemechek, on the other hand, qualified 35th for the race at a speed of 187.780 mph. He remained on the track through the race’s first two cautions before his Toyota’s rear end failed 26 laps into the race.
The finish was Nemechek’s third last-place finish of 2009 and first in nearly three months, dating back to this year’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in July. 13 of Nemechek’s 16 career last-place finishes have come since the 1998 Daytona 500, tying him with Dave Blaney, Todd Bodine, and Derrike Cope for the most last-place finishes collected since that race. It is only the second time in NASCAR Sprint Cup history that the #87 finished last at Charlotte: Randy Baker’s unsponsored Baker Racing Chevrolet finished last after losing an engine in the 1986 Oakwood Homes 500, the fall Charlotte race of that year.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #87-Joe Nemechek / 26 laps / rear end
42) #11-Denny Hamlin / 192 laps / engine
41) #13-Max Papis / 286 laps / engine
40) #77-Sam Hornish, Jr. / 298 laps / running
39) #99-Carl Edwards / 299 laps / engine
1st) Dave Blaney (8)
2nd) Tony Raines (4)
3rd) Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek (3)
4th) Patrick Carpentier, David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte (2)
5th) Tony Ave, Todd Bodine, P.J. Jones, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Mike Wallace (1)