Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CUP: Speed Is Last For The First Time After Engine Blows At The Glen

Scott Speed picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career in Sunday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen when his #82 Red Bull Toyota lost its engine after 28 of the race’s 90 laps. The finish came in Speed’s 62nd Cup Series race.

Speed qualified 8th for Sunday’s race at a speed of 123.369 mph, scoring him his second top-10 start of the season (the other being an outside-pole in April’s Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix). However, during the first round of pit stops around lap 13, Speed’s car stalled and was pushed to the garage area with oil leaking out from beneath. Michael McDowell’s #55 had gone behind the wall by that point, but returned to the track 8 laps down after Speed’s problems materialized. Speed came back out as well, but the car finally quit after 28 laps, after which McDowell also called it a day and ended up 42nd, denying him his 4th last-place finish of 2010.

Joe Nemechek, still the LASTCAR Sprint Cup leader, was involved in a mid-race incident with Bobby Labonte and finished 39th after transmission troubles ended his day. Defending LASTCAR Cup champion Dave Blaney’s ill-handling car failed to make the race for the 5th time in 2010.

The day before the race, Matt Carter finished last in the Zippo 200 Nationwide Series race while also driving the #82 (see the article below). As a result, this was the first time since 2006 that the same car number finished last at the same track on the same weekend in both Cup and Nationwide. On March 11, 2006, Joel Kauffman’s SuperCuts #12 finished last when the driveshaft failed 70 laps into the Nationwide Series’ Sam’s Town 300. The next day on March 12, Ryan Newman’s Alltel #12 crashed out 88 laps into the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.

*This is just the 7th time that the #82 had ever finished last in a Sprint Cup points race: it had not happened since June 27, 1970 when John Jennings’ 1969 Ford, owned by Mack Sellers, overheated 3 laps into the 1970 Greenville 200 at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway. The race had just 29 cars in the field. Three of the other five times the #82 finished last in the Cup Series came with Joe Eubanks from 1956-1959. The number had never before finished last at Watkins Glen.
*Team Red Bull had not finished last in a Cup race since A.J. Allmendinger’s #84 car finished under power, 65 laps down, in the 2008 Chevy Rock ‘n Roll 400 at Richmond.
*Speed’s 8th-place qualifying run is the best scored by a last-place finisher in Cup this season, besting Joe Nemechek’s 11th-place run at Richmond in May. It was the best qualifying run by a Cup last-place finisher since Dave Blaney started 4th in last summer’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol.
*Speed joins Johnny Sauter (Dover) as the only two first-time last-place finishers of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. Speed has never before finished last in the Nationwide Series, nor the Truck Series.

43) #82-Scott Speed / 28 laps / engine
42) #55-Michael McDowell / 35 laps / electrical
41) #07-P.J. Jones / 36 laps / fuel pump
40) #36-Ron Fellows / 46 laps / suspension
39) #87-Joe Nemechek / 54 laps / transmission

1st) Joe Nemechek (5)
2nd) Dave Blaney, Max Papis (4)
3rd) Michael McDowell (3)
4th) Aric Almirola (2)
5th) Robby Gordon, Johnny Sauter, Reed Sorenson, Scott Speed (1)

1st) #87-NEMCO Motorsports (5)
2nd) #13-Germain Racing, #66-PRISM Motorsports (4)
3rd) #55-PRISM Motorsports (3)
4th) #09-Phoenix Racing (2)
5th) #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports,#32-Braun Racing, #36-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #82-Team Red Bull (1)


Anonymous said...

Hey Brock,

How often does the same number finish last in two series in the same week?

Brock Beard said...

You know, that's a really good question, CRZ; I'm not entirely sure. I'm going to have to get back to you on that. :)

Brock Beard said...

I haven't found out the last time it's happened between all three series, but the last time it happened in Cup and Nationwide on the same weekend was Las Vegas 2006. I've just added a paragraph to the Scott Speed article laying out the details. Thanks again for the idea! --Brock, LASTCAR