Monday, November 8, 2010
N’WIDE: 2010 Champion Setzer And K-Automotive Near 2004 Records After Green Fails To Qualify 2nd-Ranked #36 at Texas
Dennis Setzer picked up the 12th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #92 K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge fell out with a vibration after completing 3 of the race’s 205 laps.
The finish moved Setzer into a four-way tie for 4th in the all-time Nationwide Series standings, tying Johnny Chapman, Tommy Houston, and Brad Teague. Only Jeff Fuller, Jeff Green, and Ed Berrier have more.
Setzer qualified 15th at a speed of 187.396 mph, but was just the fifth-fastest “go-or-go-home” driver in a very competitive qualifying session for the underfunded teams. Fastest of the group was James Buescher’s #30, who rocketed to the pole in his first Nationwide Series start for Turner Motorsports, followed by David Gilliland’s 8th-place run in D’Hont-Humphrey Motorsports’ #91. Eight teams failed to qualify, including the 2nd-ranked LASTCAR duo of Jeff Green and Mark Smith’s #36, back together for the first time since Charlotte last month, and Gilliland’s teammate Danny O’Quinn, Jr. in D’Hont-Humphrey’s #90.
When the race itself unfolded, however, Setzer’s unsponsored ride was still the first to call it quits, earning the team its first last-place finish since the Kroger 200 at ORP, 13 races ago. Also among the bottom five was Gilliland, forced to park his 8th-fastest car after just 20 laps, and two-time 2010 Truck Series last-placer Tim Andrews in Rick Russell’s #79. Buescher, the polesitter, struggled as well, crashing on lap 44 after he led the opening four circuits, leaving his #30 just outside the bottom five in a disappointing 37th.
This weekend at Phoenix, Setzer will again attempt to qualify K-Automotive’s #92, putting both driver and team in contention to beat two all-time LASTCAR Nationwide Series single-season records before the year is out:
N’WIDE STATS AND FACTS
*Setzer’s 10 last-place finishes in 2010 is just one finish shy of tying the record for the most by a single driver in any of NASCAR’s top three divisions, the mark of 11 finishes set by all-time LASTCAR Nationwide leader Jeff Fuller in 2004.
*K-Automotive Motorsports (#26, #92, #96) now has a combined 13 last-place finishes in 2010, tying NEMCO Motorsports’ all-time Nationwide Series single-season record amassed between Fuller and Joe Nemechek in 2004 (#7, #87, #88). All 10 of Setzer’s finishes came with the team while Johnny Chapman, Parker Kligerman, and owner Brian Keselowski each scored one apiece.
*The #92 swept both last-place finishes at Texas in 2010, the first track it has swept this season. Looking ahead, Setzer finished last at Phoenix in the spring and could potentially sweep there as well when the series returns there next week.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #92-Dennis Setzer / 3 laps / vibration
42) #52-Kevin Lepage / 12 laps / ignition
41) #07-Danny Efland / 12 laps / engine
40) #91-David Gilliland / 20 laps / electrical
39) #79-Tim Andrews / 31 laps / electrical
LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Dennis Setzer (10)
2nd) Jeff Green (6)
3rd) Mark Green, Kevin Lepage (2)
4th) Willie Allen, Michael Annett, Johnny Borneman III, Matt Carter, Johnny Chapman, David Gilliland, Kevin Hamlin, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brian Keselowski, Parker Kligerman, Justin Marks, Danny O'Quinn, Jr., Chrissy Wallace (1)
LASTCAR N’WIDE SERIES DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #92-K-Automotive Motorsports (11)
2nd) #36-Mark Smith (7)
3rd) #15-Germain Racing, #26-K-Automotive Motorsports, #27-Curb Motorsports, #41-Rick Ware, #43-Curb Motorsports, #49-Jay Robinson, Inc., #56-John McNelly, #70-Mary Louise Miller, #82-MacDonald Motorsports, #83-John Borneman, Jr., #90-D'Hont Humphrey Motorsports, #91-D'Hont Humphrey Motorsports, #96-K-Automotive Motorsports, #04-Johnny Davis Motorsports, #05-Wayne Day (1)