Tuesday, November 23, 2010

N’WIDE: Green, #36 Team Finish 2010 Season Two Last-Place Finishes Short of Both LASTCAR Titles After Edging Setzer Again at Homestead

Jeff Green picked up the 16th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Ford 300 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway when his unsponsored #36 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet fell out with a vibration after completing 2 of the race’s 200 laps.

The finish moves Green to within eight finishes of tying all-time Nationwide Series leader Jeff Fuller and ties Green for 9th in the all-time rankings with Todd Bodine, G.C. Spencer, and Darrell Waltrip.

Green fell just short of having to use his Past Champion’s Provisional in qualifying, putting up a 33rd-fastest speed of 166.328 mph that made him the second-slowest “go-or-go-home” driver to make the race. 43rd-place starter Brian Keselowski took the final starting spot in his the #92 campaigned by LASTCAR Nationwide Series Driver’s Champion Dennis Setzer. Setzer made the field as a late-week post-entry in Keselowski’s #96 and was just able to edge Green for the 32nd spot.

When the race began, four drivers fell out in the first 19 laps, beginning with Green just over two laps into the race. Setzer came in the next lap, followed three circuits later by Richmond and Road America last-placer Kevin Lepage in the #56 and, at the 19-lap mark, by Dover last-placer David Gilliland for D’Hont-Humphrey Motorsports.

Just one year after D’Hont-Humphrey dominated the LASTCAR Nationwide Series season under the MSRP Motorsports banner, coming within one finish of NEMCO Motorsports’ single-season record of 13 last-place finishes, both the #90 and #91 have only scored a single finish each. Now, the single-season record belongs to both NEMCO and K-Automotive Motorsports, whose #26, #92, and #96 combined to earn 13 last-place finishes of their own in 2010.

Despite the #36 team running just 14 races in 2010, and not starting their year until Gateway in July, both Green and the #36 still came within two finishes of tying 2010 LASTCAR Nationwide Champions Dennis Setzer and the #92 K-Automotive team. The #36 was instrumental in not only preventing K-Automotive from breaking NEMCO’s single-season owner’s record, but also in keeping Dennis Setzer one finish behind Jeff Fuller’s single-season driver’s record of 11 last-place finishes: all five of Setzer’s most recent 42nd-place finishes since Iowa in July came when the #36 finished last.

All told, when combining Mark Smith’s #36 and all three K-Automotive Motorsports teams, these two organizations racked up 22 of the season’s 35 last-place finishes, a rate of nearly two finishes by one of those teams for every three races.

*This marked the third straight Nationwide Series race where the last-place finisher fell out because of a vibration. The only other time a vibration sent the first car behind the wall this season was back in February, when Dennis Setzer’s #96 scored driver and team’s first last-place finish of the season back at the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas.
*Neither Green nor the #36 had ever before finished last in a Nationwide Series race at Homestead.

*Just three last-place finishers in the entire 2010 Nationwide Series season completed more than nine laps: Danny O’Quinn, Jr. at Nashville in April (33 laps), Michael Annett at Talladega (20), and Dennis Setzer at Darlington (11). Omitting these three races, a Nationwide last-placer has completed an average of just 3.16 laps. Even when all 35 are included, Nationwide last-placers have completed just 154 of the 6489 laps run this season, roughly 2.4% of the season total.

43) #36-Jeff Green / 2 laps / vibration
42) #96-Dennis Setzer / 3 laps / brakes
41) #56-Kevin Lepage / 6 laps / rear gear
40) #91-David Gilliland / 19 laps / vibration
39) #04-Jeremy Clements / 22 laps / crash

1st) Dennis Setzer (10)
2nd) Jeff Green (8)
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)

1st) #92-K-Automotive Motorsports (11)
2nd) #36-Mark Smith (9)
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)

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