Sunday, February 20, 2011

N’WIDE: Bires' Overheating Ford Produces First Career Last-Place Finish

Kelly Bires picked up the last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s DRIVE4COPD 300 at the Daytona International Speedway when his #25 Ford fell out with overheating problems after completing 5 of the race’s 120 laps. The finish came in Bires’ 79th series start. Bires currently has no other last-place finishes in either of the other two top NASCAR divisions.

Bires qualified Ed Rensi’s Ford 32nd in the 43-car field at a speed of 177.267 mph, beating six other “go-or-go-homers,” including Brett Rowe and Jennifer Jo Cobb, who failed to qualify. However, on race day, Bires was the first driver to pull behind the pit wall during the opening green-flag stretch. The Bottom Five-finishing drivers all completed 26 or fewer laps with two of them taken out in accidents.

*The #25 had not finished last in a Nationwide Series race since 2005, when Ashton Lewis’ U.S. Marines Ford crashed out of the 2005 Ford 300 at Homestead after completing 39 laps. The number had never before finished last in a Nationwide Series race at Daytona.
*A Nationwide Series driver had not finished last due to overheating problems since 2009, when Chris Cook’s #47 Toyota fell out after the opening lap of the 2009 Able Body Labor 200 at Phoenix.
*This marked the third-straight year that a Nationwide Series driver scored his first career last-place finish in the Daytona opener. Scott Lagasse, Jr. was the last-place finisher in 2009 and Chrissy Wallace scored her first in 2010.

43) #25-Kelly Bires / 5 laps / overheating
42) #27-J.R. Fitzpatrick / 10 laps / crash
41) #24-Kevin Lepage / 12 laps / vibration
40) #44-Jeff Green / 18 laps / rear gear
39) #62-Michael Annett / 26 laps / crash

Defending LASTCAR Nationwide Series Driver’s Champion Dennis Setzer did not enter Saturday’s race. Setzer has yet to make a start in any of the races run in the new-bodied car the series introduced last July at Daytona.
1st) Kelly Bires (1)

Defending LASTCAR Nationwide Owner’s Champions K-Automotive Motorsports did not enter a car in Saturday’s race, choosing instead to focus on getting Brian Keselowski into the Daytona 500. The effort paid off with interest for the small team as Brian raced K-Automotive’s unsponsored #92 into the Daytona 500 with a stirring 5th-place run in Race 2 of the Gatorade Duels. Mark Smith, who came close to challenging K-Automotive for the Owner’s Title in 2010, fielded two cars in Saturday’s race. Eric McClure finished 33rd in the team’s #14 while Jeff Green, runner-up in last year’s Driver’s Championship, finished 40th in car #44.
1st) #25-Ed Rensi (1)

1st) Ford (1)

No comments: