Sunday, April 10, 2011

N’WIDE: Jeff Green Moves To 8th In All-Time LASTCAR Standings

Jeff Green picked up the 17th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at the Texas Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #44 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet fell out with a vibration after 2 of the race’s 200 laps.

Green now has 20 last-place finishes across all three of NASCAR’s top divisions, breaking a tie with Todd Bodine, G.C. Spencer, and Darrell Waltrip to rank him 8th all-time. In the Nationwide Series standings, Green remains seven finishes away from tying series leader Jeff Fuller’s mark of 24.

Earlier on Friday, Green qualified 32nd at a speed of 172.035 mph, besting six “go-or-go-homers,” including the #55 of Brett Rowe, the race’s only DNQ. This put Green into his fifth race of the 2011 season, again joining TriStar Motorsports teammates Mike Bliss in the #19 and Eric McClure in the #14. Green and the #44 did not enter the 40-car field at Phoenix in February.

Without sufficient sponsorship for all three cars, owner Mark Smith has again put Green’s #44 on “start-and-park” status, just as when Green drove the team’s #36 to eight last-place finishes in 2010. Thus, in his four previous starts this year, Green has never completed more than 41 laps, resulting in four finishes between 37th and 42nd.

In the Texas race, it first appeared that defending LASTCAR Nationwide Champion Dennis Setzer would score his first last-place finish of 2011. Setzer, driving owner Jay Robinson’s #49, was the first car to go behind the wall during the race’s opening stages. However, soon after Green, Carl Long, Matt Carter, J.J. Yeley (driving Fontana last-place finisher Mike Harmon’s #74), and Kevin Lepage fell out in consecutive laps starting on Lap 3, Setzer returned to the track and passed them all, ultimately falling out in 38th after he completed 13 laps. Only then did Green fall to 43rd.

TriStar teammates Bliss and McClure finished 19th and 31st, respectively.

*Green had not finished last in a Nationwide Series race since the 2010 season finale, the Ford 300 at Homestead, where his unsponsored #36 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet also fell out after two laps with a vibration.
*The #44 had not finished last in a Nationwide Series race since 2009, when Danny O’Quinn, Jr.’s Pete Szekeres-owned Dynamic Technology, Inc. Chevrolet fell out with electrical problems three laps into the 2009 Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas.

43) #44-Jeff Green / 2 laps / vibration
42) #75-Carl Long / 3 laps / handling
41) #68-Matt Carter / 4 laps / vibration
40) #74-J.J. Yeley / 5 laps / rear gear
39) #24-Kevin Lepage / 6 laps / power steering

None of the 2011's other Nationwide Series last-place finishers were entered into Friday’s race.
1st) Kelly Bires (2)
2nd) Kevin Conway, Jeff Green, Mike Harmon, Justin Marks (1)

1st) #25-Ed Rensi (2)
2nd) #27-Baker Curb Racing, #44-TriStar Motorsports, #74-Mike Harmon, #87-NEMCO Motorsports (1)

1st) Chevrolet, Ford (3)

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