Sunday, May 22, 2011

N’WIDE: Rowe Scores First Last-Place Finish In Three Years At Iowa

Brett Rowe picked up the 3rd last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Sunday’s Iowa John Deere Dealers 250 at the Iowa Speedway when his #55 Imperial Bedding Company Chevrolet fell out with brake problems after 2 of the race’s 250 laps.

Rowe, 9th in the 2006 ARCA series championship with two Top 5s and six Top 10s, has been running part-time in the Nationwide Series since 2007. In 28 Nationwide Series starts, Rowe has a best career finish of 21st, where he finished on three occasions, most recently at Montreal in 2009. Sixteen of Rowe’s starts came with veteran owner Wayne Day, whose #05 Chevrolets are currently driven by David Starr and Willie Allen.

This year, Rowe was tabbed to drive a second car for another series veteran, 69-year-old Morgan Shepherd, owner-driver of Faith Motorsports. Running a #55 with longtime sponsor Imperial Bedding Company on his Chevrolets, Rowe has so far qualified for 6 of the 8 races his team has attempted. However, as a “start-and-park” team to fund Morgan Shepherd’s full-time ride (car #89), Rowe has so far completed no more than 12 laps in a race this season. His best finish came after those 12 laps at Las Vegas, where he came home 36th. Shepherd’s best finish also came in that race, where he finished four laps down in 18th.

At Iowa, rain washed out qualifying for Sunday’s race, so all 43 cars on the entry list made the field, including Rowe and Shepherd. Rowe would line up 36th while Shepherd, making his 300th series start, started 31st. Two laps into the race, Rowe pulled behind the wall, earning his first last-place finish of the season. Shepherd went on to finish 20th, his second-best finish of the year. Shepherd has competed in all but four seasons in the 28-year history of the Nationwide Series.

*Rowe had not finished last in a Nationwide Series race since 2008, when his #05 CertainTeed / 31-W Insulation Chevrolet lost the engine and crashed nine laps into the 2008 Pepsi 300 at Nashville.
*The #55 has not finished last in a Nationwide Series race since 2008, when Scott Gaylord’s Bennett Classics Museum Ford lost the engine two laps into the 2008 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix.
*Faith Motorsports has also not finished last in a Nationwide Series race since 2008, when owner Morgan Shepherd’s ignition failed on the #89 Victory in Jesus Racing Dodge without completing a lap of the 2008 Meijer 300 at Kentucky.

43) #55-Brett Rowe / 2 laps / brakes
42) #0-Tim Schendel / 5 laps / electrical
41) #40-Charles Lewandoski / 5 laps / brakes
40) #68-Chase Miller / 6 laps / overheating
39) #46-Tim Andrews / 7 laps / transmission

1st) Kelly Bires, Jeff Green (2)
2nd) Matt Carter, Johnny Chapman, Kevin Conway, Mike Harmon, James Hylton, Blake Koch, Justin Marks, Brett Rowe (1)

1st) #25-Ed Rensi, #44-TriStar Motorsports (2)
2nd) #0-JD Motorsports, #27-Baker Curb Racing, #55-Faith Motorsports, #68-Fleur-De-Lis Motorsports, #74-Mike Harmon, #75-Rick Ware Racing, #82-MacDonald Motorsports, #87-NEMCO Motorsports (1)

1st) Chevrolet (7)
2nd) Ford (4)
3rd) Dodge (1)

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