Sunday, July 24, 2011

N’WIDE: Marc Davis Scores First NASCAR Last-Place Finish In Nationwide Series Return

Marc Davis picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway when his unsponsored #03 R3 Motorsports Chevrolet fell out with alternator problems after completing the first of the race’s 225 laps. The finish came in Davis’ 10th series start.

Davis, a former development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, was tabbed to be the driver of R3 Motorsports’ part-time “start-and-park” team for the Nashville event. The #03 team Davis joined had competed in five previous races in 2011 with four different drivers, most recently at Kentucky, where Scott Riggs came home 36th. Ironically, Riggs also gave R3 its best finish of the season driving the team’s primary car, #23, at Darlington, where he came home 13th.

Nashville would see the #23 continue its streak of making every Nationwide Series race this season, this time with its fifth different driver, defending LASTCAR Nationwide Series leader Dennis Setzer. Setzer had difficulty finding speed in qualifying and had to rely on Owner Points to make the field in the 41st spot. Davis’ #03 timed in two spots ahead of Setzer in 39th at a speed of 148.971 mph, more than enough to bump three-time 2011 last-placer Brett Rowe out of the field in Key Motorsports’ #46.

Saturday’s race was not only Davis’ first start of the 2011 campaign, but his first NASCAR start since driving R3's primary #23 to a 23rd-place finish at Dover last September. Unfortunately, he did not get to enjoy his return for long as he pulled behind the wall after the opening lap. Teammate Setzer came home 34th, felled by a vibration after just 28 laps.

43) #03-Marc Davis / 1 lap / alternator
42) #04-Danny O’Quinn, Jr. / 3 laps / brakes
41) #47-Charles Lewandoski / 6 laps / brakes
40) #49-Mark Green / 7 laps / handling
39) #42-Tim Andrews / 8 laps / transmission

*The #03 had not finished last in a Nationwide Series race since 2005, when David Gilliland’s Rich’s Motorsports / HYPE Chevrolet lost its engine 12 laps into the 2005 Arizona 200 presented by “Walk the Line” at Phoenix. Gilliland was making his series debut with owner Clay Andrews that day, the owner he took to victory lane in a stunning upset at Kentucky the following year.
*This was the first time in NASCAR Nationwide Series history that a driver finished last due to alternator problems.
*This was the first-ever last-place finish for owner Robert Richardson, Sr. and R3 Motorsports. The R3 team’s best-ever finish in the series remains road course specialist Jean Francois Dumoulin’s lone series start at Montreal in 2009, where he came home 7th.

1st) Jeff Green (4)
2nd) Brett Rowe (3)
3rd) Kelly Bires, Dennis Setzer (2)
4th) Matt Carter, Johnny Chapman, Kevin Conway, Marc Davis, Mike Harmon, James Hylton, Blake Koch, Justin Marks, Scott Wimmer (1)

1st) #44-TriStar Motorsports (4)
2nd) #55-Faith Motorsports (3)
3rd) #25-Ed Rensi, #49-Jay Robinson Racing (2)
4th) #0-JD Motorsports, #27-Baker Curb Racing, #47-Key Motorsports, #68-Fleur-De-Lis Motorsports, #74-Mike Harmon, #75-Rick Ware Racing, #82-MacDonald Motorsports, #87-NEMCO Motorsports, #03-R3 Motorsports (1)

1st) Chevrolet (15)
2nd) Ford (4)
3rd) Dodge (1)

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