Saturday, August 27, 2011

N’WIDE: Jeff Green Becomes The First NASCAR Driver To Score Four Straight Last-Place Finishes

Jeff Green picked up the 24th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Friday’s Food City 250 at the Bristol Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #44 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet fell out with vibration problems after 4 of the race’s 250 laps.

With the finish, Green became the first driver in the history of any of NASCAR’s top three divisions to finish last in four consecutive NASCAR-sanctioned points-scoring races. The previous three finishes came at Iowa, Watkins Glen, and Montreal. Green, now tied with Jeff Fuller for the fourth-most last-place finishes in NASCAR history, is also now tied with Fuller for the most last-place finishes in NASCAR Nationwide Series history.

In Nationwide Series qualifying, Green secured the 43rd and final starting spot at a speed of 115.236 mph, good enough to bump out of the field the cars of Johnny Chapman, J.J. Yeley, John Jackson, T.J. Bell, Jennifer Jo Cobb, and Carl Long. Green also attempted to qualify Larry Gunselman’s #37 Ford for the Sprint Cup race, but spun in Turn 4 and backed into the wall during his first timed lap. Although he was able to turn around and valiantly went through his second lap, Green still missed the race along with J.J. Yeley and T.J. Bell.

That night in the Nationwide race, Green pulled behind the wall, followed two laps later by Brian Keselowski in Key Motorsports’ #47 Chevrolet.

*The race marked Jeff Green’s second-consecutive last-place finish in the Nationwide Series’ night race at Bristol. Last year, Green’s #36 Long John Silvers Chevrolet lost its brakes after four laps. Green was also the last-place finisher of this race in 1992, when his #16 31-W Insulation Chevrolet lost its engine after the opening lap.
*The #44 had not finished last at Bristol since this race in 2002, when Mike Harmon fell out with handling woes after two laps. As reported in an earlier article, Harmon was driving a backup car provided by Larry Gunselman following Harmon’s horrifying practice wreck into the unlocked crossover gate off Turn 2.

Five times in the history of NASCAR, a driver has finished last in three consecutive points-paying races, only to have fallen short in the fourth. All five of the following streaks took place in the Cup Series and Nationwide Series; a driver has yet to finish last in three consecutive Truck Series races.
(1) 2010 Sprint Cup Series
#13-Max Papis at Michigan, Sonoma, and Loudon
Next Race: Papis Finishes 42nd at Daytona; #66-Dave Blaney Finishes Last by 2 Laps
(2) 2010 Nationwide Series
#36-Jeff Green at Dover, Kansas, and Fontana
Next Race: Green’s team doesn’t enter race at Charlotte; #26-Parker Kligerman Finishes Last
(3) 2009 Sprint Cup Series
#66-Dave Blaney at Bristol, Atlanta, and Richmond
Next Race: Blaney Finishes 42nd at Loudon; #37-Tony Raines Finishes Last by 15 Laps
(4) 2009 Nationwide Series
#90-Johnny Chapman at Milwaukee, Loudon, and Daytona
Next Race: Chapman DNQs at Chicagoland; #49-Mark Green Finishes Last
(5) 2004 Nationwide Series
#88-Jeff Fuller at Rockingham, Las Vegas, and Darlington
Next Race: Fuller Finishes 37th at Bristol; #77-Donnie Neuenberger Finishes Last

43) #44-Jeff Green / 4 laps / vibration
42) #47-Brian Keselowski / 6 laps / brakes
41) #71-Matt Carter / 7 laps / brakes
40) #46-Chase Miller / 7 laps / brakes
39) #42-Tim Andrews / 11 laps / electrical

1st) Jeff Green (8)
2nd) Brett Rowe (3)
3rd) Kelly Bires, Dennis Setzer (2)
4th) Matt Carter, Johnny Chapman, Kevin Conway, Marc Davis, Mike Harmon, James Hylton, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Blake Koch, Justin Marks, Scott Wimmer (1)

1st) #44-TriStar Motorsports (8)
2nd) #55-Faith Motorsports (3)
3rd) #25-Ed Rensi, #49-Jay Robinson Racing (2)
4th) #0-JD Motorsports, #13-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #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 (19)
2nd) Ford (5)
3rd) Dodge (1)

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