Johnny Chapman picked up the 14th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Great Clips 300 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #41 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet fell out with overheating problems after the first of the race’s 195 laps.
The finish was Chapman’s second of 2011 and his first since Nashville, 18 races ago, when he was driving Rick Ware’s unsponsored #75 Ford. Chapman’s run not only tied him with Dennis Setzer for the second-most last-place finishes in Nationwide Series history, but also ended Jeff Green’s record-breaking streak of four-consecutive last-place finishes.
Chapman qualified 25th at a speed of 171.976 mph, ranking him third among the “go-or-go-homers” behind Ryan Truex and Trevor Bayne. Jeff Green’s #44 timed in three spots behind Chapman in 28th. Both were more than fast enough to bump out of the field Brian Keselowski’s #47 and the #74 of Mike Harmon.
For the first time since Iowa last month, owner Rick Ware had four cars in the starting field with Chapman joined by Timmy Hill’s #15, Carl Long in the #75, and Clay Greenfield making his series debut in the #71. When the race started, Chapman and Long fell out in the first six laps, followed by Hill and Greenfield by Lap 94.
Jeff Green remained in the race until Lap 17, which put him 37th in the final running order.
*Rick Ware’s #41 scored its most recent last-place finish in the 2010 DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona, when Chrissy Wallace’s Fuel Doctor Chevrolet was involved in a crash on the opening lap.
*The #41 had never before finished last in a Nationwide Series race at Atlanta.
*A Nationwide Series driver has not finished last due to overheating problems since Kevin Conway fell out after two laps of this spring’s Las Vegas race, the 2011 Sam’s Town 300, 23 races ago.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #41-Johnny Chapman / 1 lap / overheating
42) #49-Mark Green / 4 laps / handling
41) #75-Carl Long / 6 laps / transmission
40) #46-Chase Miller / 6 laps / overheating
39) #42-Tim Andrews / 10 laps / suspension
LASTCAR N’WIDE SERIES DRIVER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Jeff Green (8)
2nd) Brett Rowe (3)
3rd) Kelly Bires, Johnny Chapman, Dennis Setzer (2)
4th) Matt Carter, Kevin Conway, Marc Davis, Mike Harmon, James Hylton, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Blake Koch, Justin Marks, Scott Wimmer (1)
LASTCAR N’WIDE SERIES OWNER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
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, #41-Rick Ware 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)
LASTCAR N’WIDE SERIES MANUFACTURER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (20)
2nd) Ford (5)
3rd) Dodge (1)