With the finish, Yeley became the first driver in the history of NASCAR to score at least one last-place finish in each of its top three divisions in the same season. This season, prior to Saturday, he had one last-place finish in the Nationwide Series and five in Cup.
Yeley was driving for Turn One Racing, a team owned by series veteran Stacy Compton. In its first full year of competition, Turn One began the year with two trucks: Cole Whitt’s #60 and the #66, which began the year with sports car and ARCA competitor Justin Marks. Marks competed with the team for the opening twelve races, scoring a pole at Dover and a season-best finish of 9th at Charlotte.
Marks and primary sponsorship from GoPro left the #66 team after Nashville. Although the team has made all twelve races run since the split, and Ross Chastain put up a 10th-place finish at Indianapolis, the team has finished no better than 19th with five different drivers. Yeley became the fourth different driver at Chicago, where he finished 30th.
Last week at Talladega, Yeley timed in 33rd at a speed of 167.556 mph, relying on the #66 team’s owner points to beat the four “go-or-go-homers” that went home. Just as in his two previous starts for Turn One, the truck lacked sponsorship, and Yeley pulled it behind the wall after Lap 1. The next day, Yeley finished 42nd in the Cup race, parking Front Row’s #55 after three laps.
Teammate Cole Whitt finished 14th in the #60, extending a streak of five consecutive top-15 finishes in the Truck Series.
*The #66 had not finished last in a Truck Series race since 2005, when Todd Bodine’s BowTech Archery / Sportcoins.com Toyota was involved in a crash with Ken Weaver after completing three laps of the 2005 American Racing Wheels 200 at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. Thus, the number had also never finished last in a Truck Series race at Talladega since the series arrived there in 2006.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
36) #66-J.J. Yeley / 1 lap / transmission
35) #99-Patrick Sheltra / 14 laps / crash
34) #1-Jeffery Earnhardt / 15 laps / crash
33) #07-Butch Miller / 19 laps / rear gear
32) #16-Donnie Neuenberger / 25 laps / crash
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES DRIVER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
With three races to go in the 2011 season, Mike Garvey can lock up his second-consecutive LASTCAR Camping World Series championship if Norm Benning, Chris Lafferty, and Brent Raymer do not finish last in the final three races of the season, starting this Sunday at Martinsville. If Garvey ties one of these drivers with four finishes apiece, he will still claim the title by virtue of his 15 bottom-five finishes while Benning, Lafferty, and Raymer only have three apiece.
1st) Mike Garvey (4)
2nd) Norm Benning, Chris Lafferty, Brent Raymer (2)
3rd) Johnny Borneman III, James Buescher, Chris Jones, Mike Harmon, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Travis Kvapil, Johanna Long, Scott Riggs, Greg Seevers, Dennis Setzer, Brad Sweet, J.J. Yeley (1)
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES OWNER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Similarly, the #38 team can lock up the Owner’s Title if the trucks of the #10, #57, and #75 team fail to finish last in the final three races. The #38 team has 13 bottom-five finishes in 2011 compared to the #10's five, the #57's three, and the #75's six.
1st) #38-Shane Sieg (4)
2nd) #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #57-Norm Benning Racing, #75-Norm Benning Racing (2)
3rd) #5-Randy Moss, #20-Panhandle Motorsports, #27-Shane Sieg, #31-Turner Motorsports, #32-Turner Motorsports, #65-Joey Sonntag, #66-Turn One Racing, #74-Mike Harmon, #87-Rick Jones, #89-Chris Lafferty, #93-Shane Sieg, #07-SS Green Light Racing (1)
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES MANUFACTURER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (17)
2nd) Toyota (3)
3rd) Ford (2)