Matt Frahm picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Wypall 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway
when his #39 TSP Powder Coating Ford was involved in an eight-car wreck on the opening lap of the race and was unable to continue. The finish came in Frahm’s third series start.
The 21-year-old Frahm, a competitior from the K&N East Series, has made all three of his Nationwide Series starts this season. He made his debut with the Go Green #39 team at Loudon in July, where he came home 26th. Later that month, he improved to a 25th-place run in the finale at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
The #39 Go Green Racing Team, owned by Archie St. Hillaire, has made every race in the 2011 Nationwide Series season with multiple drivers. In all, ten other drivers have shared the ride with Frahm: Josh Wise, Danny Efland, Matt Carter, Luis Martinez, Jr., Joey Gase, Fain Skinner, Charles Lewandoski, Casey Roderick, Danny O’Quinn, Jr., and Will Kimmel. Among that group, Josh Wise’s 13th-place run at Road America in June remains the team’s best performance of the year. Up until Sunday, Go Green Racing team had yet to finish last in a race this season.
Frahm qualified the #39 in the 32nd spot at a speed of 129.037 mph. Joining Frahm in Row 16 was teammate Tim Andrews, driving Go Green’s “start-and-park” #04.
When the green flag flew on race day, Frahm and Andrews were jockeying for position when Danica Patrick and Brian Scott collided in front of him, triggering a multi-car accident. Frahm, unable to avoid the initial wreck, suffered damage to the right-front of his car and was struck again by Scott on the apron. This blocked the lower lane for several cars that rear-ended each other as they stopped, including Andrews in the #04 and 2011 LASTCAR Nationwide Champion Jeff Green.
In the end, Green returned to the race to finish 34th while Frahm and Andrews were two of the four cars that failed to continue after the crash. Andrews was at first credited with the 43rd spot, but Frahm claimed the position by virtue of his lower starting spot. The #04 team has now finished 42nd in four races this year and has yet to score a 43rd of its own in 2011.
*The #39 had not finished last in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race since 2006, when Sam Hornish, Jr.’s Mobil 1 Dodge was involved in a single-car crash after 20 laps of the 2006 Ford 300 at Homestead. Curiously, it was Hornish who won Saturday’s race, picking up an emotional first-ever NASCAR victory in his sixth season of competition. He now enters Homestead five years after his 43rd-place run as the Nationwide series’ most recent winner.
*The #39 had never before finished last in a Nationwide race at Phoenix.
*Ford swept both Phoenix last-place finishes in Nationwide competition this season. Justin Marks, driving the unsponsored Baker Curb #27, finished last in February
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #39-Matt Frahm / 0 laps / crash
42) #04-Tim Andrews / 0 laps / crash
41) #11-Brian Scott / 0 laps / crash
40) #41-Johnny Chapman / 1 lap / crash
39) #71-Matt Carter / 2 laps / vibration
LASTCAR N’WIDE SERIES DRIVER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Although Frahm’s finish prevented Jeff Green from breaking Jeff Fuller’s single-season record, he can still tie Fuller’s record with a 43rd-place run in next Saturday’s Homestead finale.
1st) Jeff Green (10)
2nd) Brett Rowe (3)
3rd) Kelly Bires, Johnny Chapman, Dennis Setzer (2)
4th) T.J. Bell, Matt Carter, Kevin Conway, Marc Davis, Matt Frahm
, Mike Harmon, James Hylton, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brian Keselowski, Blake Koch, Justin Marks, Scott Speed, Scott Wimmer, J.J. Yeley (1)
LASTCAR N’WIDE SERIES OWNER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #44-TriStar Motorsports (10)
2nd) #47-Key Motorsports, #55-Faith Motorsports (3)
3rd) #25-Ed Rensi, #27-Baker Curb Racing, #49-Jay Robinson Racing (2)
4th) #0-JD Motorsports, #13-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #39-Go Green Racing
, #41-Rick Ware Racing, #50-Mark Beaver, #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 (25)
3rd) Dodge (1)