Sunday, March 25, 2012

CUP: Brendan Gaughan’s Engine Failure Not Enough To Take #33 Team Out Of The Top 35

Brendan Gaughan picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Sunday’s rain-shortened Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California when his #33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet fell out with an engine failure after completing 1 of the race’s 129 laps.

The finish was Gaughan’s first of 2012 and his first in Cup since Phoenix in the fall of 2010, when he also fell out after the opening lap while driving for TRG Motorsports.

Despite resulting in owner Richard Childress’ first 43rd-place run since Jeff Burton lost his engine at Talladega in the fall of 2007, the #33 team lost five points to its competitors in the Top 35 battle and remains 35th, now just five points to the good. The team is thus locked into next week’s race at Martinsville, where Hermie Sadler will once again race at his home track.

Behind Gaughan, three Cup Series last-placers in 2012 remain outside the Top 35 - Josh Wise in the #26, Michael McDowell in the #98, and J.J. Yeley in the #49 - all within 27 points of the #33.

Joe Nemechek, still tied for 2nd in the all-time LASTCAR standings, suffered his first DNQ since Phoenix in the fall of 2010. Nemechek now looks towards making the show next Sunday at Martinsville, where he’s the race’s defending last-place finisher. His #87 currently stands 43rd in Owner Points, 40 points away from a guaranteed starting spot.

*The #33's most recent last-place finish in a Cup race was in 2001, when Joe Nemechek’s #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet suffered an overheating problem after 108 laps of the Food City 500 at Bristol. The number had never before finished last in a Cup race at Fontana.

43) #33-Brendan Gaughan / 1 lap / engine
42) #74-Reed Sorenson / 6 laps / vibration
41) #23-Scott Riggs / 17 laps / vibration
40) #19-Mike Bliss / 18 laps / transmission
39) #30-David Stremme / 36 laps / rear gear

1st) Brendan Gaughan, Michael McDowell, David Ragan, Josh Wise, J.J. Yeley (1)

1st) #26-Front Row Motorsports, #33-Richard Childress Racing, #34-Front Row Motorsports, #49-Robinson-Blakeney Racing, #98-Phil Parsons Racing (1)

1st) Ford (3)
2nd) Chevrolet, Toyota (1)


UnderdogFan89 said...

I think you are off by one on the owner's standings. When I look at it, the #33 is in 35th and the #83 of Cassill is 36th. Also, the #87 of Nemechek is 43rd. Is there something I'm adding, or is there someone you are missing?

Brock Beard said...

I was just about to double-check the statistics myself; I do believe you are right.

Brock Beard said...

You are correct; my apologies. My source inaccurately stated the #83 was in 35th, which threw everything off. The article has been edited to reflect the correct rankings.