Sunday, October 14, 2012

N’WIDE: Angela Cope’s Green-Flag Wreck Results In First Last-Place Finish

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin'
Angela Cope picked up the 1st last-place finish of her NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Friday night’s Dollar General 300 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when her #00 Highland Wealth Advisors / Highway 55 Toyota was involved in a single-car accident coming to the green flag, ending her race without completing any of the race’s 200 laps. The finish came in Cope’s seventh series start.

One of the twin nieces of 1990 Daytona 500 Champion and three-time LASTCAR Cup Series Champion Derrike Cope, Angela Cope was making her third Nationwide Series start of 2012 and her first since a 28th-place finish at Michigan in June. It was also the seventh start of 2012 for owner Jason Sciavicco’s #00 team, which accompanied the team’s #24 that has been driven for much of this year by Benny Gordon.

Cope timed her car in 35th at an average speed of 174.216 mph, ranking her tenth among the sixteen "go-or-go-homers" who attempted to qualify. At the start of the race, the tail end of the field fanned out three wide and Cope rear-ended one of the cars, rupturing her radiator. As she slowed to the apron, the caution flew, and she pulled her #00 behind the wall and out of the race.

This ended Charles Lewandoski’s streak of two consective last-place finishes in the TriStar Motorsports #10. Lewandoski fell out after the restart following Cope’s wreck and came home 42nd. Josh Wise was the lowest-finishing Chevrolet from The Motorsports Group, coming home 41st after he fell out two laps after Lewandoski.

*This is the first last-place finish for the #00 in Nationwide Series competition since 1991, when Richard Lasater’s C.L. Loven Oldsmobile lost the engine after four laps of the Spring 200 at Volusia County Speedway.
*This is the first last-place finish for the #00 in a Nationwide Series race at Charlotte since 1988, when Joe Millikan’s Thomas Brothers Country Hams Oldsmobile crashed after 3 laps of the All Pro 300 at Charlotte. The finish was also Millikan’s first in Nationwide Series competition.
*Cope is the first Nationwide Series driver to finish last without completing a lap since Stephen Leicht’s #47 The Motorsports Group Chevrolet had engine trouble at at Indianapolis, ten races ago.

In the production of this article, I discovered a mistake in my rankings. I did not credit Derrike Cope with his first career Nationwide Series last-place finish, which took place in the 1995 Gatorade 200 at Darlington. Originally, I had credited last place in that race to Buckshot Jones, who finished next-to-last, but Cope was listed as not having started the race. Because of this, Jones never finished last in Nationwide Series competition and Cope is now tied with Joe Nemechek for the second-most last-place finishes in NASCAR history at 36 apiece. All of the rankings have been corrected to reflect this change, but the past articles have not. I apologize for any confusion.

43) #00-Angela Cope / 0 laps / crash
42) #10-Charles Lewandoski / 12 laps / vibration
41) #42-Josh Wise / 14 laps / clutch
40) #75-Scott Riggs / 14 laps / suspension
39) #74-David Green / 16 laps / rear gear

1st) Jeff Green (12)
2nd) Mike Harmon, Kevin Lepage, Charles Lewandoski, Chase Miller (2)
3rd) Tim Andrews, Ryan Blaney, Angela Cope, Joey Gase, Stephen Leicht, Danica Patrick, Tony Raines, Scott Speed, Josh Wise (1)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (14)
2nd) #46-The Motorsports Group, #47-The Motorsports Group, #52-Means Racing, #74-Mike Harmon (2)
3rd) #7-JR Motorsports, #36-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #42-The Motorsports Group, #70-ML Motorsports, #91-TriStar Motorsports, #00-Jason Sciavicco, #08-Randy Hill Racing (1)

1st) Toyota (16)
2nd) Chevrolet (12)
3rd) Ford (1)

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