Sunday, October 28, 2012

CUP: Sorenson Scores Rare Last-Place Sweep For Two Different Teams; Moves Into Tie For Second in 2012 LASTCAR Cup Standings

SOURCE: Rob Dostie
Reed Sorenson picked up the 9th last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 at the Martinsville Speedway when his #91 Plinker Tactical Chevrolet fell out with overheating problems after he completed 19 of the race’s 500 laps.

The finish was Sorenson’s fourth of 2012 and his first since Dover, four races ago. He now stands tied for second with Josh Wise in the 2012 LASTCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship with just three races left for both to catch defending LASTCAR Champion Michael McDowell, who still holds a one-finish lead over both Wise and Sorenson.

The Martinsville race also mathematically eliminated every driver from LASTCAR competition except those eight drivers with two or more finishes, who can either take the lead or at least force a tiebreaker - McDowell, Sorenson, Wise, Scott Riggs, Scott Speed, Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek, and J.J. Yeley. As of this writing, all eight drivers still have Cup Series rides, although Speed only runs part-time.

Sorenson qualified 39th for Sunday’s race at an average speed of 95.574 mph, ranking him fifth among the ten "go-or-go-homers" who attempted to qualify. Missing the race were Mike Bliss in Humphrey-Smith’s #19 and J.J. Yeley in the MaxQ #37, both two-time last-placers in 2012. Then-leaders Michael McDowell and Josh Wise were the fastest of this group, scoring the 21st and 31st spots, respectively. Three-time last-placer Scott Riggs, returning to the #23 for the first time since a DNQ at Charlotte, timed in 36th for his 200th Cup Series start. Scott Speed rolled off 43rd in the #95.

During the opening 45-lap green-flag run, Sorenson was the first car to go behind the wall followed three laps later by Riggs. Nemechek and David Stremme fell out within the next fifteen laps, with Stremme bringing out the first caution after a crash on Lap 46. McDowell also edged Wise for the final slot in the Bottom Five by 24 laps with Speed falling out 31 laps after Wise.

Also falling from LASTCAR contention this week was Robinson-Blakeney Racing, also known as America-Israel Racing. The team, which scored a pair of last-place runs at Las Vegas and New Hampshire, campaigned its #49 Toyotas for the first part of this season. The team went up for auction earlier this week.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*Sorenson is the first driver to sweep both last-place finishes at Martinsville since 1994, when Jeff Burton, that season’s Rookie of the Year, pulled off the feat while driving the Stavola Brothers’ #8 Raybestos Ford.
*Sorenson not only swept both last-place finishes at Martinsville in 2012, but did so for two different teams. His run in the spring came while driving Turn One Racing’s #74. The last driver to do this at Martinsville was Morgan Shepherd in 1983. That year, Shepherd trailed the field in the spring race driving Emanuel Zervakis’ #01 Buick, then finished last in the fall in J.D. Stacy’s ACM Equipment Sales #2 Buick. The last driver to ever do sweep a track with two different teams was David Green at Charlotte in 1998. Early crashes took out both Green’s #96 Caterpillar Chevrolet owned by Buz McCall in the Coca-Cola 600 and his #41 Kodiak Chevrolet owned by Larry Hedrick in the UAW-GM Quality 500.
*This was the first time the #91 finished last in a Cup Series race at Martinsville.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #91-Reed Sorenson / 19 laps / overheating
42) #23-Scott Riggs / 22 laps / overheating
41) #87-Joe Nemechek / 35 laps / brakes
40) #30-David Stremme / 46 laps / crash
39) #98-Michael McDowell / 61 laps / brakes

LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Michael McDowell (5)
2nd) Reed Sorenson, Josh Wise (4)
3rd) Scott Riggs, Scott Speed (3)
4th) Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek, J.J. Yeley (2)
5th) Trevor Bayne, Kelly Bires, Dave Blaney, Landon Cassill, Brendan Gaughan, Jason Leffler, David Ragan, Brian Vickers (1)

LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #98-Phil Parsons Racing (5)
2nd) #26-Front Row Motorsports (4)
3rd) #19-Humphrey-Smith Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports, #91-Humphrey-Smith Racing (3)
4th) #49-Robinson-Blakeney Racing, #79-Go Green Racing, #87-NEMCO Motorsports, #95-Leavine Family Racing (2)
5th) #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #33-Richard Childress Racing, #34-Front Row Motorsports, #36-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #55-Michael Waltrip Racing, #74-Turn One Racing, #83-BK Racing (1)

LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (16)
2nd) Toyota (9)
3rd) Chevrolet (8)

TRUCKS: Fontaine Finishes Last For The First Time In More Than Three Years

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin'
Chris Fontaine picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Saturday’s Kroger 200 at the Martinsville Speedway when his #84 Stingray Chevrolet Glenden Enterprises Chevrolet fell out with clutch problems after he completed 5 of the race’s 200 laps.

The finish was Fontaine’s first of the 2012 season and his first in Truck Series competition in three years, dating back to the 2009 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. There, he and Dwayne Gaulding teammate Donnie Neuenberger finished in the final two spots, Fontaine’s #22 Red Rocks CafĂ© Dodge beating Neunberger’s Stock Car Steel #21 by two laps.

Fontaine was making his in the fourteenth start of this, his eighth season of Truck Series competition, running his own #84 he has campaigned in most of his 45 career starts to date. At Daytona in February, Fontaine scored a career-best 7th-place finish driving a Toyota he has only campaigned in the restrictor plate races. Martinsville would see him return to Chevrolet, and he qualified 34th in the 36-truck field, relying on owner points after a lap of 91.918 mph.

In the race itself, Fontaine was the first truck behind the wall, edging the Eddie Sharp Racing entry of Cale Gale, felled by transmission trouble, by two laps.

Among the five drivers who did not qualify for Saturday’s race was 2012 LASTCAR Truck Series leader Dennis Setzer and his #38. With Martinville being the first of the final four races of the season, this gave championship runner-up Clay Greenfield a chance to capitalize as fellow second-place drivers Johnny Chapman and Brandon Knupp were not entered in the race. However, Greenfield came home 25th, an Setzer retains his one-finish lead with now only three races to go.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This was the first last-place finish for the #84 in Truck Series competition since 1998, when Randy Renfrow’s #84 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford lost the engine 28 laps into the season-ending Sam’s Town 250 at Las Vegas. The only other time the number finished last in Truck Series competition was earlier in the 1998 season, when Wayne Anderson, the previous driver of the Porter-Cable Ford, crashed eight laps into the Stevens Bell / Genuine Car Parts 200 at New Jersey’s old Flemington Speedway.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
36) #84-Chris Fontaine / 5 laps / clutch
35) #33-Cale Gale / 7 laps / transmission
34) #35-Matt Merrell / 35 laps / transmission
33) #9-Ron Hornaday, Jr. / 136 laps / oil pressure
32) #27-Ryan Truex / 158 laps / transmission

LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Dennis Setzer (3)
2nd) Johnny Chapman, Clay Greenfield, Brandon Knupp (2)
3rd) T.J. Bell, Jeb Burton, Rick Crawford, Grant Enfinger, Chris Fontaine, Blake Koch, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Jason Leffler, Brennan Newberry, Scott Riggs (1)

LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #38-RSS Racing (3)
2nd) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #27-Hillman Racing (2)
3rd) #5-Wauters Motorsports, #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #14-Bob Newberry, #18-Kyle Busch Motorsports, #25-Hillman Racing, #60-Turn One Racing, #68-Clay Greenfield Motorsports, #84-Chris Fontaine, #86-Clay Greenfield Motorsports, #74-Mike Harmon, #00-Rick Lind, #07-Ken Smith (1)

LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (11)
2nd) Dodge, Ford (3)
3rd) Toyota (2)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

CUP: McDowell Takes 2012 LASTCAR Cup Lead, Moves To Fifth In Series Standings

SOURCE: motorsport.com
Michael McDowell picked up the 19th last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at the Kansas Speedway when his #98 K-Love / Curb Records Ford fell out with a vibration after he completed 6 of the race’s 267 laps.

The finish was McDowell’s fifth of the 2012 season since Chicagoland, five races ago. He now has sole possession of the 2012 LASTCAR Sprint Cup Championship, breaking a tie with Josh Wise, who did not qualify for Sunday’s race. McDowell is now tied with G.C. Spencer for the fifth-most last-place finishes in Sprint Cup history and is tied with three other drivers for ninth-most all-time.

McDowell qualified 23rd at an average speed of 189.261 mph, making him the fastest of the eleven "go-or-go-homers" who attempted to make the field. In the race itself, Humphrey-Smith Motorsports teammates Mike Bliss and Reed Sorenson exchanged 43rd until McDowell fell out during the opening green-flag run. J.J. Yeley finished 42nd, missing his second-straight last-place finish in this race by four laps.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This was the first time both McDowell and the #98 had ever finished last in a Cup Series race at Kansas.
*It was also the first time a Cup Series last-place finisher at Kansas fell out because of a vibration.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #98-Michael McDowell / 7 laps / vibration
42) #37-J.J. Yeley / 11 laps / vibration
41) #91-Reed Sorenson / 18 laps / overheating
40) #87-Joe Nemechek / 22 laps / rear gear
39) #36-Dave Blaney / 25 laps / brakes

LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Michael McDowell (5)
2nd) Josh Wise (4)
3rd) Scott Riggs, Reed Sorenson, Scott Speed (3)
4th) Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek, J.J. Yeley (2)
5th) Trevor Bayne, Kelly Bires, Dave Blaney, Landon Cassill, Brendan Gaughan, Jason Leffler, David Ragan, Brian Vickers (1)

LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #98-Phil Parsons Racing (5)
2nd) #26-Front Row Motorsports (4)
3rd) #19-Humphrey-Smith Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports (3)
4th) #49-Robinson-Blakeney Racing, #79-Go Green Racing, #87-NEMCO Motorsports, #95-Leavine Family Racing, #91-Humphrey-Smith Racing (2)
5th) #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #33-Richard Childress Racing, #34-Front Row Motorsports, #36-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #55-Michael Waltrip Racing, #74-Turn One Racing, #83-BK Racing (1)

LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (16)
2nd) Toyota (9)
3rd) Chevrolet (7)

N’WIDE: Miller Edges Green For Kansas Last-Place Finish

SOURCE: NASCAR Media
Chase Miller picked up the 4th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at the Kansas Speedway when his unsponsored #46 The Motorsports Group Chevrolet fell out with ignition problems after he completed 4 of the race’s 206 laps.

The finish was Miller’s third of the 2012 season and his first since Bristol, seven races ago. He now holds sole possession of second in the 2012 LASTCAR Nationwide Series standings.

Miller qualified 20th for the race at an average speed of 177.003 mph. Miller’s The Motorsports Group teammates J.J. Yeley (#47) and Erik Darnell (#40) qualified 28th and 40th, respectively, while Josh Wise was unable to get the #42 into the field.

Miller fell out on the same lap as 2012 LASTCAR Nationwide Series Champion Jeff Green, who returned to TriStar’s #10 while Hal Martin raced the team’s #44. Green ended up 42nd.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This was the first time an ignition problem was the listed cause for a Kansas Nationwide Series last-placer since 2007, when Kertus Davis’ #01 RaceGirl Chevrolet fell out after 17 laps of the Yellow Transportation 300.
*This was Miller’s and the #46's first last-place finish in a Nationwide Series race at Kansas.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #46-Chase Miller / 4 laps / ignition
42) #10-Jeff Green / 4 laps / vibration
41) #74-Mike Harmon / 8 laps / rear gear
40) #47-J.J. Yeley / 9 laps / vibration
39) #23-Robert Richardson / 14 laps / clutch

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Jeff Green (12)
2nd) Chase Miller (3)
3rd) Mike Harmon, Kevin Lepage, Charles Lewandoski (2)
4th) Tim Andrews, Ryan Blaney, Angela Cope, Joey Gase, Stephen Leicht, Danica Patrick, Tony Raines, Scott Speed, Josh Wise (1)

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (14)
2nd) #46-The Motorsports Group (3)
3rd) #47-The Motorsports Group, #52-Means Racing, #74-Mike Harmon (2)
4th) #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)

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (16)
2nd) Chevrolet (13)
3rd) Ford (1)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

CUP: Dave Blaney’s First Last-Place Finish Of 2012 Settles Two Tiebreakers

SOURCE: Brock Beard
Dave Blaney picked up the 20th last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Saturday’s Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet fell out of the race with transmission problems after he completed 25 of the race’s 334 laps.

The finish was Blaney’s first of the 2012 season and his first in a Cup Series race since Atlanta last September, 43 races ago. Blaney is now in sole possession of the fourth-most last-place finishes in Cup Series history, breaking a tie with owner-driver G.C. Spencer. Blaney also now has thirty finishes across NASCAR’s top three divisions, breaking a tie for fifth all-time with Jeff Fuller.

One year after turning in several sterling performances for Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR), Blaney has endured a largely thankless 2012. With TBR running a second car this season to keep Danica Patrick’s part-time #10 inside the Top 35 in Owner Points, Blaney was once again stripped of his Owner Points and forced to start from scratch. Despite this, Blaney extended the #36 team’s streak of making four consecutive Daytona 500s by virtue of a high finish in the Gatorade Duels. This year, Blaney finished 15th after leading when the race nearly ended early due to Juan Pablo Montoya’s freak crash with a jet dryer in turn three.

Since then, Blaney has finished no better than 22nd, and for many of those races has parked early to help the team collect funds. The team has run much of the second half of the season without primary sponsorship except for the restrictor-plate races where returning sponsor Golden Corral returned with its now-famous Top 10 Kids Eat Free campaign. Last month at Dover, Blaney also traded rides with J.J. Yeley, whose MaxQ Motorsports #37 team shares a technical alliance with TBR. Last Sunday, Blaney’s Golden Corral Chevrolet was in the lead draft in the final corner at Talladega, but became one of the eight drivers who were unable to reach the finish line because of the tremendous pileup that ensued.

At Charlotte, Blaney again raced a flat white Chevrolet into the field, securing the 42nd starting spot at an average speed of 186.823 mph. The #36 has yet to miss a race so far in 2012, thanks in no small part to Blaney’s efforts that have lifted the team back into 35th in Owner Points.

In the race itself, early incidents shuffled to 43rd both Matt Kenseth, involved in a Lap 12 spin, and David Ragan, damaged in an altercation on the ensuing restart. However, it was Blaney who was the first to pull behind the wall, followed five laps later by Yeley in the TBR-partnered #37. Reed Sorenson in the #91 Humphrey-Smith Motorsports-owned entry obtained sponsorship from Aquaria USA, but was forced to change engines before the race. The #91 then pulled out early as well, coming home 41st.

With five races remaining, the battle for the 2012 LASTCAR Cup Series Championship remained a dead heat. Josh Wise was among the four drivers who did not qualify for the race, while Michael McDowell obtained full funding from K-LOVE for the second straight race and came home 31st.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This was the first last-place finish for the #36 in a Cup Series race since 2010, when J.J. Yeley’s Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet fell out with ignition problems after 73 laps of this same event, the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte. That spring, in the Coca-Cola 600, was Dave Blaney’s most recent last-place finish in a Cup Series race at Charlotte, which came after his #66 PRISM Motorsports Toyota lost the transmission after 25 laps.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #36-Dave Blaney / 25 laps / transmission
42) #37-J.J. Yeley / 30 laps / brakes
41) #91-Reed Sorenson / 32 laps / vibration
40) #95-Scott Speed / 50 laps / vibration
39) #19-Mike Bliss / 53 laps / rear gear

LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Michael McDowell, Josh Wise (4)
2nd) Scott Riggs, Reed Sorenson, Scott Speed (3)
3rd) Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek, J.J. Yeley (2)
4th) Trevor Bayne, Kelly Bires, Dave Blaney, Landon Cassill, Brendan Gaughan, Jason Leffler, David Ragan, Brian Vickers (1)

LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #26-Front Row Motorsports, #98-Phil Parsons Racing (4)
2nd) #19-Humphrey-Smith Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports (3)
3rd) #49-Robinson-Blakeney Racing, #79-Go Green Racing, #87-NEMCO Motorsports, #95-Leavine Family Racing, #91-Humphrey-Smith Racing (2)
4th) #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #33-Richard Childress Racing, #34-Front Row Motorsports, #36-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #55-Michael Waltrip Racing, #74-Turn One Racing, #83-BK Racing (1)

LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (15)
2nd) Toyota (9)
3rd) Chevrolet (7)

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.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*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.

LASTCAR STATISTICAL CORRECTION
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.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
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

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
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)

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
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)

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (16)
2nd) Chevrolet (12)
3rd) Ford (1)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

CUP: Wise Ties McDowell For 2012 LASTCAR Cup Series Lead

SOURCE: TheHotLap.com
Josh Wise picked up the 4th last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway when his #26 MDS Transport Ford fell out with overheating problems after he completed 5 of the race’s 189 laps.

The finish was Wise’s fourth of the 2012 season, his first since the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, sixteen races ago. He is now tied with Michael McDowell for the 2012 LASTCAR Cup Series Championship lead, and, with six races to go, he is tied with McDowell with 14 bottom-five finishes apiece. If the season ended at this race, the title would be decided by bottom-ten finishes, which Wise narrowly leads 25-23.

Wise qualified 33rd for Sunday’s race at an average speed of 188.649 mph, ranking him third among the "go-or-go-homers" behind Trevor Bayne and David Stremme. The race began with two NEMCO Motorsports cars trailing the field, driven by Joe Nemechek and Timmy Hill, the latter making his first Cup start since Las Vegas.

Five laps into the race, Wise’s car was the first behind the wall, followed by the two NEMCO Motorsports cars. Timmy Hill’s 42nd-place finish occurred three laps short of giving the #97 its fourth last-place finish in the last five Talladega Cup Series races.

A few underfunded teams enjoyed strong runs on Sunday. Cole Whitt, making his third start for Joe Falk in the #33, was running 11th in the opening laps when he was swept up in a wreck with Carl Edwards and Joey Logano. David Stremme and the #30 Inception Motorsports team flirted with the Top 10 in the middle stages of the race. Michael McDowell finished his first race under power since Bristol in August, coming home 31st. And Casey Mears’ #13 GEICO Ford led 10 laps and was pushing Michael Waltrip to the lead in the final corner when both were swept up in the last wreck.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This was the first last-place finish for the #26 in a Cup Series race at Talladega since 2001, when Jimmy Spencer’s K-Mart Ford lost the engine 18 laps into the EA Sports 500.
*This was the first time a Talladega Cup Series last-place finisher fell out with overheating problems since 2006, when Derrike Cope’s #74 Sundance Vacations Dodge fell out 9 laps into the UAW-Ford 500.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #26-Josh Wise / 5 laps / overheating
42) #97-Timmy Hill / 8 laps / electrical
41) #87-Joe Nemechek / 12 laps / vibration
40) #33-Cole Whitt / 16 laps / crash
39) #51-Kurt Busch / 98 laps / parked

LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Michael McDowell, Josh Wise (4)
2nd) Scott Riggs, Reed Sorenson, Scott Speed (3)
3rd) Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek, J.J. Yeley (2)
4th) Trevor Bayne, Kelly Bires, Landon Cassill, Brendan Gaughan, Jason Leffler, David Ragan, Brian Vickers (1)

LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #26-Front Row Motorsports, #98-Phil Parsons Racing (4)
2nd) #19-Humphrey-Smith Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports (3)
3rd) #49-Robinson-Blakeney Racing, #79-Go Green Racing, #87-NEMCO Motorsports, #95-Leavine Family Racing, #91-Humphrey-Smith Racing (2)
4th) #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #33-Richard Childress Racing, #34-Front Row Motorsports, #55-Michael Waltrip Racing, #74-Turn One Racing, #83-BK Racing (1)

LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (15)
2nd) Toyota (9)
3rd) Chevrolet (6)

TRUCKS: Knupp’s Last-Place Finish The First For The #25 Since 2006

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin'
Brandon Knupp picked up the 4th last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Saturday’s Fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at the Talladega Superspeedway when his unsponsored #25 Hillman Racing Chevrolet fell out with overheating problems after he completed 2 of the race’s 94 laps.

The finish was Knupp’s second of the 2012 season, and his first since Texas, eleven races ago. With four races to go, Knupp now joins a three-way tie for second in the 2012 LASTCAR Truck Series Championship, all of them just one finish behind leader Dennis Setzer.

Knupp qualified 28th in the 36-truck field at an average speed of 172.274 mph, giving the second Hillman Racing Chevrolet its fourth start of the season. He exited the race during the opening green-flag run, besting 35th-place Mike Harmon by 31 laps.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This was the first last-place finish for the #25 in the Truck Series since 2006, when Damon Lusk’s Woodard Racing Dodge crashed after 63 laps of the Kroger 200 at Martinsville. The finish was the first of Lusk’s career.
*This was Chevrolet’s third-straight last-place finish in a Truck Series race at Talladega.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
36) #25-Brandon Knupp / 2 laps / overheating
35) #74-Mike Harmon / 33 laps / fuel pump
34) #08-Ross Chastain / 45 laps / crash
33) #11-Todd Bodine / 46 laps / crash
32) #07-Johnny Chapman / 47 laps / crash

LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Dennis Setzer (3)
2nd) Johnny Chapman, Clay Greenfield, Brandon Knupp (2)
3rd) T.J. Bell, Jeb Burton, Rick Crawford, Grant Enfinger, Blake Koch, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Jason Leffler, Brennan Newberry, Scott Riggs (1)

LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #38-RSS Racing (3)
2nd) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #27-Hillman Racing (2)
3rd) #5-Wauters Motorsports, #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #14-Bob Newberry, #18-Kyle Busch Motorsports, #25-Hillman Racing, #60-Turn One Racing, #68-Clay Greenfield Motorsports, #86-Clay Greenfield Motorsports, #74-Mike Harmon, #00-Rick Lind, #07-Ken Smith (1)

LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (10)
2nd) Dodge, Ford (3)
3rd) Toyota (2)