Sunday, March 10, 2013

N’WIDE: Broken Oil Pump Gives McClure, #14 First Last-Place Finishes Since 2006

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin'

Eric McClure scored the 3rd last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Sam’s Town 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway when his #14 Hefty / Reynolds Wrap Toyota fell out with a broken oil pump after completing 2 of the race’s 200 laps.

The finish was McClure’s first of the 2013 season and his first in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race since Kentucky Speedway on June 17, 2006.  That night in the Meijer 300, McClure’s #72 MacDonald Motorsports Chevrolet fell out with engine problems after five laps.  Then-unknown racer David Gilliland pulled off an upset victory later that night, ultimately landing him a Cup Series ride with Yates Racing.

McClure entered Saturday’s race 13th in points following an 8th-place finish in the season-opener at Daytona and a 29th-place showing at Phoenix.  The Daytona finish was McClure’s best in 202 series starts dating back to 2003, and a welcome relief following a terrifying crash at Talladega last year that kept him out of the car for five races.

Qualifying for Saturday’s race was cancelled due to rain, and McClure earned the 24th starting spot in the field.  In the race, McClure was running toward the back in the opening laps when smoke poured from the right side of his car in Turns 1 and 2, bringing out the first caution of the day.  The busted oil pump put him out of the race for the day.

Chase Miller parked his #42 The Motorsports Group Chevrolet under the ensuing caution, but McClure edged him for the 40th finishing position.

*This was the first last-place finish for the #14 in a Nationwide Series race since 2006, when Tracy Hines’ #14 Fitz-Bradshaw Racing Dodge fell out with a vibration after 24 laps of the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix.  The number had never before finished last in a Nationwide race at Las Vegas.
*McClure is the first Nationwide driver to finish last due to a broken oil pump since 2010, when Dennis Setzer’s #92 K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge fell out after 9 laps of the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix.  It’s the first time this has happened at Las Vegas since 2003, when the oil pump on Mike Harmon’s #44 Global Industrial Contractors Chevrolet broke four laps into the Sam’s Town 300.

40) #14-Eric McClure / 2 laps / oil pump
39) #42-Chase Miller / 5 laps / vibration
38) #10-Jeff Green / 16 laps / vibration
37) #22-Brad Keselowski / 144 laps / running
36) #74-Kevin Lepage / 153 laps / engine

1st) Jeff Green, Johanna Long, Eric McClure (1)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports, #14-TriStar Motorsports, #70-ML Motorsports (1)

1st) Toyota (2)
2nd) Chevrolet (1)


UnderdogFan89 said...

Brad K.'s first bottom 5 finish since Nashville 2007, his last race before making the career-changing jump over to JR Motorsports.

Speaking of Brad K., both he and Jeff Green finished in the bottom 5 in this race, making two previous champions of the series in the bottom 5. Brock, I don't know if you keep records of that kind of stuff, but do you happen to know when was the last time that occurred?

Brock Beard said...

Very interesting! I remembered from my Homestead post that it had been a while since Keselowski finished last in Nationwide, but didn't know it had been that long since he was in the Bottom Five.

I don't have too many statistics on Bottom Fives aside from the series championships, but since so many past Nationwide champs like Joe Nemechek still run the series, I'm guessing that may have happened fairly recently.

UnderdogFan89 said...

Haha you're right, Nemechek and Green finished in the bottom five last race. Totally blind.

I did some (very) quick checking on sites, and it looks like the last time it happened before last race was the May 28th Charlotte race of 2011, when both Jeff and David Green finished in the bottom five. Funny how 2012 didn't have this happen at all, and now we're 2-for-3 in 2013. Odd how these things work out like this.