Sunday, March 3, 2013

N’WIDE: Johanna Long’s Early Crash Results In First Last-Place Finish

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin'

Johanna Long picked up the 1st last-place finish of her NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Dollar General 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway when her #70 Foretravel Motorcoach Chevrolet was taken out in a six-car accident after two of the race’s 200 laps.  The finish came in Long’s 23rd series start.

Long is starting her second season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, making the move after a two-year stint in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.  In twenty-two previous starts, Long’s best Nationwide finish was a pair of 12th-place runs last year at Daytona and Kentucky.  2013 saw her return to the ML Motorsports team, but her return to Daytona resulted in a late-race crash with five laps to go and a 27th-place finish.

At Phoenix, Long qualified a solid 16th in her Camaro, putting up a lap of 130.251 mph.  Right after the start of the race, however, she rear-ended Sam Hornish, Jr. entering Turn 3, then slammed the Turn 4 wall soon after.  Her slowing car was rear-ended by several behind her, triggering a six-car melee with Hornish, Alex Bowman, Travis Pastrana, Jamie Dick, and Juan Carlos Blum.  Long’s was the only car to not return to the track.

One week after Reed Sorenson drove the only Curtis Key-owned Chevrolet at Daytona, the team’s start-and-park drivers Josh Wise and Chase Miller returned Saturday to finish 38th and 39th, respectively.  Last week’s last-place finisher Jeff Green came home 37th.

*This was the first last-place finish for the #70 in a Nationwide Series race since 2012, when Tony Raines’ Black Cat Fireworks Chevrolet did not start the 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover.
*Long’s is the first Chevrolet to finish last in a Nationwide Series race at Phoenix since 2010, when Jeff Green’s #36 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet fell out after two laps of the Wypall 200.
*Long’s 16th-place starting spot is the best by a Nationwide Series last-place finisher at Phoenix since 2000, when Jay Sauter started 11th, then lost the engine on his #43 Quality Farm & Country Chevrolet after seven laps of the Outback Steakhouse 200.

40) #70-Johanna Long / 2 laps / crash
39) #46-Chase Miller / 8 laps / vibration
38) #42-Josh Wise / 10 laps / brakes
37) #10-Jeff Green / 17 laps / handling
36) #87-Joe Nemechek / 50 laps / crash

1st) Jeff Green, Johanna Long (1)

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

1st) Chevrolet, Toyota (1)

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