Sunday, March 17, 2013

N’WIDE: McDowell Scores First Nationwide Series Last-Place Finish

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin'

Michael McDowell picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300 at the Bristol Motor Speedway when his #27 Team Boom Toyota fell out with handling problems after he completed two of the race’s 200 laps.  The finish came in McDowell’s 84th series start.

McDowell came into last weekend with twenty last-place finishes in the Cup Series, most of them coming with current owner Phil Parsons.  McDowell was also tabbed as driver of the #27 over the offseason, a third Nationwide Series team fielded by the Jason Sciavicco-owned SR2 Motorsports.  McDowell and the #27 were entered in the season-opening races at Daytona and Phoenix, but withdrew from both.

The team made its first attempt of the season at Bristol, and joined teamates Blake Koch and Jason White in the starting lineup.  McDowell started last in the 40-car field with a lap of 118.730 mph.  The lap was 35th-fastest among the 43 entrants, but was more than 2 mph faster than both Morgan Shepherd and Danny Efland, who failed to qualify.  Joey Gase and the Jimmy Means team also missed the show.  They withdrew after their only car was destroyed in a hard crash with Brad Sweet during Happy Hour on Friday.

When the race started, McDowell’s was the first car behind the wall, edging The Motorsports Group’s J.J. Yeley and Chase Miller by five laps each.  Jeff Green ran low on the apron during the first ten laps, but returned to complete thirty-eight laps to come home 37th.

Blake Koch finished highest among the SR2 cars, finishing eight laps down in 25th.

*This is the first last-place finish for the #27 in a Nationwide Series race since 2011, when J.J. Yeley’s 31-W Insulation Ford fell out with electrical problems after two laps of the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas.  It’s the first Nationwide last-place finish for the number at Bristol since 1994, when Roy Payne’s Motorsports Designs Chevrolet was involved in a multi-car crash 24 laps into the Food City 250.
*This is the first last-place finish for SR2 Motorsports in eight races, dating back to Charlotte last October when Angela Cope’s #00 Highland Wealth Advisors / Highway 55 Toyota crashed on the opening lap of the Dollar General 300.

40) #27-Michael McDowell / 2 laps / handling
39) #46-Chase Miller / 7 laps / ignition
38) #42-J.J. Yeley / 7 laps / vibration
37) #10-Jeff Green / 38 laps / vibration
36) #11-Elliott Sadler / 85 laps / engine

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

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports, #14-TriStar Motorsports, #27-SR2 Motorsports, #70-ML Motorsports (1)

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

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