Sunday, May 5, 2013

N’WIDE: Green Doesn’t Sell His Ride, Scores Third Straight Last-Place Finish


Jeff Green picked up the 42nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at the Talladega Superspeedway when his unsponsored #10 TriStar Motorsports Toyota fell out with a vibration after he completed 3 of the race’s 110 laps.

The finish was Green’s fourth of 2013 and his third in a row, preceded by Texas and Richmond.  This Friday at Darlington, Green will have a chance to repeat his feat in August 2011 of scoring four consecutive last-place finishes.  Green remains the only driver in any of NASCAR’s top three divisions to accomplish that feat.

Green qualified 13th for the race at an average speed of 175.218 mph, ranking him third among the “go-or-go-homers” behind 4th-place Danica Patrick and 9th-place Kurt Busch, the latter driving a pink and yellow #1 Chevrolet in honor of the late Neil Bonnett.  It was Green’s best qualifying run since Daytona in July of 2009, when he also started 13th in the #05 Sour Patch Chevrolet fielded by Wayne Day.

Joining Stanton Barrett as the two drivers missing the show was John Wes Townley, whose time was disallowed due to his #25 Zaxby’s Toyota being too low.  Word had it that Townley was going to purchase Green’s spot in the race and transfer over his Zaxby’s sponsorship, but the plan was scrapped after Townley suffered injuries in a hard crash with teammate Milka Duno during the ARCA race the day before.  Curiously, Townley’s time was also disallowed in qualifying for the ARCA event due to a technical infraction, though he started the race on Owner Points.

Back in his own car, Green pulled behind the wall during the opening laps.  Danica Patrick narrowly averted her first last-place run since last August at Watkins Glen when she spun off Kyle Larson’s nose on Lap 15, then parked after a brief return to the track.  Larson followed Patrick in the final running order when his left-rear tire shredded off much of his car’s sheetmetal.  Joe Nemechek and first-time polesitter Travis Pastrana rounded out the Bottom Five.

*This was Green’s first last-place finish in a Nationwide race at Talladega since 2011, when his #44 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet had a vibration after the opening lap of the Aaron’s 312.
*This is the first last-place finish for the #10 in a Nationwide race at Talladega.

40) #10-Jeff Green / 3 laps / vibration
39) #34-Danica Patrick / 16 laps / crash
38) #32-Kyle Larson / 52 laps / crash
37) #87-Joe Nemechek / 64 laps / running
36) #60-Travis Pastrana / 71 laps / crash / led 4 laps

1st) Jeff Green (4)
2nd) Joey Gase, Johanna Long, Eric McClure, Michael McDowell (1)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (4)
2nd) #14-TriStar Motorsports, #27-SR2 Motorsports, #52-Jimmy Means Racing, #70-ML Motorsports (1)

1st) Toyota (7)
2nd) Chevrolet (1)

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