Saturday, May 18, 2013

TRUCKS: Chris Jones Moves To Fifth In LASTCAR Truck Series Rankings

SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons

Chris Jones picked up the 6th last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #93 RSS Racing Chevrolet fell out with clutch problems after he completed 4 of the race’s 134 laps.

The finish was Jones’ first of the season and his first in a Truck Series race since last fall at Texas, seven races ago.  Jones is now tied with Rick Crawford, Mike Hurlbert, and Butch Miller for fifth in the all-time LASTCAR Truck Series rankings.  Only five other drivers have scored more last-place finishes in series history.

Jones was making his third start of the year in the #93 fielded by owner Rod Sieg’s RSS Racing, the team that won the last three LASTCAR Truck Series titles with drivers Mike Garvey and Dennis Setzer.  His previous two finishes were a pair of 34th-place runs: he crashed late in the race at Rockingham, then parked at Kansas.

At Charlotte, Jones qualified 29th at an average speed of 175.798 mph, ranking him seventh among the thirteen “go-or-go-homers” on the entry list.  Jones pulled behind the wall during the opening green-flag run, edging German Quiroga by five laps.

Failing to qualify for Friday’s race were owner-drivers Norm Benning and Jennifer Jo Cobb.  Cobb, the last-place finisher at Martinsville, was the victim of a bizarre theft on May 11 when her hauler, containing $279,000 of equipment, was stolen from her shop in Mooresville, North Carolina.  One of the suspects was Rockingham last-placer Mike Harmon, who was arrested on Wednesday, then released on a $10,000 bond.  Harmon qualified for Friday’s race in the #84 Chevrolet he shares with owner Chris Fontaine, and he finished 24th.  Cobb, driving a loaned truck from another team, withdrew after engine trouble.

Jones, Cobb, and Harmon join Scott Riggs and Scott Saunders as the only Truck Series last-place finishers so far in 2013.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This was the first last-place finish for the #93 in a Truck race at Charlotte since 2010, when Mike Garvey lost the engine on his #93 S&W Services Chevrolet after nine laps of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
*This was Jones’ first last-place finish at Charlotte, and the first time a truck finished last at Charlotte with clutch trouble as the listed cause.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
36) #93-Chris Jones / 4 laps / clutch
35) #77-German Quiroga / 9 laps / crash
34) #99-Bryan Silas / 13 laps / crash
33) #75-Caleb Holman / 20 laps / crash
32) #18-Joey Coulter / 90 laps / running

LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Mike Harmon, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chris Jones, Scott Riggs, Scott Saunders (1)

LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #84-Chris Fontaine, #92-Ricky Benton, #93-RSS Racing (1)

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

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