Sunday, June 30, 2013

N’WIDE: Jeff Green Trails 50th NASCAR Field By Edging LASTCAR Record Holder Derrike Cope At Kentucky

Jeff Green picked up the 45th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Friday’s Feed The Children 300 at the Kentucky Speedway when his unsponsored #10 TriStar Motorsports Toyota fell out with a vibration after he completed 3 of the race’s 170 laps.

The finish was Green’s seventh of 2013, his second in a row, and his 50th across NASCAR’s top three divisions.  He now leads the all-time NASCAR last-place rankings by thirteen finishes over Joe Nemechek.

Green qualified 26th for Saturday’s race at an average speed of 168.167 mph, ranking him third among the “go-or-go-homers” behind only Kevin Swindell in the #98 and Jamie Dick in the #55.  Just forty-one drivers showed up to attempt to qualify, and Michigan last-placer Dexter Stacey was the only driver to miss the show.

When the race started, Green fell to the rear, then pulled behind the wall after three laps, scoring him his third last-place finish in the last four races.

Green secured the finish despite completing the same number of laps as 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope, who qualified eleven spot worse than Green in the 37th position.  The 54-year-old Cope, also the three-time LASTCAR Cup Series Champion and the all-time NASCAR last-place record holder from May 2008 through June 2012, was making his first Nationwide start of the season driving his self-prepared #73 Maxelence Chevrolet.  Cope had failed to qualify for the spring race at Darlington in May.  As of this writing, it is not clear whether Cope will run next Friday’s race at Daytona, an event he last started in 2011, when he came home 29th.

The Motorsports Group teammates J.J. Yeley (#46) and Josh Wise (#42) came home 37th and 38th, respectively.  None of the Curtis Key-owned cars have finished last in any of these first fifteen races of the year, but at least one of the team’s cars have been in the Bottom Five in thirteen of the season’s first fifteen races, excluding Daytona and Talladega.

Landon Cassill rounded out the Bottom Five in his #4 JD Motorsports Chevrolet, his second-consecutive DNF due to engine failure, but just his third finish of 36th or worse so far this year.  His best remains a 17th at Talladega, which came despite a hard last-lap crash in the tri-oval.

*This was Green’s first last-place finish in a Nationwide race at Kentucky, but the second in a row for the #10 TriStar Motorsports team.  Last September, Charles Lewandoski fell out after four laps of the Kentucky 300 due to a vibration.

40) #10-Jeff Green / 3 laps / vibration
39) #73-Derrike Cope / 3 laps / rear gear
38) #42-Josh Wise / 7 laps / vibration
37) #46-J.J. Yeley / 10 laps / transmission
36) #4-Landon Cassill / 14 laps / engine

1st) Jeff Green (7)
2nd) Tanner Berryhill, Joey Gase, Blake Koch, Johanna Long, Eric McClure, Michael McDowell, Robert Richardson, Jr., Dexter Stacey (1)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (7)
2nd) #14-TriStar Motorsports, #17-Vision Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports, #27-SR2 Motorsports, #52-Jimmy Means Racing, #70-ML Motorsports, #92-KH Motorsports, #00-SR2 Motorsports (1)

1st) Toyota (12)
2nd) Chevrolet (2)
3rd) Ford (1)

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