The finish was Wise’s first of the season and his first in a Nationwide Series race since another race at Bristol in the spring of 2012, fifty-two races ago, which also came in the #42. It’s also the first last-place finish of the year for The Motorsports Group, a team which has had at least one of its cars in the Bottom Five in twenty-one of the season’s twenty-three races, including the last fifteen in a row. The team had not finished last in a Cup race since last fall at Kansas, twenty-seven races ago, when Chase Miller fell out with ignition problems.
Wise qualified 32nd at an average speed of 121.366 mph, ranking him seventh among the eighteen “go-or-go-home” drivers who attempted to qualify. A surprisingly-large entry list meant that eight of those eighteen drivers failed to qualify for the race, including two-time 2013 last-place finisher Joey Gase in the Jimmy Means-owned #52, Bristol spring race last-placer Michael McDowell in SR2 Motorsports’ #00, and July Daytona last-placer Morgan Shepherd.
Wise pulled behind the wall during the opening green-flag run, followed a lap later by Chase Miller. Miller, often a teammate at The Motorsports Group, raced for TriStar Motorsports at Bristol in the #91, the new “start-and-park” team that ran part-time with Jeff Green in 2012. Green continued to race in place of the ailing Eric McClure on Friday, coming home a strong 16th in the #14 Hefty / Reynolds Wrap Toyota. Green’s #10 this time went to Cole Whitt, who brought with him sponsorship from Gold Bond Medicated Powder and finished 14th.
Rounding out the Bottom Five were Wise’s teammate J.J. Yeley in the #46, Vision Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto in the #37 NationalCashLenders.com Dodge, and Drew Herring, who crashed in the Joe Gibbs-owned #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota and brought out the third caution of the night.
*Curtis Key’s The Motorsports Group now has three last-place finishes in the last four Nationwide Series races at Bristol. Chase Miller finished last in the 2012 running of this race in TMG’s #46.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
40) #42-Josh Wise / 4 laps / vibration
39) #91-Chase Miller / 5 laps / vibration
38) #46-J.J. Yeley / 7 laps / handling
37) #37-Matt DiBenedetto / 67 laps / brakes
36) #18-Drew Herring / 151 laps / crash
LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Jeff Green (10)
2nd) Joey Gase, Blake Koch (2)
3rd) Tanner Berryhill, Johanna Long, Eric McClure, Michael McDowell, Robert Richardson, Jr., Morgan Shepherd, Dexter Stacey, Mike Wallace, Josh Wise (1)
LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (10)
2nd) #52-Jimmy Means Racing, #00-SR2 Motorsports (2)
3rd) #14-TriStar Motorsports, #17-Vision Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports, #27-SR2 Motorsports, #42-The Motorsports Group, #70-ML Motorsports, #89-Shepherd Racing Ventures, #92-KH Motorsports, #01-JD Motorsports (1)
LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (17)
2nd) Chevrolet (4)
3rd) Dodge, Ford (1)