Sunday, August 4, 2013

TRUCKS: Ricky Ehrgott Becomes Second Straight Truck Driver To Finish Last In Series Debut

Ricky Ehrgott picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 125 at the Pocono Raceway when his #81 Platinum Wealth Partners / Rev1 Power Services Toyota was involved in a single-truck crash after he completed 2 of the race’s 54 laps.

The finish came in Ehrgott’s series debut, the third time a Truck Series first-timer has finished last this season (joining Scott Saunders at Kansas and Jeff Babcock last week at Eldora).  It’s the first time that two consecutive Truck Series races had last-place finishers who were making their series debuts since June of 2001, when the same thing happened to two owner-drivers: Gene Christensen’s #07 Racing For Kids Chevrolet had a vibration at Texas followed by an opening-lap fuel pump issue for Bobby Coffey’s #74 Bo-Co Performance Chevrolet at Memphis.

The 25-year-old Ehrgott made his Truck Series debut for longtime stock car racer and team owner Bobby Dotter.  Since Dotter’s team debuted in the series in 2004, they’ve scored four Top Fives and 18 Top Tens in 212 starts.  The team’s best finish was a pair of 3rd-place runs with David Starr at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 2011 and with Ross Chastain at Bristol last August.

Starr remained with the team for the first part of this season, scoring their best runs of the year at Martinsville and Kansas, where the #81 came home 13th both times.  In the four races since Kentucky, however, four different drivers have climbed behind the wheel, including Cup veteran Kenny Wallace, who gave the team its best qualifying run in seven years - a 4th at Eldora.  Ehrgott was tabbed to run the truck in the next race at Pocono.

Qualifying at Pocono was rained out, so Ehrgott secured the 26th starting spot based on practice speeds.  With thirty-six trucks appearing for as many spots, including two added to the short field at the last minute, no one failed to qualify.

Running near the back of the field at the start, his #81 suddenly washed up the track entering Turn 1, then lost control, switching ends before it smacked the outside wall with the driver’s side.  Ehrgott was uninjured in the crash, and though he was able to get the truck rolling again, his day was done.

Finishing next-to-last on Saturday was Tony Raines, who was making his first Truck Series start since 2004 when he drove Gene Christensen’s #08 1-800-4-A-Phone Chevrolet to a 17th-place finish.  Raines climbed aboard the frequently-featured #38 RSS Racing Chevrolet and pulled out after three laps.  Rounding out the Bottom Five were Chris Lafferty in Jennifer Jo Cobb’s second truck, #0, J.J. Yeley in the SS Green Light Racing #07, and Jo Cobb herself in the #10.

*This was the first last-place finish for the #81 in a Truck Series race since June 29, 2002, when Owen Sound, Ontario driver Jason Thom’s #81 Ware Racing Enterprises Dodge suffered a vibration after three laps of the GNC Live Well 200 at Milwaukee.  It was Thom’s sixth and final series start.
*This was the first last-place finish for Toyota in a Truck Series race since last summer at Chicagoland, twenty-four races ago.  That day, Johnny Chapman suffered a vibration on his #07 Wear Your Gear / Toyota and fell out two laps into the American Ethanol 225.

36) #81-Ricky Ehrgott / 2 laps / crash
35) #38-Tony Raines / 3 laps / engine
34) #0-Chris Lafferty / 4 laps / electrical
33) #07-J.J. Yeley / 9 laps / vibration
32) #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb / 13 laps / engine

1st) Johnny Chapman, Chris Lafferty (2)
2nd) Jeff Babcock, Ricky Ehrgott, Mike Harmon, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chris Jones, Scott Riggs, Scott Saunders (1)

1st) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb (3)
2nd) #38-RSS Racing, #84-Chris Fontaine (2)
3rd) #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #81-Bobby Dotter, #92-Ricky Benton, #93-RSS Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (5)
2nd) Ford (3)
3rd) RAM (2)
4th) Toyota (1)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who were the 2 teams that showed up last minute?