Sunday, September 15, 2013

CUP: Michael McDowell Scores Ford’s 900th NASCAR Last-Place Finish

Michael McDowell picked up the 24th last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Sunday's GEICO 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway when his unsponsored #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford fell out with brake problems after he completed 29 of the race’s 267 laps.

The finish was McDowell’s fifth of 2013 and his second in a row.  With nine races to go, McDowell is now tied with Mike Bliss for the 2013 LASTCAR Cup Series lead, giving him a chance at his third consecutive LASTCAR Cup title.  Bliss didn’t run Sunday’s race as the #19 Humphrey-Smith Motorsports team withdrew from its second of the last three races.  The #19 still leads McDowell’s #98 by one finish in the LASTCAR Cup Owner’s title.

McDowell qualified 38th for Sunday’s race at an average speed of 183.331 mph.  At the start, it first appeared that 43rd-place starter Tony Raines would score his first last-place finish since Phoenix in the fall of 2009.  Raines and his unsponsored #33 Circle Sport Motorsports Chevrolet were the first to go down a lap, and he held the 43rd spot through the opening run.  But when McDowell pulled behind the wall, Raines stayed out, and the finish went to the #98.

Rounding out the Bottom Five were Reed Sorenson, who finished 42nd in his second-straight race for Leavine Family Racing; Josh Wise with his third-straight 41st-place finish in the #35 MDS Transport Ford for Front Row Motorsports; Tony Raines in the #33, who pulled out just before the five-hour rain delay split the race; and Cole Whitt, who authored the first of several spectacular second-half engine failures in his season debut as the new driver of the #30 Swan Energy / Lean 1 Toyota.

*This was McDowell’s fourth last-place finish in this event and his third in a row.  All three of his latest Chicagoland finishes have come while driving for Phil Parsons.
*This was Ford’s 900th last-place finish across all three of NASCAR’s top divisions.  Ford’s first NASCAR last-place finish came in NASCAR’s first-ever race - the disqualification of Glen Dunnaway’s #25 1947 Ford in the June 19, 1949 race at Charlotte Speedway.

43) #98-Michael McDowell / 29 laps / brakes
42) #95-Reed Sorenson / 68 laps / vibration
41) #35-Josh Wise / 84 laps / brakes
40) #33-Tony Raines / 87 laps / vibration
39) #30-Cole Whitt / 151 laps / engine

1st) Mike Bliss, Michael McDowell (5)
2nd) Scott Riggs (3)
3rd) Bobby Labonte, Joe Nemechek, Scott Speed (2)
4th) Trevor Bayne, Dave Blaney, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Jason Leffler, Paul Menard, David Reutimann, J.J. Yeley (1)

1st) #19-Humphrey-Smith Racing (6)
2nd) #98-Phil Parsons Racing (5)
3rd) #44-Xxxtreme Motorsports (3)
4th) #87-NEMCO Motorsports, #95-Leavine Family Racing (2)
5th) #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #11-Joe Gibbs Racing, #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #27-Richard Childress Racing, #31-Richard Childress Racing, #36-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #47-JTG Daugherty Racing, #51-Phoenix Racing, #83-BK Racing (1)

1st) Ford, Toyota (11)
2nd) Chevrolet (5)

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