|SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums|
The finish was Yeley’s second of 2013 and his first since Michigan, eight race ago. Coming into Charlotte, Yeley and the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing team had finished under power in all seven races since Michigan, but have finished no better than 24th at Bristol. Teammate Dave Blaney has fared little better in the #7, scoring his own best finish in that seven-race stretch at Bristol, where he came home 22nd.
At Charlotte, Yeley ran one of several pink cars to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Yeley timed in 42nd fastest in the opening practice, was slowest of the 41 cars in the second session, and improved to only 39th in Happy Hour. However, with just 43 cars showing up to qualify for as many spots, Yeley’s lap of 185.893 mph was enough to secure him the 42nd starting spot for Saturday’s race.
At the start of the race, it first appeared that Michael McDowell would score his fourth last-place finish in the last seven races and take a two-finish lead over Mike Bliss in the 2013 LASTCAR Cup Series Championship. McDowell pulled his #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford behind the wall around Lap 10. However, radio communications indicated the crew was making some adjustments to the car’s handling.
Then, on Lap 26, Yeley’s #36 blew a right-front tire and smacked the outside wall in Turn 1, bringing out the first caution of the day. Yeley was uninjured in the wreck and managed to drive the car back to pit road. He pulled behind the wall and, soon after, was done for the night.
During the ensuing green-flag run, McDowell returned to the track, needing only ten to fifteen laps to pass Yeley for 42nd. McDowell did this on Lap 57, then stayed out longer to pass the Mark Martin, who lost the engine on his #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet after eighty laps, and Josh Wise, who parked his #35 MDS Transport Ford around the same time as Martin. McDowell finally climbed to 40th before he again pulled behind the wall. Rounding out the Bottom Five was Joe Nemechek, who left the race near the halfway mark.
*This marked the third time in four years that the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing entry has finished last in this event. Last year, Dave Blaney suffered transmission trouble after 25 laps. In 2010, Yeley himself fell out with ignition trouble after 73 laps.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #36-J.J. Yeley / 23 laps / crash
42) #14-Mark Martin / 80 laps / engine
41) #35-Josh Wise / 81 laps / brakes
40) #98-Michael McDowell / 83 laps / vibration
39) #87-Joe Nemechek / 149 laps / electrical
LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Michael McDowell (6)
2nd) Mike Bliss (5)
3rd) Scott Riggs (4)
4th) Bobby Labonte, Joe Nemechek, Scott Speed, J.J. Yeley (2)
5th) Trevor Bayne, Dave Blaney, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Jason Leffler, Paul Menard, Danica Patrick, David Reutimann (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #19-Humphrey-Smith Racing, #98-Phil Parsons Racing (6)
2nd) #44-Xxxtreme Motorsports, #95-Leavine Family Racing (3)
3rd) #36-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #87-NEMCO Motorsports (2)
4th) #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #10-Stewart-Haas Racing, #11-Joe Gibbs Racing, #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #27-Richard Childress Racing, #31-Richard Childress Racing, #47-JTG Daugherty Racing, #51-Phoenix Racing, #83-BK Racing (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (13)
2nd) Toyota (11)
3rd) Chevrolet (7)