Sunday, October 27, 2013

TRUCKS: Jimmy Weller Gives Toyota First Truck Series Last-Place Finish at Martinsville Since 2008

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin'
Jimmy Weller picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Saturday’s Kroger 200 at the Martinsville Speedway when his #07 Toyota fell out with a busted rear gear after he completed 6 of the race’s 200 laps.  The finish came in Weller’s fourth series start.

Looking to build on his twenty starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Weller, a 27-year-old driver from Ohio, has made the move to the Truck Series in 2013 on a part-time schedule.  His series debut came with Bobby Dotter’s team at Iowa, where he finished a season-best 24th in the #81 GrimeBoss / GunBroker Toyota.  Since then, Weller has made another four attempts behind the wheel of Ken Smith’s #07.  After missing the field at Eldora, he made his next two starts in the summer Iowa race and at Chicago, but failed to finish both races.

At Martinsville, Weller didn’t participate in the first practice session and was just 37th of the 38 entered trucks in final practice.  He qualified 34th at an average speed of 89.044 mph.  Weller was actually 36th-fastest of the 38 entrants, but was locked-in on Owner Points, bumping out 34th-fastest Spencer Gallagher in his family-prepared #21 Allegiant Air Chevrolet.  Joining Gallagher on the DNQ list was Jennifer Jo Cobb, slowest among the qualifiers.  It was her fourth DNQ of 2013 and her second in a row.

The first caution of the day came three laps into the race, when the #39 RSS Racing Chevrolet of Ryan Sieg spun on the entrance of Turn 1.  Clay Greenfield was also off the pace in his #68 Dodge.  When the race restart on Lap 7, Weller pulled behind the wall, followed immediately by the #6 Jack Link’s Beef Jerky / Express Oil Change Chevrolet of Daniel Hemric.  Hemric, making his series debut, spent several laps behind the wall to replace a transmission, but returned to the race to finish 32nd.  Weller did not return to the race and held onto the last-place finish.

Finishing next-to-last on Saturday was Chris Jones in the RSS #93, five laps ahead of Weller.  With now three races to go, Jones remains two finishes behind Chris Lafferty for the 2013 LASTCAR Truck Series Championship.  Lafferty and the #0 Jennifer Jo Cobb-owned entry did not start Saturday’s race, and have not started a Truck Series race since Las Vegas.  However, Lafferty can still clinch the title without another start if Jones fails to finish last in two of these final three races.  In the event of a tiebreaker, Jones already has an insurmountable lead over Lafferty in Bottom Fives, 13-9.

The rest of the Bottom Five included 34th-place Bradley Riethmeyer, making his first Truck Series start since Gateway in 2008, and Bryan Silas, who was involved in a multi-truck accident in the closing stages.

*This was the first last-place finish for Toyota in a Truck Series race at Martinsville since 2008, when Sean Caisse and his #9 / Lumber Liquidators Toyota crashed after 44 laps of the Kroger 200.
*This was the first last-place finish for the #07 in a Truck Series race since last year at Chicagoland, when Johnny Chapman’s Wear Your Gear / Toyota fell out with a vibration after two laps of the American Ethanol 225.  The number had never before finished last in a Truck Series race at Martinsville.

36) #07-Jimmy Weller / 6 laps / rear gear
35) #93-Chris Jones / 11 laps / brakes
34) #84-Bradley Riethmeyer / 52 laps / clutch
33) #99-Bryan Silas / 137 laps / crash
32) #6-Daniel Hemric / 140 laps / running

1st) Chris Lafferty (5)
2nd) Chris Jones (3)
3rd) Johnny Chapman (2)
4th) Jeff Babcock, Ryan Blaney, Ricky Ehrgott, Mike Harmon, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Mason Mingus, Scott Riggs, Scott Saunders, Jimmy Weller (1)

1st) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb (6)
2nd) #93-RSS Racing (3)
3rd) #38-RSS Racing, #84-Chris Fontaine (2)
4th) #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #29-Brad Keselowski, #35-Kevin Cywinski, #81-Bobby Dotter, #92-Ricky Benton, #07-Ken Smith (1)

1st) Chevrolet (11)
2nd) Ford (4)
3rd) RAM, Toyota (2)

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