Sunday, November 3, 2013

TRUCKS: Lafferty, Cobb End RSS Racing’s Three-Year Reign As LASTCAR Truck Series Champions

Chris Lafferty picked up the 9th last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping Word Truck Series career in Friday’s WinStar World Casino 350 at the Texas Motor Speedway when his #0 OEM Auto Parts Plus / Koma Unwind Chevrolet fell out with transmission troubles after he completed 4 of the race’s 147 laps.

The finish was Lafferty’s sixth of 2013 and his first since his most recent start at Las Vegas, three races ago.  With two races to go and a three-finish lead over second-place Chris Jones in the 2013 last-place standings, Lafferty has officially clinched this year’s LASTCAR Truck Series Championship, his first in any of NASCAR’s top divisions.  It is a successful comeback for the #0 Jennifer Jo Cobb-owned team, which last year lost the title in a bottom-five tiebreaker with RSS Racing’s #38 driven by Dennis Setzer.  Lafferty’s title also ends RSS Racing’s streak of three consecutive LASTCAR Truck Series titles.

Lafferty did not practice in the opening session, but timed in 34th in Happy Hour, then secured the 35th and final starting spot for the race with an average speed of 154.985 mph.  With just thirty-five trucks for as many spots, no one was sent home.

Lafferty and three others in the Bottom Five fell out during the opening green-flag run.  By a single lap, he edged Morgan Shepherd for the spot.  The 71-year-old Shepherd, making his first Truck Series start since 2008, fell out with transmission trouble in Norm Benning’s second truck, #75.  J.J. Yeley, driving the #07 that finished last the previous week in Martinsville with newcomer Jimmy Weller, finished 33rd, followed by the RSS Racing #38 of LASTCAR title runner-up Chris Jones.  Rounding out the Bottom Five was Mike Harmon, whose #84 Chevrolet lost the transmission after 31 laps.

*This was the first last-place finish for the #0 in a Truck Series race at Texas since June 11, 2004, when Loni Richardson’s Value Tool & Engineering Chevrolet lost the rear end after 2 laps of the O’Reilly 400K.
*This was Lafferty’s first last-place finish in a NASCAR race at Texas.

35) #0-Chris Lafferty / 4 laps / transmission
34) #75-Morgan Shepherd / 5 laps / suspension
33) #07-J.J. Yeley / 6 laps / suspension
32) #38-Chris Jones / 6 laps / rear end
31) #84-Mike Harmon / 31 laps / transmission

1st) Chris Lafferty (6)
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 (7)
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 (12)
2nd) Ford (4)
3rd) RAM, Toyota (2)

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