Sunday, March 23, 2014

N’WIDE: Jeff Green Scores Tenth-Straight Last-Place Finish For TriStar Motorsports

TriStar Motorsports Twitter
Jeff Green picked up the 56th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s 300 at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California when his #91 Hefty Ultimate With Arm & Hammer Toyota fell out with a vibration after he completed 4 of the race’s 150 laps.

The finish was Green’s third of the 2014 season and his first since Las Vegas, two races ago.  TriStar Motorsports has now finished last in ten consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series races: seven in car #10 and three in car #91.

The #91, TriStar’s part-time fifth team, was entered in the race at the Fontana track, giving the team its first start since Daytona, where Green finished last in the season opener.  This time, the #91 would carry sponsorship from the same Hefty brand that finances teammate Eric McClure in the #14.  Blake Koch, who has twice finished last this year, then moved to the #10.  Joining Green, Koch, and McClure in the other two TriStar cars at Fontana were Mike Bliss in the #19 and David Starr in the #44.

Jason White and the #00 SR2 Motorsports entry withdrew prior to the event, and after some other rides shuffled, exactly 40 cars showed up to make Fontana’s 40-car field.  Green timed in 29th at an average speed of 170.330 mph.  This ranked him third of the five TriStar entries behind 18th-place Bliss and 21st-place Starr, but ahead of 32nd-place Koch and 33rd-place McClure.  Green didn’t practice in the opening session, but timed in 34th out of 38 in Happy Hour.

At the start of the race, as Kyle Busch sliced his way through the field from the 39th starting spot, Green and Koch fell toward the rear.  Green pulled behind the wall first, followed two laps later by Koch.  One lap after Koch came Carl Long, who fielded a second car for Jimmy Means Racing.  Long’s Toyota was the backup car for Means’ driver Joey Gase.  Since the #79 was added at the last minute on Friday, the car’s #52 decals were covered with white patches and “79” stickers made of strips of black tape.
Carl Long's #79 Toyota
SOURCE: Jimmy Means Racing Twitter

Rounding out the Bottom Five were Matt DiBenedetto, scoring his fourth consecutive bottom-five finish in The Motorsports Group’s #46, and the lapped #51 Chevrolet of Jeremy Clements.

Mike Bliss was the highest-finishing TriStar car on Saturday, finishing 18th.

*This is the first last-place finish for the #91 in a Nationwide Series race at the Auto Club Speedway since February 25, 2008, when Larry Gunselman’s unsponsored Chevrolet fell out with a vibration after 3 laps.  The race was just the second start for MSRP Motorsports, a team that would go on to score the 2009 LASTCAR Nationwide Series Championship with Johnny Chapman and eventually evolve into Phil Parsons Racing, the current #98 team in the Cup Series.
*This is Green’s third last-place finish in the previous five Nationwide Series races at Fontana.  He trailed the field in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2012, both while driving for TriStar.

40) #91-Jeff Green / 4 laps / vibration
39) #10-Blake Koch / 6 laps / vibration
38) #79-Carl Long / 7 laps / electrical
37) #46-Matt DiBenedetto / 8 laps / vibration
36) #51-Jeremy Clements / 107 laps / running

1st) Jeff Green (3)
2nd) Blake Koch (2)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (3)
2nd) #91-TriStar Motorsports (2)

1st) Toyota (5)

1 comment:

Jed Keselowski said...

Sort of depressing that a former series champion is last almost every week.