Sunday, April 6, 2014

N’WIDE: Koch Keeps 2014 Nationwide Last-Place Battle The Tale Of Two Drivers

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Blake Koch picked up the 7th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at the Texas Motor Speedway when his #10 SupportMilitary.org Toyota fell out with a vibration after he completed 2 of the race’s 200 laps.

The finish was Koch’s third of 2014 and his first since Bristol, two races ago.  Koch and teammate Jeff Green have each scored half of the season’s six last-place finishes.  Koch also extends TriStar’s last-place streak to eleven consecutive races.

Koch was 35th-fastest of the 40 entered cars in the first practice session, did not participate in Happy Hour, and secured the 40th and final starting spot with an average speed of 170.929 mph.

In the race, Koch’s Toyota was the first car behind the wall, but the battle for 39th stretched longer than usual.  It first appeared that Derrike Cope, once a last-place record holder, would edge Matt DiBenedetto’s #46 The Motorsports Group Chevrolet for 39th.  Cope lost laps in the early stages with engine woes on his #70 Youtheory Chevrolet.  However, Cope returned to the track just long enough to pass DiBendetto before the engine let go.  All three of DiBenedetto’s next-to-last-place finishes have come during Koch’s last-place runs in 2014.

Rounding out the Bottom Five were two entries from Gregg Mixon’s JGL Racing Team.  Mike Wallace, who finished no worse than 26th in his first five starts in Mixon’s #28 Dodge, moved to the #13 Toyota previously driven by Matt Carter at Bristol and fell out after 23 laps.  Teammate Derek White, who jumped in Wallace’s #28, fell out with transmission problems six laps later.  The third JGL entry, a #93 Dodge fielded by J.J. Yeley, finished 16th.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*TriStar Motorsports’ #10 Toyota has now finished last in three consecutive Nationwide Series races at Texas, and four of the last five.  It is, however, Koch’s first last-place finish at this track.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
40) #10-Blake Koch / 2 laps / vibration
39) #46-Matt DiBenedetto / 5 laps / vibration
38) #70-Derrike Cope / 6 laps / engine
37) #13-Mike Wallace / 23 laps / electrical
36) #28-Derek White / 29 laps / transmission

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Jeff Green, Blake Koch (3)

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (4)
2nd) #91-TriStar Motorsports (2)

LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (6)

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