Sunday, May 18, 2014

N’WIDE: In TMG’s #46, Ryan Ellis Nips Jeff Green For Iowa Last-Place Finish

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Ryan Ellis picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Sunday’s Get To Know Newton 250 at the Iowa Speedway when his unsponsored #46 The Motorsports Group Chevrolet fell out with ignition problems after he completed 3 of the race’s 250 laps.  The finish came in Ellis’ ninth series start.

A 24-year-old native of Ashburn, Virginia, Ellis made his Nationwide Series debut at Road America on June 23, 2012.  Driving for Jimmy Means Racing, he finished 39th, falling out of the race after 4 laps with ignition trouble.  His best finish in the series remains a 28th-place finish earlier this year at Las Vegas, his most recent start driving the #24 Toyota for SR2 Motorsports.

Ellis also has three Truck Series starts for Jim Rosenblum and Jennifer Jo Cobb.  His best finish in that series came earlier this year at Daytona, when he came home 18th in Rosenblum’s #28.

At Iowa, Ellis was originally slated to drive the #15 entry for Rick Ware Racing.  However, that changed when Josh Wise, the regular driver of The Motorsports Group’s primary #40, sat out this race.  Thanks to an incredible grassroots effort by Dogecoin and Reddit to both sponsor and vote in Phil Parsons Racing’s #98 Chevrolet, Wise was won the Sprint Fan Vote to make his first-ever start in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, where he came home 15th.  Wise’s absence allowed #46 driver Matt DiBenedetto to run the #40, and freed the #46 ride for Ellis, whose #15 entry withdrew, leaving 40 drivers to qualify for 40 spots.

Ellis didn’t participate in the first three practice sessions, but timed in 35th in Happy Hour and scored the 39th starting spot in qualifying with a speed of 126.354 mph.

In Sunday’s race, Ellis pulled behind the wall under green on Lap 3, just in time to follow all-time LASTCAR leader Jeff Green into the garage.  By running behind Green, Ellis scored the last-place finish, joining Jimmy Weller as the only two drivers not running for TriStar to finish last this season.

Rounding out the Bottom Five were 38th-place finisher Mike Harmon, who started last in his Dodge, 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope in the YOUTHEORY Chevrolet, and surprising Talladega 14th-place finisher Tommy Joe Martins in the #76 Riessen Construction Ford.

*This is the first last-place finish for the #46 since The Motorsports Group’s most recent last-place finish at Richmond, eighteen races ago, when J.J. Yeley drove the car four laps before an engine failure.

40) #46-Ryan Ellis / 3 laps / ignition
39) #10-Jeff Green / 3 laps / vibration
38) #74-Mike Harmon / 8 laps / electrical
37) #70-Derrike Cope / 44 laps / brakes
36) #76-Tommy Joe Martins / 63 laps / ignition

1st) Blake Koch (5)
2nd) Jeff Green (3)
3rd) Ryan Ellis, Jimmy Weller (1)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (6)
2nd) #91-TriStar Motorsports (2)
3rd) #46-The Motorsports Group, #55-VIVA Motorsports / SS Green Light Racing (1)

1st) Toyota (8)
2nd) Chevrolet (2)

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