Sunday, May 18, 2014

TRUCKS: Late Entry Charles Lewandoski Scores First Truck Series Last-Place Finish

SOURCE: @tonyztrains
Charles Lewandoski picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when his #42 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet fell out with ignition problems after he completed 3 of the race’s 134 laps.  The finish came in Lewandoski’s third series start.

Lewandoski, a 29-year-old driver from Stafford Springs, Connecticut, made the move from the K&N Pro Series East to the Nationwide Series in 2008, finishing 41st driving for Armando Fitz at his home track in Loudon, New Hampshire.  He has made 25 other starts in the series for five other teams, most recently a three-race stint in the #10 TriStar Motorsports entry he shared with all-time LASTCAR leader Jeff Green in late 2012.  His best finish in the series remains a 21st for TriStar at Phoenix on February 26, 2011.

Prior to 2014, Lewandoski had made just one start in the Truck Series, which took place all the way back on September 19, 2009.  This start, which also came at Loudon, saw him finish 32nd in the #01 Koma Unwind / Potencia Energy Drink Dodge for Corrie Stott.  He was set to make his series return last year at Rockingham, but team owner Randy Young withdrew both he and teammate Tyler Young from the entry list.  43 trucks had originally entered the Rockingham race to compete for 36 spots.

However, this season, the Truck Series has experienced a drop in the number of entries.  Only the first two events of the year had full 36-truck fields, and only Daytona saw the only DNQ as four other teams withdrew from both that race and Martinsville.  As a result, earlier this month at Kansas saw the return of “start-and-park” teammates to Jennifer Jo Cobb (Ryan Ellis in the #0), Justin Jennings (Scott Stenzel in the #36), and Tyler Young (Lewandoski in the #42).  All three finished in the Bottom Five that day with Stenzel in the last spot.

Just 30 trucks were on the preliminary entry list for the Charlotte race, so Lewandoski joined two other drivers as late entries to participate in the event.  He ran 31st-fastest in the weekend’s only practice session, then timed in 29th at an average speed of 170.719 mph.

As in the Nationwide race on Sunday, the early laps of the Truck race saw the first two retirees pull off the track at the exact same time.  Lewandoski followed Willie Allen in the #0 Jo Cobb entry to the garage area and was credited with the last-place finish.  Rounding out the Bottom Five were ARCA driver Max Gresham in his first start for Gallagher Motorsports; Blake Koch, who was a last-minute replacement for J.J. Yeley in the #07 Thunder Exhaust Chevrolet; and Justin Jennings, who brought out the first caution for an early crash, then managed to finish the race under power.

*This is the first Truck Series last-place finish for the #42 since May 24, 2008, when Tim Cowen’s Cowen Truck Lines Ford overheated after 140 laps of the Ohio 250 at the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway.  This race, the fifth and most recent Truck race at the half-mile track, is better known for Donny Lia’s thrilling last-lap pass for the win.
*Chevrolet sweeps the first four Truck Series last-place finishes for the first time since 2008, which began with a streak of five in a row.

33) #42-Charles Lewandoski / 3 laps / ignition
32) #0-Willie Allen / 3 laps / electrical
31) #23-Max Gresham / 13 laps / transmission
30) #07-Blake Koch / 40 laps / vibration
29) #63-Justin Jennings / 66 laps / running

1st) Alex Guenette, Charles Lewandoski, Scott Stenzel, Jason White (1)

1st) #36-Mike Mittler, #42-Randy Young, #74-Mario Gosselin, #93-RSS Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (4)

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