|SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums|
The finish was Schendel’s first of the 2014 season and his first in the Nationwide Series since his series debut at Memphis on October 28, 2006 - 257 races ago. That day, his #56 Power Equipment Company / Texpar Inc. Chevrolet crashed after 51 laps of the Sam’s Town 250.
Saturday’s race was the 23rd of Schendel’s career. In six partial seasons on the tour, his best finish remains a 24th at Indianapolis Raceway Park on July 30, 2011, when he was driving for Jimmy Means. The majority of Schendel’s starts came with Means that season, when he ran eleven races and finished 42nd in the season’s point standings. On April 8 of that year, he made the highlight reel when a blown tire at Texas sent him into the wall, collecting 2nd-place driver Kyle Busch.
At Michigan, Schendel would make his second start of 2014 and his first since a 34th at Iowa, three races ago. The car he would drive was owned by Rick Ware Racing, but his #87 has been fielded by two other teams this season: JD Motorsports, owned by Johnny Davis, and under the NEMCO banner of owner-driver Joe Nemechek.
Nemechek drove the #87 in four races, including its best finish of the season at Talladega, where he came home 6th. In JD Motorsports’ seven other starts for the #87, the best finish was a 19th by Kevin Lepage at Darlington. Rick Ware Racing picked up the remaining two starts: Chris Cockrum made his series debut at Charlotte in a backup car following a practice crash, then finished 35th. Schendel would drive that same backup car (pictured) at Michigan.
Schendel qualified 38th for Saturday’s race at an average speed of just 124.297 mph to make the field based on owner points. Though ranked 41st and last in the opening practice, he showed much more speed with a lap of 170.794 mph.
At the start of Saturday’s race, Schendel was the first to pull behind the wall without completing a lap. Series veteran Kevin Lepage took his first turn of the season in TriStar Motorsports’ #10 Toyota and pulled out of the race after 3 laps, finishing 39th. Tommy Joe Martins failed to qualify his #76, joining Morgan Shepherd and Matt DiBenedetto in The Motorsports Group’s #46, but started the race in teammate Benny Gordon’s #67 only to fall out after five laps. Matt Carter put John Carter’s Nationwide Series team into its first race since 2012, then fell out after eight laps. Rounding out the Bottom Five was Charlotte last-place finisher Tanner Berryhill.
Jeff Green and Blake Koch, the current LASTCAR Nationwide Series leaders, both ran the full distance in TriStar’s other cars. Green once again filled in for Eric McClure in the #14 Hefty Toyota and came home 23rd. Koch climbed aboard the CompassionRacing.com #44 Toyota and finished right behind Green in 24th.
*This is the first last-place finish for the #87 in a Nationwide Series race since March 5, 2011, when Kevin Conway’s NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet overheated after 2 laps of the Sam’s Town 300. The number had never before finished last in a Natiowide race at Michigan.
*Schendel is the first Nationwide Series driver to finish last without completing a lap since last summer at Watkins Glen, when Mike Wallace was involved in an early crash.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
40) #87-Tim Schendel / 0 laps / engine
39) #10-Kevin Lepage / 3 laps / vibration
38) #67-Tommy Joe Martins / 5 laps / engine
37) #72-Matt Carter / 8 laps / brakes
36) #17-Tanner Berryhill / 10 laps / vibration
LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Blake Koch (6)
2nd) Jeff Green (3)
3rd) Tanner Berryhill, Ryan Ellis, Tim Schendel, Jimmy Weller (1)
LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (7)
2nd) #91-TriStar Motorsports (2)
3rd) #17-Vision Racing, #46-The Motorsports Group, #55-VIVA Motorsports / SS Green Light Racing, #87-Rick Ware Racing (1)
LASTCAR N'WIDE SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (9)
2nd) Chevrolet (3)
3rd) Dodge (1)