Sunday, July 13, 2014

TRUCKS: Debut For Tommy Regan and #45 Team Ends On Iowa’s Opening Lap

SOURCE: Associated Press
Tommy Regan picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Friday's American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen at the Iowa Speedway when his #45 JD2 Shark Welding / American Tactical Chevrolet fell out with ignition problems on the opening lap of the 200-lap race.  The finish came in Regan’s series debut.

A native of Tracy, California (not far from LASTCAR's home base), Regan has four starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with a best finish of 19th at the All American Speedway in nearby Roseville in 2012.  Looking to make the jump into NASCAR’s big leagues, Regan set his sights on a Truck Series start at Iowa with his single-truck team, Regan Motorsports, with B.J. McLeod as the listed team owner.

McLeod, a Truck Series driver with fourteen series starts from 2010 through his 25th-place finish for Bobby Dotter in this spring’s race at Texas, would make his first start as a team owner at Iowa with Regan behind the wheel.  That is, if the team could out-qualify two of the 38 teams entered for the first full Truck Series field since Martinsville in the spring.  However, after the withdrawal of Richie Wauters’ #5 team following the departure of driver John Wes Townley and of Mike Mittler’s “start-and-park” #36 RAM, Regan and McLeod were guaranteed a starting spot for Friday’s race.

The #45 truck went through a couple different looks before it hit the track.  The original design, according to the team’s website, featured two bright red guns on each side and a decimal in front of the “45 caliber” numbers on the doors.  However, by the time the truck rolled on the track at Iowa, the gun decals were gone, replaced by large white door numbers and sponsor graphics.  The truck itself remained a pre-2014 Chevrolet, as with many other single-truck and underfunded teams this season.

Building on the team’s test at the Motor Mile Speedway, Regan showed speed early, timing in 31st in the weekend’s only practice session, beating five other “go-or-go-homers” in the process.  He qualified even better, timing in 28th at an average speed of 128.719 mph.

However, Regan didn’t have much time to show that speed in the race.  According to a trackside report from a fan sitting near the entrance to pit road, Regan was on the grid for the race, but immediately pulled down pit road on the very first lap.  Citing ignition issues, Regan’s first Truck Series start was over as quickly as it had started.

Regan beat two LASTCAR contenders for 2014 - the Jennifer Jo Cobb-owned #0 Koma Unwind RAM, this time driven by Caleb Roark, and Charles Lewandoski in Randy Young’s #42 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet.  Rounding out the Bottom Five were two old Chevrolets - Korbin Forrister, making his third start of the season in Ken Smith’s #07 McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co. Chevrolet; and the #56 Battlefield Ford / The Sign Shop Chevrolet of owner-driver Raymond Terczak, Jr. - his first start since Dover.

*The finish is the first for the #45 in a Truck Series race since April 17, 1999, when Rich Bickle’s 10-10-345 Ford lost the engine after 1 lap of the NAPA 250 at Martinsville.  Winning the race that day was Jimmy Hensley, driving for Petty Enterprises.  It was the beginning of a weekend sweep for the Petty’s as John Andretti took the checkers in the Cup race the next day - the last win by the #43 in Cup until Aric Almirola won last Saturday’s Coke Zero 400.

36) #45-Tommy Regan / 0 laps / ignition
35) #0-Caleb Roark / 3 laps / vibration
34) #42-Charles Lewandoski / 4 laps / vibration
33) #07-Korbin Forrister / 38 laps / brakes
32) #56-Raymond Terczak, Jr. / 66 laps / steering

1st) Ryan Ellis (2)
2nd) Alex Guenette, Justin Jennings, Blake Koch, Charles Lewandoski, Tommy Regan, Scott Stenzel, Jason White (1)

1st) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #36-Mike Mittler (2)
2nd) #42-Randy Young, #45-Regan Motorsports, #63-Mike Mittler, #74-Mario Gosselin, #93-RSS Racing (1)

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

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