Sunday, August 3, 2014

N’WIDE: Matt Frahm Trails First Nationwide Series Field In Nearly Three Years

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Matt Frahm picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 at the Iowa Speedway when his unsponsored #46 The Motorsports Group Chevrolet fell out with ignition trouble after he completed 3 of the race’s 250 laps.

The finish was Frahm’s first of the 2014 season and his first in the series since November 12, 2011, 88 races ago, when he was involved in an opening-lap crash at Phoenix.

Frahm, a 24-year-old driver from North Salem, New Hampshire, was making just his eighth start since the 2011 Phoenix race and his second of the 2014 season.  In his most recent start at Loudon, driving the #44 TriStar Motorsports entry, Frahm matched his career-best 25th-place finish at Lucas Oil Raceway in 2011, when he drove Go Green Racing’s #39.

At Iowa, Frahm would reunite with The Motorsports Group, who fielded a car for him in his only other Iowa start in 2012, finishing 38th in the #42.  This time, he would drive the #46 which had already finished last three times this season with Ryan Ellis and Matt DiBenedetto.

Frahm’s team was originally one of just 38 cars on the preliminary entry list, but two last-minute entries brought the field up to a full 40 starters.  On July 28, Mike Harmon entered his #74 30 Days Foundation Dodge.  Then on August 1, James Carter’s #72 team joined as a post-entry for the second-consecutive week, this time with Scottish driver John Jackson behind the wheel.  While Iowa would be Harmon’s first start since Chicago, two races ago, it would be Jackson’s first Nationwide race since May 20, 2012, also at Iowa.

Frahm, Harmon, and Jackson all ended up in Saturday’s Bottom Five.

Frahm didn’t participate in the opening practice session, then ranked 37th of 38 in Happy Hour, besting Jackson.  He qualified 39th, ahead of Harmon, with a lap of 125.794 mph.

Frahm exited after three laps, followed two circuits later by Harmon.  Current 2014 LASTCAR leader Blake Koch exited after thirteen laps, once again carrying sponsorship from M&W Logistics Group, Inc. on TriStar’s #10.  Jackson left the race ten laps after Koch, followed seven laps later by Morgan Shepherd, making his first Nationwide start since Dover, eight races ago.

*The #46 The Motorsports Group team has swept both last-place finishes at Iowa in 2014.  Both were listed with ignition trouble as the cause.  The team has finished last in half of the last six races at the track, including Chase Miller’s run in the spring of 2012.

40) #46-Matt Frahm / 3 laps / ignition
39) #74-Mike Harmon / 5 laps / rear gear
38) #10-Blake Koch / 13 laps / vibration
37) #72-John Jackson / 23 laps / brakes
36) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 30 laps / overheating

1st) Blake Koch (7)
2nd) Jeff Green (3)
3rd) Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Lepage (2)
4th) Tanner Berryhill, Ryan Ellis, Matt Frahm, Robert Richardson, Jr., Tim Schendel, Jimmy Weller (1)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (8)
2nd) #46-The Motorsports Group (4)
3rd) #91-TriStar Motorsports (2)
4th) #17-Vision Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports, #55-VIVA Motorsports / SS Green Light Racing, #74-Mike Harmon Racing, #87-Rick Ware Racing, #93-JGL Racing (1)

1st) Toyota (10)
2nd) Chevrolet (7)
3rd) Dodge (3)

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