The finish was Hill’s second of the 2014 season and his first since the spring race at Bristol, 25 races ago. With seven races to go, Hill now takes sole possession of second in he 2014 LASTCAR Cup Series Championship, one finish behind co-leaders Dave Blaney and Mike Bliss. If the season ended today, Bliss would win the title on a bottom-ten tiebreaker 6-4. However, Hill now equals Bliss and Blaney with 4 bottom-fives of his own and already has 7 Bottom Tens. This means that with one more last-place finish in any of the next few races, Hill could take the lead in the championship.
Team XTREME Racing, formerly known as Xxxtreme Motorsport, made its most recent appearance at late June, when J.J. Yeley gave the team a season-best 34th in the Toyota / Save Mart 350 at the Sonoma Raceway. The team then withdrew from the following race at Kentucky to reorganize, including a move to a new shop.
Plans for XTREME to return to the track at Indianapolis were pushed back two months to this past weekend, when they brought out the red-white-and-blue Chevrolet the team had unsuccessfully tried to qualify at Charlotte. With Yeley already committed to run the #32 Corvetteparts.com Ford for FAS Lane Racing, journeyman Timmy Hill was tabbed as the team’s driver.
Hill, making his seventh start of the season for a fourth different team, was guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday’s race as only 43 cars showed up to qualify. After trailing the opening practice, he settled for the 43rd starting spot with an average speed of 152.355 mph, more than a second and a half off the pole lap set by Kevin Harvick. On Saturday, Hill improved to 42nd in the morning, passing Travis Kvapil in his second-straight run in the #83 Burger King Toyota, then did not participate in Happy Hour.
On Sunday, Hill never relinquished the 43rd spot. He pulled behind the wall on Lap 12 and was soon listed as the race’s first retiree. For much of the distance, the 41st and 42nd spots belonged to Yeley, who brushed the wall on Lap 172, and Mike Wallace, who was making his first Dover start since 2005.
No other drivers fell out of the race until the halfway point, when the lapped #98 Phil Parsons Racing Chevrolet of Josh Wise pulled out with suspension issues. It was just Wise’s second 42nd-place finish of the year and his first since Las Vegas. After winning the last three LASTCAR Cup Series Championships, Phil Parsons Racing has yet to finish last once and is virtually out of contention for the 2014 title.
Finishing 41st was Michael Annett, who is officially listed as out due to crash damage despite his late-race wreck not bringing out a caution. Wallace and Yeley rounded out the Bottom Five.
UPDATE (Oct. 1): The updated standings now indicate Annett fell out with a broken axle.
*This is Team XTREME’s second last-place finish in a Cup race at Dover. On June 2, 2013, Scott Riggs lost the transmission on his #44 No Label Watches Ford after 16 laps of the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. That race was also the #44's most recent last-place finish at this track.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #44-Timmy Hill / 11 laps / vibration
42) #98-Josh Wise / 197 laps / suspension
41) #7-Michael Annett / 361 laps / axle
40) #66-Mike Wallace / 384 laps / running
39) #32-J.J. Yeley / 387 laps / running
LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Dave Blaney, Mike Bliss (3)
2nd) Timmy Hill (2)
3rd) A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Trevor Bayne, Clint Bowyer, Landon Cassill, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., David Gilliland, Denny Hamlin, Travis Kvapil, Kyle Larson, Michael McDowell, Joe Nemechek, Clay Rogers, Johnny Sauter, Morgan Shepherd, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan Truex, Brian Vickers, Cole Whitt, J.J. Yeley (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #93-BK Racing (4)
2nd) #37-Tommy Baldwin Racing (3)
3rd) #77-Randy Humphrey Racing (2)
4th) #11-Joe Gibbs Racing, #14-Stewart-Haas Racing, #15-Michael Waltrip Racing, #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #26-BK Racing, #32-Go FAS Racing, #33-Circle Sport, #38-Front Row Motorsports, #40-Hillman Racing, #42-Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, #43-Richard Petty Motorsports, #44-Team XTREME Racing, #47-JTG-Daugherty Racing, #55-Michael Waltrip Racing, #66-Michael Waltrip Racing / Identity Ventures Racing, #78-Furniture Row Racing, #83-BK Racing, #87-Identity Ventures Racing, #88-Hendrick Motorsports, #95-Leavine Family Racing (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet, Toyota (11)
2nd) Ford (7)