Sunday, September 7, 2014

N’WIDE: Crash Leaves Lepage With Fourth Last-Place Finish at Richmond

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Kevin Lepage picked up the 15th last-place finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in Friday’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at the Richmond International Raceway when his #74 Kengor Metals Dodge was involved in a two-car accident that ended his night after he’d completed 2 of the race’s 250 laps.

The finish was Lepage’s third of the 2014 season and his first since Chicagoland, seven races ago.  With eight races to go, Lepage now sits two and four finishes behind TriStar Motorsports teammates Jeff Green and Blake Koch, respectively, in the 2014 LASTCAR Nationwide Series standings.

The preliminary entry list for Richmond had 43 cars for 40 spots, but by Tuesday the number dropped by one after the withdrawal of the #86 RaceTrac Convenience Stores Chevrolet to be fielded by Rick Ware.  The withdrawal may have had something to do with the lack of an assigned driver for the Richmond race.  The next day, Lepage was announced as the weekend’s driver of Mike Harmon’s #74.

Lepage did not participate in Thursday’s opening practice session, then put up the 40th-fastest time of the 41 who ran during Happy Hour.  On Friday, he qualified 31st for the race at an average speed of 116.974 mph, bumping out the #17 Dodge of Tanner Berryhill and the #70 Youtheory Chevrolet of former LASTCAR record holder Derrike Cope.

Though listed as an unsponsored entry during practice, by Friday, Lepage’s Dodge carried decals on the quarter-panels from Kengor Metals, a machine shop which had previously sponsored Lepage in his most recent start at Bristol last month as well as at Charlotte in the fall of 2012.

On Lap 3 of Friday’s race, a three-wide mid-pack battle between J.J. Yeley, Jamie Dick, and Jeff Green entering Turn 1 resulted in Yeley making contact with Dick, sending his #55 Viva Chevrolet sliding sideways down the track.  Lepage, running several positions behind at the time, tried to find a way through on the inside of the stopped car of Joey Gase.  However, Dick’s car stopped in Lepage’s path, and the two collided.  Gase and Yeley drove away unscathed.

Lepage’s Dodge suffered severe damage to the right-front that ruptured the radiator and sent him behind the wall.  Dick’s rear end housing came loose in the wreck, and after trying to return to competition under the ensuing caution, his car trailed smoke, forcing him to retire as well.  In between, both Matt Frahm in the #46 and Blake Koch in the #91 pulled their cars behind the wall, filling four of the bottom-five positions in the first five laps.

Rounding out the Bottom Five was Morgan Shepherd, whose #89 Racing With Jesus / Courtney Construction Chevrolet slowed on the backstretch after 19 laps, then pulled out soon after with transmission issues.

*This was Lepage’s fourth last-place finish in a Nationwide Series race at Richmond.
*This was the first last-place finish for Dodge in a Nationwide Series race at Richmond since April 30, 2010, when Brian Keselowski’s #92 DoubleTree Hotel / K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge lost the brakes after 5 laps of the BUBBA Burger 250.

40) #74-Kevin Lepage / 2 laps / crash
39) #46-Matt Frahm / 3 laps / rear gear
38) #91-Blake Koch / 4 laps / vibration
37) #55-Jamie Dick / 5 laps / crash
36) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 19 laps / transmission

1st) Blake Koch (7)
2nd) Jeff Green (5)
3rd) Kevin Lepage (3)
4th) Matt DiBenedetto (2)
5th) Tanner Berryhill, Ryan Ellis, Matt Frahm, Roger Reuse, Robert Richardson, Jr., Tim Schendel, Jimmy Weller, Josh Wise (1)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports (9)
2nd) #46-The Motorsports Group (5)
3rd) #91-TriStar Motorsports (3)
4th) #74-Mike Harmon Racing (2)
5th) #17-Vision Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports, #55-VIVA Motorsports / SS Green Light Racing, #77-Mike Harmon Racing, #87-Rick Ware Racing, #93-JGL Racing (1)

1st) Toyota (12)
2nd) Chevrolet (8)
3rd) Dodge (5)

No comments: