Sunday, September 14, 2014

TRUCKS: Mike Harmon’s Night At Chicagoland Ends On First Lap

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Mike Harmon picked up the 5th last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Saturday’s Lucas Oil 225 at the Chicagoland Speedway when his unsponsored #74 Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet fell out with a broken oil pump on the opening lap of the 150-lap race.

The finish was Harmon’s first of the 2014 season and his first in the Truck Series since April 14, 2013 at Rockingham, 34 races ago.

At the time of the Rockingham finish, Harmon was making his first Truck Series start since his team merged with that of fellow owner-driver Chris Fontaine.  Running Fontaine’s #84 in place of his usual #74, Harmon finished a season-best 22nd at Talladega, his third-best finish in the series behind a 15th at Darlington in 2010 and an 18th at Daytona in 2005.  It was a tumultuous 2013 for Harmon, who along with another man was charged with the theft of Jennifer Jo Cobb’s hauler - charges that were then dropped that October.

This season, Harmon has focused primarily on his Nationwide Series effort, which runs Dodges and Chevrolets with his more familiar #74.  Harmon drove in twelve in those starts with season-best finishes of 28th at Talladega and Michigan.

For Chicagoland, Harmon entered both the Nationwide and Truck Series races in identically-painted vehicles.  While Harmon failed to make the Nationwide field, all 32 who entered the Truck race made the show.  This included Thursday’s post-entries of Eldora last-placer Mike Affarano, whose #03 Won-N-Done Automotive Car Products Chevrolet had a new 2014 nose, and Adam Edwards in the red #57 Chevrolet out of Norm Benning’s stables.

Qualifying was rained-out, and as one of the five drivers who did not participate in Thursday’s opening practice session, Harmon secured the 31st spot on the grid.  He ran 26th-fastest of 27 trucks in Thursday’s Happy Hour.

Rain again pushed Friday’s race to Saturday evening.  During the pace laps, two-time last-place finisher Caleb Roark in Cobb’s #0 Grimes Irrigation & Construction Chevrolet and Kansas last-placer Scott Stenzel in Mike Mittler’s #36 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool Chevrolet both volunteered to start at the back, surrendering the 26th and 30th starting spots, respectively.  They were joined by eventual race winner Kyle Busch, sent to the rear due to a driver change with Erik Jones after practice.

However, when the green flag dropped, two other trucks pulled off on the very first lap.  The first was Ted Minor, making his first start since Gateway in the #12 Chevrolet for owner Joey Cefalia.  The second truck was Harmon, who by virtue of his starting spot secured the last-place finish.  Within four laps, Edwards, Stenzel, and Roark rounded out the Bottom Five.

*This is the first last-place finish at Chicagoland for both Harmon and the #74 since this same race in 2011, when his #74 @hrmn8ter Ford lost the transmission after 3 laps of the Fast Five 225.
*This is the first last-place finish for the #74 since earlier this year at Martinsville, when another #74 Chevrolet - this one owned by Mario Gosselin - trailed the field with Canadian driver Alex Guenette behind the wheel.
*Harmon is the first Truck Series driver with “oil pump” as the listed reason for retiring since May 16, 2004, when Chris Wimmer’s #63 Race Fans for a Cure Ford fell out after 26 laps of the UAW-GM Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway.

32) #74-Mike Harmon / 0 laps / oil pump
31) #12-Ted Minor / 0 laps / electrical
30) #57-Adam Edwards / 3 laps / engine
29) #36-Scott Stenzel / 3 laps / vibration
28) #0-Caleb Roark / 4 laps / vibration

1st) Ryan Ellis, Justin Jennings, Caleb Roark (2)
2nd) Mike Affarano, Bryan Dauzat, Alex Guenette, Mike Harmon, Blake Koch, Charles Lewandoski, Tommy Regan, Scott Stenzel, Jason White (1)

1st) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb (4)
2nd) #36-Mike Mittler, #63-Mike Mittler / Randy Young (2)
3rd) #28-FDNY Racing, #42-Randy Young, #45-Regan Motorsports, #74-Mario Gosselin, #74-Mike Harmon, #93-RSS Racing, #03-Mike Affarano Motorsports (1)

1st) Chevrolet (13)
2nd) RAM (2)


Jed Keselowski said...

Harmon's problems appeared to be legit, during the pace laps he was being pushed around the track on the apron, so I assume they were not able to get the truck fired & this was not a start and park.

Brock Beard said...

Thank you for letting me know. Unfortunately I don't have FS2 so I missed this race.