Sunday, March 8, 2015

XFINITY: Jeff Green Edges Teammate Bliss For First Last-Place Run of 2015

SOURCE: FOX Sports 1
Jeff Green picked up the 61st last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Boyd's Gaming 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway when his #10 Holiday Inn Club Vacations Toyota fell out with a vibration after he completed 3 of the race’s 200 laps.

The finish came in Green’s 393rd series start.  It his first since last fall’s season finale at Homestead, 3 races ago.  In all Green, now has 66 last-place finishes across NASCAR’s top three divisions, 27 more than the next-highest mark set 39-time finisher Joe Nemechek.

Green returned to the XFINITY Series in 2015 for his sixth season driving for Mark Smith’s TriStar Motorsports.  At the Daytona opener, Green timed in a solid 22nd, having not turned a lap in Round 2 of qualifying after is flat white Toyota made the cut.  However, when TriStar teammate Scott Lagasse, Jr. failed to make the show in the #19, Green stepped out of the car so Lagasse could drive.  The team managed to re-skin the car just in time for the race, where a crash left him 37th.

Las Vegas would be Green’s first appearance since then, TriStar having not entered his “start-and-park” #10 last week at Atlanta.  His car, as well as that of teammate and 2014 LASTCAR Cup champ Mike Bliss, carried sponsorship from Holiday Inn, which was likely because of an arrangement between the team and the hotel where they stayed for the weekend.

Green didn’t participate in the weekend’s opening practice and ran just 36th-best in Happy Hour, but while 42 cars gunned for 40 starting spots, Green was locked-into the field on Owner Points.  He secured the 34th spot in qualifying, the highest-ranked of those taking provisionals, at a speed of 171.964 mph.  Daytona last-placer Dexter Bean ran two-tenths faster than Green in time trials, but his #92 King Autosport Chevrolet was sent home with the Victor Obaika-owned #97 entry driven by Josh Reaume.

Cody Ware started last in his father Rick’s #15 Lily Trucking of Virginia Chevrolet, but just 3 laps into the race, Green pulled behind the wall and out of the event.  Just 9 laps later, Mike Bliss brought out the first caution when he lost control of his #19 in Turn 1, made contact with the #51 / Casedhole Solutions Chevrolet of Jeremy Clements, then turned head-on into the outside wall.  Bliss was uninjured, but after just 12 laps, TriStar had two of its cars out of the race.

Outside-polesitter Brian Scott became the race’s next retiree when his #2 Albertson’s / Sanderson Farms Chevrolet lost the engine after 14 laps.  It was Scott’s second DNF in three races this season, and his worst finish in the series since a career-worst 41st at Phoenix in the fall of 2011.  Morgan Shepherd, who trailed last week’s race at Atlanta, fell out one lap after Scott, citing suspension issues on his #89 Racing With Jesus / Courtney Construction Chevrolet.  Rounding out the Bottom Five was the Dodge of Carl Long, his 40 Braille Battery / Grafoid machine out with electrical issues.

TriStar’s top finishing car on Saturday belonged to David Starr, whose #44 Zachry Toyota finished two laps down in 17th.  One spot in front of Starr was J.J. Yeley, who earned his second-consecutive top-twenty finish in Gregg Mixon’s Texas 28 Spirits Stage Toyota.  Mixon’s JGL Racing has quietly had a solid start to 2015 ever since Daytona, when two of its cars finished 13th and 17th with Mike Wallace and Eric McClure, respectively.

*This is Green’s second-consecutive last-place finish in the XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas.  Last year, his #10 also exited after 3 laps with a vibration.

40) #10-Jeff Green / 3 laps / vibration
39) #19-Mike Bliss / 12 laps / crash
38) #2-Brian Scott / 14 laps / engine
37) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 15 laps / suspension
36) #40-Carl Long / 34 laps / electrical

1st) Dexter Bean, Jeff Green, Morgan Shepherd (1)

1st) #10-TriStar Motorsports, #89-Shepherd Racing Ventures, #92-King Autosport (1)

1st) Chevrolet (2)
2nd) Toyota (1)

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