Sunday, May 17, 2015

TRUCKS: Norm Benning Takes Early 2015 LASTCAR Truck Series Lead

SOURCE: NASCAR Media
Norm Benning picked up the 7th last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #6 Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet fell out with suspension issues after he completed 9 of the race’s 139 laps.

The finish was Benning’s series-leading second of the 2015 season and his first since Atlanta, three races ago.  It was also his fourth-straight DNF and occurred in Benning’s 142nd series start.

At Charlotte, Benning was one of 33 drivers on the preliminary entry list.  Two more drivers were added by the first practice - B.J. McLeod in the #45 Tilted Kilt Chevrolet, a second entry for owner Christopher Long, and Justin Jennings in a second truck for Mike Mittler, the #36 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tools Chevrolet.  McLeod, Jennings, and Benning all made the race while Brandon Brown, Ryan Ellis, and Todd Peck were sent home.  Benning was the slowest in both practice sessions and secured the final starting spot on owner points, having turned a qualifying lap of just 153.183 mph.

Before the green flag fell on Friday’s race, Benning was joined by front row starters Kasey Kahne and Erik Jones, who were both sent to the rear for unapproved adjustments and missing the driver’s meeting, respectively.  Both passed Benning on the first lap and would eventually settle the finish between each other in one of the series’ closest finishes.

Benning, meanwhile, began to lose ground to the rest of the field.  By Lap 3, Benning was 15.562 seconds behind the leaders and 6 seconds behind 31st-place driver Wendell Chavous in Premium Motorsports’ #94.  On Lap 5, Korbin Forrister’s #08 Tilted Kilt / Halcyon Chevrolet fell behind Benning and was the first to be lapped.  Benning retook the spot after 8 laps when he pulled behind the wall.  He returned on Lap 17, but ran just one more circuit before pulling out of the race for good.  Forrister finished 29th with steering box issues following his spin through the infield grass on Lap 21.

Between Benning and Forrister were both late entries of McLeod and Jennings.  Rounding out the Bottom Five was Martinsville last-placer Travis Kvapil, whose lapped #50 Burnie Grill Chevrolet brought out the race’s second caution with a crash in Turn 3.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*This is the first last-place finish for both Benning and the #6 in a Truck Series race at Charlotte.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
32) #6-Norm Benning / 9 laps / suspension
31) #45-B.J. McLeod / 26 laps / electrical
30) #36-Justin Jennings / 33 laps / electrical
29) #08-Korbin Forrister / 38 laps / steering box
28) #50-Travis Kvapil / 62 laps / crash

2015 LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Norm Benning (2)
2nd) Travis Kvapil, Justin Marks, Caleb Roark (1)

2015 LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #6-Norm Benning Racing (2)
2nd) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing, #1-MAKE Motorsports, #35-Win-Tron Racing (1)

2015 LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (4)
2nd) Toyota (1)

1 comment:

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