Sunday, June 7, 2015

TRUCKS: Racing Instructor Adam Edwards Trails First Truck Series Field

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Adam Edwards picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Friday’s WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at the Texas Motor Speedway when his #0 Chevrolet fell out with rear gear issues after he completed 5 of the race’s 167 laps.  The finish occurred in Edwards’ 7th series start.

Edwards, a graduate of Virginia Tech and an instructor at Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track High Performance Driving School, got his start as an owner-drier in 2002 running in the pure stock division of the NASCAR Weekly Series.  In 2007, he broke into the national ranks by making 5 ARCA Racing Series starts that year with a best finish of 17th at Pocono for Andy Belmont in August. Earlier that year, Edwards ran the June Pocono event for owner-driver Norm Benning, parking Benning’s unsponsored #8 Chevrolet after one lap of the race.

Benning and Edwards reunited at the Pocono track in 2012 where he again parked one of Benning’s backup vehicles - this time his #75 Chevrolet in the Camping World Truck Series - ending his series debut after 5 laps.  Last year, Edwards ran Benning’s second truck in five more races, improving to a 28th-place finish in the 29-truck field at Michigan, but never completing more than 12 laps in any one event.  The truck changed numbers twice more from #71 to Benning’s old #57 as Benning himself switched to the #6 at Eldora.

Friday’s race at Texas was to be Edwards’ first start of the season and his first for Jennifer Jo Cobb.  Days earlier, it was announced that Edwards would replace defending LASTCAR Truck Series Champion Caleb Roark in Jo Cobb’s own second truck, the #0 Chevrolet.  Just 27 trucks were on that preliminary entry list, but by Friday another three late entries brought the grid to just two short of a full field: the #74 Mike Harmon Racing entry of Jordan Anderson, the #03 of dirt tracker Mike Affarano, and the #45 Tilted Kilt Chevrolet of B.J. McLeod.  Affarano and McLeod would join Edwards in the Bottom Five.  Anderson came home 24th.

Edwards was 22nd-fastest in Thursday’s opening practice session and joined McLeod as the only two drivers to not participate in Happy Hour.  He timed in 28th at an average speed of 159.546 mph, though was listed as in by Owner Points despite the short field.  Teammate and team owner Jennifer Jo Cobb, who made her 100th Truck Series start on Friday, started 20th and would come home 19th.

During the opening green-flag run, all five members of the Bottom Five pulled behind the wall and fell out of the race.  Edwards beat Affarano by a single lap, followed two circuits later by Donnie Neuenberger in MAKE Motorsports’ #50 Burnie Grill Chevrolet.  McLeod came home 27th followed two circuits later by Justin Jennings in another team truck, the #36 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool Chevrolet.  Mittler’s #36 has finished in the Bottom Five in 3 of its 4 starts so far this season.

*This is the third last-place finish in the last four Texas races for Jo Cobb’s #0 team and the second in a row during the spring race.  Last year, Ryan Ellis also scored his first last-place finish in the series after a vibration stopped him 2 laps into the event.

30) #0-Adam Edwards / 5 laps / rear gear
29) #03-Mike Affarano / 6 laps / vibration
28) #50-Donnie Neuenberger / 8 laps / engine
27) #45-B.J. McLeod / 10 laps / electrical
26) #36-Justin Jennings / 12 laps / electrical

1st) Norm Benning (2)
2nd) Adam Edwards, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Travis Kvapil, Justin Marks, Caleb Roark (1)

1st) Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing (3)
2nd) Norm Benning Racing (2)
3rd) MAKE Motorsports, Win-Tron Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (6)
2nd) Toyota (1)

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