Sunday, June 14, 2015

XFINITY: Qualifying Crash Ends C.J. Faison’s Day In Michigan

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
C.J. Faison picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 at the Michigan International Speedway when his #26 JGL Graphics Toyota was unable to start the race.  The finish occurred in what was to be Faison’s 2nd series start.

Just 21 years old, Faison already has 16 years of racing experience, having worked his way from the go-kart tracks of the northeast to the K&N Pro Series East and Dirt Late Model divisions.  In 2013, he made his Truck Series debut at Dover, finishing 30th for Ken Smith, then just two rounds later jumped to 19th at Kentucky in Bobby Dotter’s #81 SS Green Light Racing Toyota.  With a contract signed to run select Truck races for Premium Motorsports while developing his own race team, Faison set his sights on the XFINITY Series for which he tested in 2013.  In this series, Faison has found a home with JGL Racing.

JGL was formed last year by Gregg Mixon, a longtime XFINITY Series owner who was making his return to the series after a decade’s absence.  In the aftermath of Dodge’s exodus from NASCAR, Mixon bought old XFINITY cars from Penske Racing and ran two cars with a mix of veteran and rookie drivers.  The car number that would become Faison’s ride was to be a part-time third team for the restrictor-plate races in 2015 with Mike Wallace aboard while Eric McClure brought his Hefty and Reynolds Wrap sponsorship to fund one of JGL’s two full-time rides.  However, when McClure and his sponsors returned to TriStar Motorsports after Talladega, JGL went back to running two cars once more - the #28 of J.J. Yeley and the #26 to be driven by series newcomers like Faison.

Faison made his XFINITY Series debut at Dover on May 30, starting 37th and finishing 23rd, six laps down.  He was tabbed to return for Saturday’s next round at Michigan, where he turned in the 27th-fastest time in Friday’s only practice session.  In Saturday’s qualifying session, Faison had just turned in the 30th-fastest time on his second lap at an average speed of 187.110 mph when a bizarre accident ended his afternoon.  Coming off Turn 4, his car ruptured a water line that got moisture under his wheels.  The #26 switched ends and backed into the outside wall.  Faison was uninjured and attempted to help his crew fix the machine for that afternoon’s race.  Despite the team’s best efforts, Faison’s car was pulled behind the wall before the start, unable to compete in the race.

For the seventh time this season, TriStar Motorsports and Motorsports Business Management finished nose-to-tail in the Bottom Five, this time with current LASTCAR XFINITY Series leader Jeff Green in TriStar’s unsponsored #19 coming home 39th, 29 laps behind Carl Long in MBM’s #40 Braille Battery / Grafoid Dodge.  37th went to 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope with Jackson Coffee Co. on his self-prepared #70 Chevrolet, equaling Cope’s worst finish of the year at Bristol.  36th place ended up with Blake Koch, one of Green’s teammates at TriStar, in the #8 Leaf Filter Gutter Protection Toyota.

LASTCAR STATISTICS
*Faison is the first XFINITY Series driver to finish last due to being unable to start the race since June 2, 2012, when Tony Raines’ #70 Black Cat Fireworks Chevrolet for owner Jay Robinson could not get going in the 5-Hour Energy 200.
*This is the first last-place finish for the #26 in an XFINITY Series race since October 15, 2010, when Parker Kligerman’s #26 Roger Penske-owned Dodge started 8th but crashed after 3 laps of the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte.  It is the number’s first XFINITY last-place run at Michigan.
*This is the first last-place finish for JGL Racing since last June, when Kevin Lepage lost the rear gear o his unsponsored #93 JGL Racing Dodge and did not complete a lap of the Gardner Denver 200 at Road America.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
40) #26-C.J. Faison / 0 laps / did not start
39) #19-Jeff Green / 2 laps / vibration
38) #40-Carl Long / 31 laps / vibration
37) #70-Derrike Cope / 32 laps / transmission
36) #8-Blake Koch / 74 laps / electrical

2015 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Jeff Green (6)
2nd) Dexter Bean, C.J. Faison, Mike Harmon, Charles Lewandoski, Carl Long, Morgan Shepherd, Derek White (1)

2015 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) TriStar Motorsports (7)
2nd) Motorsports Business Management (2)
3rd) JGL Racing, King Autosport, Mike Harmon Racing, Shepherd Racing Ventures (1)

2015 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (9)
2nd) Chevrolet, Dodge (2)

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