Sunday, August 2, 2015

TRUCKS: Caleb Roark Remains 3-For-3 In Last-Place Finishes

Caleb Roark picked up the 6th last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150 at the Pocono Raceway when his #0 Chevrolet fell out with suspension issues after he completed 3 of the race’s 69 laps.

The finish was Roark’s 3rd of the season and his first since his most recent start at Iowa, three races ago.  Roark has finished last in all three of his Truck Series starts in 2015.  Saturday’s finish once again lifts the defending LASTCAR Truck Series Champion into a tie with Norm Benning for the most last-place runs in 2015.  Benning currently leads Roark for the title by a single bottom-five finish, 4-3.

Roark’s truck was the slowest in Friday’s only practice session, coming in 33rd with an average speed of 138.820 mph after a single lap.  However, in qualifying, he secured the 27th starting spot by improving to 153.124 mph, his #0 the fastest truck to not rely on Owner Points.  Missing the show as Tim Viens, who was set to begin a four-race stretch driving Mike Affarano’s #03 Chevrolet.

The 32nd starting spot on Saturday belonged to local ARCA driver Kyle Martel, who was making his first start of the season in the #50 Hanover Cold Storage / Finish Line Express Chevrolet.  Martel was originally slated to qualify a #59 Chevrolet fielded by his family’s team, but the truck was withdrawn, and Martel brought his sponsorship onto the #50 fielded by MAKE Motorsports.  Also withdrawn before practice was Norm Benning’s second truck, #57, which this week was to be driven by ARCA part-timer Steve Fox.

By Lap 4, Martel was passed for the spot by Roark, who followed into the garage area Justin Jennings in the #36 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool Chevrolet.  Both Roark and Jennings were the first two retirees - Roark was credited with the last-place finish.

Moments later, trouble broke out in Turn 3 when a battle up front between point leader Matt Crafton and Cup Series regular Brad Keselowski resulted in a crash that destroyed both their trucks.  Extensive repairs to the right side of Crafton’s #88 Chi-Chi’s / Menards Toyota took until just 13 laps to go, and he climbed from 30th to just 28th at the checkered flag.  Keselowski’s #29 Cooper Standard Ford, the nose shoved in hard, was done for the afternoon, coming home seven laps behind 29th-place B.J. McLeod and his overheating #45 Tilted Kilt Chevrolet.

*This marks the first last-place finish for both Roark and the #0 in a Truck Series race at Pocono.

32) #0-Caleb Roark / 3 laps / suspension
31) #36-Justin Jennings / 3 laps / vibration
30) #29-Brad Keselowski / 5 laps / crash
29) #45-B.J. McLeod / 12 laps / overheating
28) #88-Matt Crafton / 13 laps / crash

1st) Norm Benning, Caleb Roark (3)
2nd) Adam Edwards, Joey Gattina, Stew Hayward, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Travis Kvapil, Justin Marks (1)

1st) Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing (5)
2nd) Norm Benning Racing (4)
3rd) MAKE Motorsports, Mike Harmon Racing, Win-Tron Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (10)
2nd) RAM, Toyota (1)

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