Saturday, August 22, 2015

XFINITY: Jeff Green Scores Seven Lasts In A Row, Clinches Fifth LASTCAR Title

SOURCE: Kris Branch
Jeff Green picked up the 74th last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Friday’s Food City 300 at the Bristol Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #19 TriStar Motorsports Toyota fell out with a vibration after he completed 3 of the race’s 302 laps.

The finish was Green’s 14th of 2015 and occurred in his 409th series start.  It was his 7th in a row, breaking his own consecutive last-place finish record of 6 he set last week at Mid-Ohio.  By preventing both Carl Long and Morgan Shepherd from finishing last by 19 and 25 laps, respectively, Green also clinched his fifth LASTCAR XFINITY Series championship and fourth out of the last five.  In addition, if Green finishes last in at least 2 of the 11 remaining races in 2015, he will break his own single-season record of 15 last-place finishes set in 2013.

Green joined TriStar Motorsports as a “start-and-park” driver at Indianapolis Raceway Park on July 24, 2010, and in the next race at Iowa scored his 9th career XFINITY Series last-place finish in the #36 Long John Silver’s Chevrolet.  In his 144 series starts since the Iowa race, Green has finished last 65 times - a rate of nearly one out of every two starts.  Combined with 5 career last-place runs in Cup, Green now has 79 finishes across NASCAR’s top three divisions, 40 more than second-place Joe Nemechek.

40 drivers showed up to make the 40-car field, and Green secured the 31st starting spot with an average speed of 121.029 mph, defending his 32nd-fastest lap in Friday’s only practice session.

At the start of the race, it first appeared a first-lap skirmish would prevent Green from taking the spot.  Veteran part-timer and pit reporter Hermie Sadler timed in a strong 25th in JGL Racing’s #26 Virginia Lottery Toyota, but faltered at the start and was loose on the apron, dropping him to the tail end of the field behind the #40 Grafoid Dodge of Carl Long in 39th.  Then on Lap 3, the 40th spot went to Jordan Anderson, who replaced Mike Harmon in Harmon’s unsponsored #74 Dodge following Anderson’s DNQ for Wednesday’s Truck Series race.  However, the next time by, Green pitted from the 34th spot and pulled behind the wall, securing the last spot.

As mentioned, Long and Morgan Shepherd in the #89 Racing With Jesus Chevrolet also pulled out during the opening green-flag run.  37th went to owner-driver Benny Gordon, who also lost laps around the time Green pulled out after a battery issue on his #66 VSI / Somerset Regional Water Resources Toyota.  Gordon, making his first XFINITY Series start since Daytona in July, completed 65 laps before the electrical issue ended his night.  Anderson made several trips to pit road due to a similar electrical issue in his #74 and completed only 170 laps, but he still finished his first XFINITY Series race under power.

Finishing 26th on Friday night was 67-year-old series veteran Brad Teague, who ended his NASCAR XFINITY Series career at his home track.  Teague made his series debut with a 5th-place run at Bristol in 1982, his final top-ten there thirteen years later, and in between earned his lone series victory at Martinsville in 1987.  He made 241 XFINITY starts in addition to 9 in the Truck Series and 44 in Sprint Cup, where Martinsville and Bristol were again the scene of his two best finishes - an 11th and 12, respectively - in 1982.  Teague retires with 14 last-place finishes across all three of NASCAR’s top divisions - 12 in XFINITY and 2 in Cup - tying him for 16th-most all-time with six other drivers including Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, and Ken Schrader.  Teague hadn’t finished last in NASCAR since July 4, 2008, when a vibration stopped his #0 Chevrolet after 4 laps of the Winn-Dixie 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona.

*This is Green’s fourth last-place finish in the previous six XFINITY Series night races at Bristol and his second in row.
*The #19 had never before finished last in an XFINITY Series race at Bristol.

40) #19-Jeff Green / 3 laps / vibration
39) #40-Carl Long / 22 laps / handling
38) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 28 laps / brakes
37) #66-Benny Gordon / 65 laps / electrical
36) #74-Jordan Anderson / 170 laps / running

1st) Jeff Green (14) - 2015 CHAMPION
2nd) Dexter Bean (2)
3rd) C.J. Faison, Mike Harmon, Charles Lewandoski, Carl Long, Morgan Shepherd, Derek White (1)

1st) TriStar Motorsports (15)
2nd) King Autosport, Motorsports Business Management (2)
3rd) JGL Racing, Mike Harmon Racing, Shepherd Racing Ventures (1)

1st) Toyota (17)
2nd) Chevrolet (3)
3rd) Dodge (2)

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