Sunday, October 11, 2015

XFINITY: As Jeff Green Extends Record, Finishes 27th With Joey Gase

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Jeff Green picked up the 79th last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Friday’s Drive for the Cure 300 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when his #19 Premier Barter Exchange Toyota fell out with a vibration after he completed 3 of the race’s 200 laps.

The finish, which came in Green’s 416th series start, was his 19th of the 2015 season, his second in a row, and his fourth in the last six races.

Green was once again one of 40 entrants to qualify for as many spots, only this time this again included John Wes Townley, fresh off his inaugural Truck Series victory in Las Vegas and back in Athenian Motorsports’ #25 Zaxby’s Chevrolet following a one-week absence.  Green was the only driver who did not turn a lap in Thursday’s opening practice session, but he timed in 31st in Happy Hour and improved to the 29th spot in qualifying with a lap of 173.689 mph.

The 40th starting spot for Friday’s race went to Cale Conley, one of Green’s newest teammates in the #14 Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America Toyota.  Conley was incurred a redundant pre-race penalty for unapproved adjustments following a spin in qualifying, and was joined at the rear with Harrison Rhodes.  Rhodes, driver of the third #0 team for JD Motorsports, was tabbed at Charlotte to drive in a one-off for Motorsports Business Management.  Rhodes struggled in MBM’s #3 Industrial Piping Solutions Dodge, however, as the car trailed fluid in the second practice session, necessitating repairs.

By the end of the first lap, Rhodes took last from Conley.  He held the spot until Lap 4, when Green, still on the lead lap in 24th, pulled the #19 behind the wall as the race’s first retirement.  Moments later, Kentucky last-placer Blake Koch slowed on the backstretch and joined his TriStar teammate in the garage.  As the crew of the #8 Leaf Filter / Breast Cancer Awareness Toyota worked to fix Koch’s mechanical issues, he was soon joined by Timmy Hill in MBM’s #40 Chevrolet; Josh Reaume, who took over for Rhodes in JD’s #0 Chevrolet; and B.J. McLeod in Rick Ware Racing’s #15 BYB Extreme Fighting Series Chevrolet.

However, McLeod’s team, like Koch’s, was still working to get their car back in the race, as was that of Rhodes, whose #13 now struggled with electrical gremlins that required MBM replace spark plugs and wiring.  Koch was the first of these drivers to return on Lap 52, 45 circuits in arrears, and he climbed to 33rd by the finish.  McLeod rejoined the race around Lap 67, 29 behind, but only turned a few more laps before he retired and came home 35th.  The rise of Koch and McLeod pulled both out of the Bottom Five, and in their place dropped Morgan Shepherd’s #89 Racing With Jesus Chevrolet and, on Lap 104, the #26 JGL Racing Toyota of T.J. Bell.

Another driver fighting the race’s relentless pace was Joey Gase, who was again driving the same #52 that survived the team’s hauler fire earlier this month.  This week, Gase’s Honeyman Racing / DB Sales Chevrolet carried names, photogaphs, and logos from various supporters through a program organized by Racing2Cure’s cancer research initiative. was among the logos on Gase’s hood, giving this website its first race-day appearance on a NASCAR stock car.

Gase, who started 31st in his 105th series start, fought a persistent tight condition all night.  He lost a lap on Lap 17, then another on Lap 41 when he was forced in the middle of a three-wide race between leader Kyle Busch and the lapped Brennan Poole.  He also saved his car from a spin after contact from Darrell Wallace, Jr.’s #6 Ford EcoBoost / Breast Cancer Awareness Ford.  The Jimmy Means Racing crew made adjustments to their car, and Gase maneuvered his way from 29th on Lap 64 to 27th at the finish, eight laps behind race winner Austin Dillon.  It was Gase’s ninth-straight finish inside the Top 30 since back-to-back transmission issues at Iowa and Watkins Glen.

*Green sweeps both this season’s XFINITY Series last-place runs at Charlotte.  He did the same in 2011 while driving TriStar’s #44 Chevrolet.

40) #19-Jeff Green / 3 laps / vibration
39) #40-Timmy Hill / 16 laps / steering
38) #0-Josh Reaume / 31 laps / vibration
37) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 46 laps / fuel pressure
36) #26-T.J. Bell / 56 laps / electrical

1st) Jeff Green (19) - 2015 CHAMPION
2nd) Dexter Bean (2)
3rd) Ryan Ellis, C.J. Faison, Mike Harmon, Blake Koch, Charles Lewandoski, Carl Long, Morgan Shepherd, Derek White (1)

1st) TriStar Motorsports (21)
2nd) King Autosport, Motorsports Business Management (2)
3rd) JGL Racing, Mike Harmon Racing, Rick Ware Racing, Shepherd Racing Ventures (1)

1st) Toyota (23)
2nd) Chevrolet (3)
3rd) Dodge (2)
4th) Ford (1)

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