Sunday, October 4, 2015

XFINITY: Jeff Green Last As Scrubbed Practices Wreak Havoc At Dover

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Jeff Green picked up the 78th last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Hisense 200 at the Dover International Speedway when his #19 Premier Barter Exchange Toyota fell out with suspension issues that ended his run after 4 of 200 laps.

The finish, which occurred in Green’s 415th series start, was his 18th of the season and his first since Chicagoland, two races ago.  With five XFINITY races to go in 2015, Green now has 83 last-place finishes across NASCAR’s top three divisions.

Following the decision of Athenian Motorsports to withdraw John Wes Townley’s #25 Zaxby’s Chevrolet, Green and the 39 drivers who remained all secured starting spots in Saturday’s race.  With practice and qualifying washed out by Hurricane Joaquin, however, Green would start 31st based on Owner Points for a race where nobody knew how their cars would handle.

The rains held off for most of Saturday’s race, and a surprisingly competitive battle for 40th began.  Just as in Sunday’s Cup race, the final starting spot went to Timmy Hill, who this time took the helm of Rick Ware’s #17 Chevrolet.  The #17 was originally slated to be Ryan Ellis’ ride, but a win in an online pole awarded Ellis with a ride in Obaika Racing’s #97 Vroom! Brands Chevrolet, which started next to Green in 30th.  Hill held the spot for just a few moments as Harrison Rhodes pulled behind the wall on Lap 2 with mechanical issues on his #0 JD Motorsports Chevrolet, dropping him to 40th.

On Lap 5, Green pulled off the track, but was followed into the pits by two-time 2015 last-placer Dexter Bean, back in King Autosport’s #92 Gamache Truck Center / Cote Chevrolet.  Bean, thus ranked one spot behind Green in 39th, returned to the track four laps down and conceded the spot to Green.  Rhodes’ #0 rejoined the race 14 laps down on the 16th circuit, just as Ben Rhodes’ #88 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet crashed in Turn 4 to bring out the first yellow.  By then, Carl Long had also pulled his unsponsored #40 Motorsports Business Management Chevrolet behind the wall, and he and Green dropped to the final two spots on Lap 19.  Bean ultimately ended his race after turning 17 laps and wound up 38th.

Harrison Rhodes, the race’s first last-place finisher, made it up to 27th at race’s end as several drivers found trouble.  Just 57 laps into the race, all twelve cars running 29th on back were already five or more laps down.  Rhodes’ teammate Ross Chastain ended up 37th at the finish when his #4 Heroes Haven / Natchez Shooters Supplies Chevrolet crashed with Dakoda Armstrong in Turn 1 on Lap 25.

As the field slowed for the Chastain-Armstrong caution, Ty Dillon’s #3 Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet blew a tire in Turn 4 and slammed the outside wall, forcing the team to make 74 laps of repairs.  Dillon held 36th during his ordeal and, upon his return, threatened to drop Ryan Ellis into the Bottom Five.  However, Ellis, whose car lost several laps after a damaged control arm, returned to the track eleven laps in front of Dillon, and both proceeded to climb their way through the field.  In the end, the two were the final two cars running with Ellis in 26th and Dillon in 28th.  Rounding out the Bottom Five in their place was T.J. Bell, whose unsponsored #26 JGL Racing Toyta fell into the spot when the race restarted following the Lap 114 red flag for rain.  Bell edged Hill for the spot by one lap, the latter having struggled with a bent throttle pedal on the #17.

Finishing 24th in Saturday’s race was Joey Gase, whose #52 LifeCell / Chevrolet was nearly lost last Sunday.  As the team returned from last Saturday’s race in Kentucky, the Jimmy Means Racing trailer caught fire, destroying much of the team’s equipment including the pit box, and a crewman suffered a burned hand helping the firefighters.  Somehow, both Gase’s Kentucky car and the #79 Chevrolet team car survived the fire, and the cars were ferried to the track on one of Means’ old haulers from 1990.  Bearing a winged Phoenix on the side, Gase earned the team’s second-straight top-25 finish.

This Friday in Charlotte, will join several other supporters on the hood of Gase’s Chevrolet.  Follow @LASTCARonBROCK with hashtag #LastMeansFirst for more updates.

*Green sweeps both XFINITY last-place runs at Dover for the first time in his career.  This year, Green has also swept both lasts at Chicagoland and Richmond and next week has the chance to do the same at Charlotte.

40) #19-Jeff Green / 4 laps / suspension
39) #40-Carl Long / 10 laps / suspension
38) #92-Dexter Bean / 17 laps / suspension
37) #4-Ross Chastain / 23 laps / crash
36) #26-T.J. Bell / 38 laps / suspension

1st) Jeff Green (18) - 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 (20)
2nd) King Autosport, Motorsports Business Management (2)
3rd) JGL Racing, Mike Harmon Racing, Rick Ware Racing, Shepherd Racing Ventures (1)

1st) Toyota (22)
2nd) Chevrolet (3)
3rd) Dodge (2)
4th) Ford (1)

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