|SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums|
The finish, which came in Green's 424th series start, was his third of the season and third in a row. Green, who now has 91 last-place runs across NASCAR’s top three divisions, has finished last in 22 of the past 27 XFINITY Series races dating back to last May at Charlotte.
Green and his identical #10 Toyota continued on the “West Coast Swing” as one of 42 entrants for the Phoenix event. After passing on the opening practice session, he turned in a solid 29th-fastest lap in the second session, skipped Happy Hour, then in qualifying once again avoided having to rely on a provisional, securing the 29th spot with a lap of 130.928 mph. Missing the race were Josh Reaume, back in place of Carl Long in Motorsports Business Management’s #40 Toyota, and Todd Peck, his second-consecutive DNQ in B.J. McLeod’s #99 X-Treme pH Sports Water Ford.
Peck was then tabbed as driver of Rick Ware Racing’s #15 Ford, an entry slated to be driven by Truck Series regular Ryan Ellis. Ellis wrecked hard in qualifying, and without a backup car just minutes before the race, it appeared the #15 would secure the last spot as a “did not start.” B.J. McLeod acquired Ellis’ starting spot for Peck and renumbered his own identical black #99 Ford as the #15, putting McLeod’s driver back in the race with the owner points going to Ware. The net effect of this was Peck starting his 3rd career XFINITY Series race from the 40th and final spot. Peck was joined at the back by McLeod himself in his #78 Ford and Dakoda Armstrong in JGL Racing’s #28 Toyota, both moved there for unapproved adjustments.
By the end of Lap 1, the group was passed for last by David Starr, whose #44 Zachry Toyota was involved in the first caution of the race. As Starr raced into Turn 3 alongside Ray Black, Jr.’s #07 ScubaLife / CDA.edu Chevrolet, the two cars made contact, sending Starr into the outside wall and spinning to the apron. During the caution, both Starr and Black pitted with Starr’s #44 still in last, followed briefly by Peck’s #15 on Lap 4. Just before the Lap 6 restart, Jeff Green, who had fallen to 39th by that point, pulled his car behind the wall, securing him the last-place finish. Peck went on to finish 37th, but under power, 12 laps behind race winner Kyle Busch.
The only other retiree joining Green in the garage was Morgan Shepherd, who prior to the start gave up his 30th spot on the grid and fell to the rea in his #89 Racing With Jesus Chevrolet. Shepherd pulled off the track six laps after Green. Mike Harmon ended up 38th, but finished under power for the third consecutive race following his DNQ at Daytona, each time doing so in his black #74 Dodge. Behind 37th-place Todd Peck was 36th-place D.J. Kennington, the two-time NASCAR Pinty’s Series Champion making his first XFINITY start in nearly five years. The Canadian drove Motorsports Business Management’s only car in the field, the #13 Northern Provincial Pipelines / Clark Construction Dodge, which came home 10 laps behind the leaders.
*This marks Green’s third-consecutive last-place finish at Phoenix.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
40) #10-Jeff Green / 5 laps / vibration
39) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 11 laps / overheating
38) #74-Mike Harmon / 182 laps / running
37) #15-Todd Peck / 188 laps / running
36) #13-D.J. Kennington / 190 laps / running
2016 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Jeff Green (3)
2nd) Ryan Preece (1)
2016 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) TriStar Motorsports (3)
2nd) JD Motorsports (1)
2016 LASTCAR XFINITY SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (3)
2nd) Chevrolet (1)