Sunday, June 19, 2016

XFINITY: Josh Reaume scores first career last-place finish

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums, FS1
Josh Reaume picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Suday’s American Ethanol E15 250 at the Iowa Speedway when his unsponsored #93 RSS Racing Chevrolet fell out with electrical issues after he completed 4 of 250 laps.  The finish came in Reaume’s 30th series start.

Nicknamed the “African Squirrel,” Reaume’s racing career has a decidedly international flavor.  He was born in northern California, grew up in Nigeria where his parents did humanitarian work, then began racing go-karts in Vancouver.  It was also in Canada where he earned his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Victoria.  The degree opened doors back in the States, where Reaume worked as an engineer for Rick Ware Racing, Motorsports Business Management, and now Rod Sieg’s RSS Racing.  From these jobs, Reaume has enjoyed a unique racing career where he balances the technical work during the week with driving on the weekends.

Reaume made the leap from the K&N Pro Series to Trucks in 2013, finishing 25th in his series debut at Iowa diving for SS-Green Light Racing.  His XFINITY debut came the following year at Richmond, a 30th for Rick Ware.  He improved with a 25th in his second start at Dover, driving for Gregg Mixon’s JGL Racing, then last year came home 23rd for Obaika Racing in his first-ever Daytona start.  When he moved to Motorsports Business Management, Reaume switched “start-and-park” duty with a handful of full-race runs, then this spring made the move to his current job at RSS Racing.

RSS has been one of the XFINITY Series’ best developing stories.  Since the team moved from Trucks in 2013, driver Ryan Sieg has had a number of impressive runs, including a career-best 3rd at Daytona that put him in the “Dash 4 Cash” at Loudon.  Building on their business model from Trucks, the team has this year expanded to two cars with the backup #93 often entered as a “start-and-park.”  Reaume has shared that ride this year with Josh Wise, who has finished last twice during double-duty weekends at Texas and Richmond.  With the Cup Series off for the weekend, Reaume was tabbed on Friday to return.

Reaume did not participate in Friday’s opening practice, but ran 34th-best of 38 in Happy Hour.  He lost just two spots in qualifying, earning the 36th spot with a lap of 130.235mph.  The only driver who failed to qualify was Claire Decker.  While Claire edged her older sister (and Obaika Racing teammate) Paige by nearly three-hundredths of a second, Claire’s #77 was making its first attempt of 2016 and had no Owner Points to fall back on.  John Jackson, who was expected to run the #72, a third car for Carl Long (formerly Motorsports Business Management), was withdrawn before time trials.

The 40th starting spot went to Paige Decker, whose #97 Vroom! Brands Chevrolet finished 31st, 56 laps down in the Decker family’s XFINITY Series debut.  In the opening 41-lap run, Reaume was first to pull behind the wall, followed in short order by the #40 OCR Gaz Bar Toyota of Carl Long and the prolific white #10 TriStar Motorsports Toyota driven this week by Truck Series regular Tyler Young.  Long returned to the track and ran a few more laps, dropping Young to 39th, and closed on Ray Black, Jr., who pulled the #07 Scuba Life / Chevrolet into the garage around that time.  Black returned by the time Long ended his afternoon for good, eventually coming home 30th.

Rounding out the Bottom Five were Morgan Shepherd, whose #89 Racing With Jesus Chevrolet completed its most laps since Daytona, and Dexter Bean, back with King Autosport in the #92 BuckedUp Apparel Chevrolet for the first time since Dover last October.

*This was the third last-place finish of the season for RSS Racing’s #93 team and first since Josh Wise’s run at Richmond, six races ago.  It is the first XFINITY last-place run for the #93 at Iowa.

40) #93-Josh Reaume / 4 laps / electrical
39) #10-Tyler Young / 6 laps / brakes
38) #40-Carl Long / 43 laps / brakes
37) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 53 laps / brakes
36) #92-Dexter Bean / 68 laps / vibration

1st) Matt DiBenedetto (5)
2nd) Jeff Green (4)
3rd) Josh Wise (2)
4th) Justin Marks, Ryan Preece, Josh Reaume (1)

1st) TriStar Motorsports (9)
2nd) RSS Racing (3)
3rd) Chip Ganassi Racing, JD Motorsports (1)

1st) Toyota (9)
2nd) Chevrolet (5)

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