Sunday, July 24, 2016

XFINITY: Todd Peck scores first XFINITY last-place finish for #15 since 2010

SOURCE: Brian Lawdermilk, Getty Images North America
Todd Peck picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when his #15 Keen Portable Buildings / MOMO Ford lost the engine without completing any of the 63 laps.  The finish came in Peck’s 10th series start.

Peck is a second-generation competitor in NASCAR.  His father Dr. Michael Peck not only fielded the Chevrolets that Todd raced in 14 of his Camping World Truck Series starts, but also entered a car for Todd’s uncle Tom Peck in 1995, finishing 24th at Charlotte.  Tom made 171 Busch Series (now XFINITY) starts from 1984 through 1995, finishing a career-best 3rd at Martinsville on October 28, 1990 behind veterans Steve Grissom and Tommy Houston.  The #96 Thomas Oldsmobile that Tom raced that year is one of the most prolific 1:64-scale diecasts made by Racing Champions.

Todd Peck has been racing since he was 14, moving up from go-karts to the Allison Legacy Series, USAR Pro Cup (now X-1R Pro Cup Series) in 2002, and K&N Pro Series East in 2007.  His first start in NASCAR’s top three divisions came on July 16, 2011 at Iowa, where he finished 31st in his father’s #96 National Arthritis Foundation Chevrolet.  The cause of treatment the illness runs close to Todd’s heart.  He’s suffered a rare condition of juvenile Arthritis for much of his life, and looks to increase awareness through his racing.  Peck’s best Truck Series finish came in one such truck at Phoenix on November 9, 2012, an 18th in a Bobby Dotter-owned Chevrolet co-sponsored by pain reliever Stopain Cold.

Peck made his XFINITY Series debut at Loudon on July 18, 2015, where he finished 30th for car owner Rick Ware.  The two would meet up again this season.  Peck originally signed with owner-driver B.J. McLeod to drive as his teammate in a #99 Ford sponsored by Batteries Plus Bulbs and X-Treme pH Sports Water.  Peck made his first attempt at Atlanta, finishing 38th, but failed to make the next two races.  When Rick Ware’s driver Ryan Ellis wrecked in qualifying at Phoenix and did not have a backup car, Ware worked out a deal with McLeod and Peck, who had failed to qualify in the same session.  The deal put Peck into his second race of the season while keeping Ware’s #15 in the field.  McLeod has remained the listed owner of Peck’s #15 in the four races he’s run in the number since.  Peck’s best finishes of the year have come in the #15: a pair of 30th-place runs at sister tracks Fontana and Michigan.

As part of the arrangement between the two teams, Ware has also run his own #15 entries in place of McLeod and Peck, most notably the Chevrolet that Ryan Ellis finished 15th with at Daytona earlier this month.  Peck also drove for Ware at Kentucky, one of many behind the wheel of Ware’s #25, and finished 34th.  McLeod and Peck also worked out a similar arrangement with King Autosport at Richmond, where McLeod’s black Ford was renumbered again to King’s #90 with Peck still driving in place of Mario Gosselin.

For Indianapolis, Peck was back in McLeod’s car with Ware’s #15 on the sides.  This time, the car Peck drove appeared to be the blue-and-white Ford that McLeod drove at Daytona when the engine let go after 1 lap.  The car was renumbered from McLeod’s #78 to the #15, the yellow door numbers barely readable against the white paint.  The car also carried both Rick Ware’s sponsor Keen Portable Buildings and McLeod sponsor MOMO.  McLeod, meanwhile, would continue to run the black-and-green #78 he’s driven in nearly all his other starts in 2016.

Peck was the slowest car in Friday’s opening practice and second-slowest in Happy Hour, besting the Rick Ware-owned #25 of Stanton Barrett that had issues on his only attempted lap.  Peck improved to 38th in qualifying, besting Mike Harmon, Mario Gosselin, and the second Obaika Racing entry, the #77 VroomBrands Chevrolet of T.J. Bell, who failed to qualify.  Withdrawing from the event were Dexter Bean in King Autosport’s own team car, #92, and Travis Kvapil, who was going to try and put McLeod’s #99 Batteries Plus Bulbs Ford into its first race since Atlanta.

Peck started 19th in Heat Race #2 and pulled out after 15 of 20 laps with engine trouble, leaving him the only retiree of the event.  The engine problems likely stayed with the #15 for the main event as Peck did not complete a lap of it.  39th went to Timmy Hill, whose #40 / Icard Merrill Dodge from the Carl Long stables left with a vibration.  Both bested current LASTCAR XFINITY leader Matt DiBenedetto, whose #10 stayed on track until Lap 13. Morgan Shepherd’s #89 Racing With Jesus / Malamphy Electric Chevrolet came home 37th with all-time last-place leader Jeff Green rounding out the Bottom Five in his TriStar #14.

For more on Todd Peck and his family, check out their team’s website at this link.

*This was the first last-place finish for the #15 in an XFINITY Series race since April 25, 2010, when Michael Annett’s Pilot Travel Centers Toyota was involved in a multi-car accident after 20 lap of the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega.  The number had never before finished last in an XFINITY race at Indianapolis.

40) #15-Todd Peck / 0 laps / engine
39) #40-Timmy Hill / 9 laps / vibration
38) #10-Matt DiBenedetto / 13 laps / brakes
37) #89-Morgan Shepherd / 17 laps / handling
36) #14-Jeff Green / 31 laps / rear gear

1st) TriStar Motorsports (11)
2nd) RSS Racing (3)
3rd) B.J. McLeod Motorsports, Inc. (2)
4th) Chip Ganassi Racing, JD Motorsports (1)

1st) Toyota (11)
2nd) Chevrolet (5)
3rd) Ford (2)


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