Tuesday, July 30, 2019

ARCA: Even with Mother Nature’s help, Don Thompson last at Pocono

Special thanks to the LASTCAR fan who sent this picture
of Thompson's car and chose to remain anonymous.
by William Soquet
LASTCAR.info Guest Contributor
ARCA Menards Series

Don Thompson finished last for the second time in his ARCA Menards Series career during the FORTS USA 150 at the Pocono Raceway when his #0 GreatRailing.com Chevrolet did not start the race.

The finish came in Thompson’s 19th attempt in the ARCA Menards Series, and was his first since this race one year ago.

Thompson's name on the roof rail.
PHOTO: Spencer Gogol
Thompson, a driving instructor through Steve Fox’s program at Pocono, has made all but three of his ARCA Menards Series starts at the track. The other three came at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2015, Talladega in 2017, and Charlotte in 2018. All but one of his starts have come for Wayne Peterson Racing (WPR), the lone exception a "start-and-park" with Roulo Brothers Racing in 2013. For this, Thompson’s first start of the season, he would race WPR’s white composite body, white tape covering up the “6” in the “06” decal and a “D” taped over the “C” for Con (Nicolopoulos) on the name rail.

Along with Thompson, nineteen other cars attempted the Pocono race. Mike Basham returned to Kimmel Racing’s #69, and Ed Pompa campaigned the third Fast Track Racing car with his familiar Clemson Tigers scheme. Todd Gilliland, mired in a Truck Series slump, returned for the first time since Talladega for a confidence boost, this time in Joe Gibbs Racing’s #18 car. Thad Moffitt and Bobby Gerhart continued their part-time schedules, and a couple of returning faces graced the field: Rapahel Lessard made his third start of the year for KBR Development, and Austin Wayne Self made his second start of the year for Win-Tron Racing.

Damage sustained to Thompson's car.
PHOTO: Spencer Gogol
As he was for much of the weekend, Todd Gilliland sat on top of the leaderboard for practice. Thompson was on the other end, approximately twelve seconds back of Gilliland and two seconds back of the next-slowest car, Richard Doheny. Qualifying was much of the same – Gilliland paced the field, and Thompson was at the bottom, though it may not have been that way if he didn’t crash. Going through the tunnel turn, the car snapped loose and the rear end kicked out, and then over-corrected to nose into the wall. That left Mike Basham as the slowest car to complete a lap, more than eleven seconds behind Gilliland.
After the crash, the Wayne Peterson Racing crew from the University of Northern Ohio worked hard to get the car back together before the race started, and they were even helped by lightning delays that pushed the start of the race back. After getting to what was considered a raceable point, the car was pushed out on the grid, only to start leaking water. It was then forced back to the garage by ARCA officials, and even though work continued a little while into the race, eventually the group gave up on the effort. Thompson was still listed as a DNS on the official stat sheet, however, likely due to the fact that his car made it to the grid before the race.

The rest of the Bottom Five exited quietly in a caution-free race. Basham, Richard Doheny, Tommy Vigh Jr., and Brad Smith all retired with mechanical issues within the first 23 laps.

20) #0-Don Thompson / 0 laps / did not start
19) #69-Mike Basham / 2 laps / brakes
18) #11-Richard Doheny / 5 laps / vibration
17) #10-Tommy VIgh Jr. / 7 laps / electrical
16) #48-Brad Smith / 22 laps / handling

1st) Ford (7)
2nd) Toyota (4)
3rd) Chevrolet (3)
4th) Dodge (1)

1st) Fast Track Racing, Wayne Peterson Racing (3)
2nd) Brad Smith Motorsports, Kimmel Racing, Venturini Motorsports (2)
3rd) KBR Development, Mullins Racing, Our Motorsports (1)


1 comment:

Matthew L. Lewis said...

What constitutes a DNS as opposed to no points whatsoever in ARCA? Or are they so desperate for entries that I could enter my Dodge Ram and as long as I paid the entry fee, be classified as a DNS? (Since I doubt it would clear the templates)

I hear of so many ARCA lastnace finishers who don't even bother to START the race.... It makes me wonder if their actual chassis even exist?

Maybe I could get in the record books if I enter a race without even owning a car? Could be the first LASTCAR victor listed as out for "NO CAR." I just need me a good faux sponsor.....is Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce still in business? The Shannon Group? J.D. Stacey? Ginn?