Saturday, June 24, 2023

XFINITY: First lap, first corner pileup hands Stefan Parsons second Nashville last-place finish

ALL PHOTOS: Jared Haas, @RealJaredHaas

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Stefan Parsons picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 at the Nashville Superspeedway when his #07 Nelson’s Green Brier Chevrolet crashed without completing any of the 196 laps.

The finish, which came in Parsons’ 57th series start, was his first of the year and first in a XFINITY Series race since June 19, 2021 at this same Nashville track, 66 races ago. In the XFINITY Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 14th for the #07, the 381st for a crash, and the 620th for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 25th for the #07, the 1,339th from a crash, and the 1,894th for Chevrolet.

Since he was last featured in a XFINITY article on this site, Parsons has continued to avail himself of every opportunity to get on the track with multiple different teams. At the time of his 2021 accident, he was driving for B.J. McLeod Motorsports, for who he drove all three of the team’s entries at some point that season. He predominately ran McLeod’s #99 into the first part of 2022, including a distinctive “throwback” scheme to the Jackson Brothers entry his father Phil Parsons won at Talladega in 1988. From midseason onward, he took more rides with Alpha Prime Racing. This secured Parsons a career-best 8th at Bristol – his first career top-ten finish.

This year saw Parsons make his season debut at Daytona, where he served as a last-minute replacement for Alpha Prime co-owner Caesar Bacarella in the #45 Clear Cryptos Chevrolet. There, Parsons again impressed, taking home what has been a season-best 13th. Since then, Parsons’ primary ride has been with Bobby Dotter at SS-Green Light Racing, running the team’s flagship #07. Coming into Nashville, he made five of the last eight races with the team, and in all but an early overheating issue at Portland had come home under power. The Nashville race would see him debut new sponsorship from Nelson’s Green Brier, a whiskey distillery from Tennessee. 

Parsons began the weekend 30th of 41 entrants in practice, the in qualifying jumped to 18th with a lap of 154.198mph (31.051 seconds). The three teams sent home were Sage Karam in Alpha Prime’s #44 Building Research Systems Chevrolet, plus the single-car efforts of Chad Finchum in the #66 Ted Russell Ford Lincoln Ford for Motorsports Business Management and Dawson Cram in the #74 Be Water Chevrolet for CHK Racing.

Securing the 38th and final starting spot was Connor Mosack, whose #24 Toyota Genuine Parts Toyota would incur a pre-race tail-end penalty for unapproved adjustments along with 6th-place qualifier Zane Smith, running another Stewart-Haas Racing chassis for RSS Racing in the #28 Blue Oval City Ford. Smith would recover nicely with a 7th-place finish. Also docked was the 37th-place #53 Sci-Aps Ford of Joey Gase. C.J. McLaughlin had been entered in the race running the Emerling-Gase Motorsports team’s Toyota, but a practice crash in Turn 3 forced them to roll out the Ford. Gase then swapped in for McLaughlin for the race, resulting in a tail-end penalty for both the backup car and driver change.

Another view of Parsons' wrecked car.

When the green flag dropped, last-place qualifier Mosack pulled ahead of Gase going into Turn 1 just before trouble broke out at midfield. The RSS Racing entry of Kyle Sieg had qualified 9th in the #29 Peek and Poole and Spas Ford, and soon found himself in the middle of a three-wide battle with A.J. Allmendinger’s #10 Bailey Zimmerman – Religiously Chevrolet and Jeb Burton’s #27 Hawkins Homes Chevrolet up high. Though the corner, Sieg and Burton made contact, sending Sieg spinning into the path of brother Ryan Sieg’s #39 Ford. Ryan cut left and spun off the nose of Justin Allgaier’s #7 Brandt Chevrolet. While the Sieg brothers managed to avoid contact in their spins, Allgaier cut left as Parsons was committed to the middle lane. Parsons then went into a slide, banging doors with Allgaier, who hooked the #07 head-on into the outside wall. While Allgaier and the Sieg brothers continued, Parsons climbed out under the ensuing caution, done for the day.

Around Lap 43, Josh Williams pulled into the garage with fuel pump issues on his #92 Dan-O’s Seasoning Chevrolet, which dropped him to the 37th spot as the race continued to be slowed by multi-car incidents. Williams returned around Lap 62 and ultimately climbed to finish 33rd. The first two cars Williams passed on Lap 74 were those of Ty Gibbs in the #19 He Gets Us Toyota and Carson Hocevar in the #77 Premier Security Chevrolet, both eliminated in a Turn 1 wreck triggered by a damaged Austin Hill, who was running on old tires after a wreck of his own. Last-place qualifier Connor Mosack took home 35th after a crash on the backstretch led to an unsuccessful bid at clearing the “Crash Clock.” Completing the Bottom Five was Sammy Smith in the #18 Pilot / Flying J Toyota backed into the outside wall.

*This marked the first last-place finish for the #07 in a XFINITY Series race at Nashville.
*This was the first time a XFINITY Series driver failed to complete a lap of the race since July 30, 2022, when Jeb Burton’s #27 Ergodyne Chevrolet had track bar issues at the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit. It had not happened at a XFINITY race at Nashville since June 10, 2006, when Jason Leffler scored his first last-place run atter engine trouble on his #38 Great Clips Chevrolet.

38) #07-Stefan Parsons / 0 laps / crash
37) #19-Ty Gibbs / 53 laps / crash / led 28 laps
36) #77-Carson Hocevar / 53 laps / crash
34) #24-Connor Mosack / 61 laps / dvp
33) #18-Sammy Smith / 68 laps / crash / led 1 lap

1st) SS-Green Light Racing (3)
2nd) Big Machine Racing, CHK Racing, JD Motorsports (2)
3rd) B.J. McLeod Motorsports, Emerling-Gase Motorsports, Jordan Anderson Racing, Motorsports Business Management, Sam Hunt Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (11)
2nd) Ford, Toyota (2)


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