LASTCAR: XFINITY and Truck Series Expansion Pack (1982-2019)
LASTCAR.info’s Brock Beard retells the history of the NASCAR XFINITY Series from 1982 through today and the NASCAR Truck Series from 1995 through today from the perspective of both series’ last-place finishers. More
In this second book of the series, LASTCAR.info’s Brock Beard retells the history of both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Truck Series from the perspective of the series’ last-place finishers. Each article includes career snapshots of each and every LASTCAR XFINITY and Truck Series Champion, featuring more never-before-published statistics on some of the most important moments in LASTCAR history.
SEASON IN REVIEW
Auburn, Massachusetts driver Jeff Fuller picked up his first LASTCAR Nationwide Series Championship in 2003, scoring seven last-place finishes in thirteen starts during a thirty-four race season. Both Fuller and runner-up Justin Ashburn shattered Davey Johnson's single-season last-place record of four set back in 1990.
The winner of 31 races in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour from 1985 through 1994, Fuller made one-off starts in the Cup and Nationwide Series in 1992, finishing 29th in his Cup debut at Richmond and 26th in his Nationwide debut at Rockingham. From 1995 through 1999, Fuller focused on the Nationwide Series. On August 23, 1996, Fuller scored his first and only series win at Bristol when he won from the pole in longtime car owner Tad Geschickter's #47 Sunoco Chevrolet.
Fuller rejoined the Cup Series in 2000 for a run at Rookie of the Year as driver of Eel River Racing's #27 Viagra Pontiac. However, the 43-year-old driver lost his ride to Mike Bliss just six races into the season, ultimately sending him back to Nationwide. The next year, Fuller made his first Nationwide start for 1992 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion and owner-driver Joe Nemechek. Debuting a new second team, #88, Fuller finished 42nd at Fontana when a vibration stopped him after 42 laps.
In 2003, Fuller drove for four different teams. On February 15, he started with a 24th-place finish at Daytona for owner Danny Bost, and at Nashville on April 12 finished 18th for Stanton Barrett. Though Fuller finished a season-best 15th for Nemechek at Bristol on August 22, he parked in his other five starts for NEMCO Motorsports driving #88 Cellular One Chevrolets and Pontiacs, and all but one of them were last-place finishes.
Fuller's first last-place finish for NEMCO came at Talladega on April 5, when his Pontiac fell out with handling woes after 2 laps - just moments before a massive pile-up collected half the field on Lap 9. The next came at Charlotte on May 24, where a vibration was to blame on his Chevrolet after 2 laps of the Carquest Auto Parts 300. The third finish was just two races later at Nashville on June 7, where another vibration stopped his #87 Hills Brothers / Pick 'n Save Chevrolet 7 laps into the Trace Adkins Chrome 300, and the fourth at Daytona on July 4, where yet another vibration ended his Pontiac's race 4 laps into the Winn-Dixie 250.
In the second half of the season, Fuller moved to drive #97 NRA Foundation Chevrolets for a team owned by Terry Allen. Fuller failed to finish in all five of those starts, and he scored another three last-place finishes. The first of those came at Kansas on October 4, where he fell out with a vibration after 3 laps of the Mr. Goodcents 300. The next was the following week at Charlotte on October 11, where handling woes stopped him 10 laps into the Little Trees 300. Then four races later at Rockingham came the record-setting seventh when a vibration ended his day after 3 laps of the Target House 200 on November 8.
In 2004, Fuller would break his own record running the full season in NEMCO's #88.
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