Fontana Race Report
• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota - finished eighth and now fifth in points.
• Mark Martin, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota - finished 12th and now eighth in owner points.
• Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota - finished 13th and now eighth in points.
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished eighth in Sunday’s rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The finish moved the Michael Waltrip Racing driver to sixth in the championship standings. Truex started 13th and raced to 10th at the lap 100 mark when crew chief Chad Johnston told the driver it was time to go because rain was not too far away. The race ran caution free until lap 123 when rain began falling. Truex remained on the track during the caution. NASCAR stopped the race on lap 129 and it never resumed. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team visits Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.
• Started 15th and finished third. Now sixth in points.
• Third top-10 of season.
• Raced in the top 15 through the first half, climbing as high as 12th.
• Turned lap times lap times equal to the leader.
• Broke into the top 10 by halfway with rain lurking.
TRUEX: “We were a bit off at the start of the race. We made some changes during ‘Happy Hour’ and kind of missed it a little bit, but the guys worked hard on the NAPA Toyota. At one point we were as fast as the leader for the whole run. You run 130 laps with no caution and it can get strung out, but we were able to maintain and obviously stay on the lead lap. We started making some positions up after about lap 80 or so. The very last run there we got too loose and we gave about two of the spots back. Overall, it’s been a decent day. This place was really tough on us last year. It’s nice to come in here and have a decent run -- something we can build on.”
MARK MARTIN SUMMARY: No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 12th in Sunday’s rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started third and ran in the top ten through three pit stop cycles. Martin and crew chief Rodney Childers worked on the car’s handling throughout the early going. Martin ran about 11th when rain brought out the first caution of the race. The No. 55 crew called Martin to the pits preparing for a long run when the race resumed. But, the rain only increased and NASCAR stopped the race on lap 129. It ended the race after about a 30-minute wait. The No. 55 returns to action Sunday at Martinsville Speedway with Brian Vickers behind the wheel for the second of six races in 2012. Martin’s next race is April 14 at Texas Motor Speedway.
• Started third and finished 12th.
• Raced about 10th for the first half of the race.
• Race ran green through three pit stop cycles.
• Pitted under caution preparing for race’s resumption that never came.
MARTIN QUOTE: “I’m disappointed we didn’t get a chance to finish the race today. The Aaron’s Dream Machine was really good and we were ready to get back at it. I’m glad we got the race in for the fans but I sure wish we could have gone the distance. The guys gave me another good car. These Toyotas are fun to drive.”
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished 13th in Sunday’s rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver battled handling issues as the race ran through three pit stop cycles without a caution. Bowyer raced about 14th when the rain brought out the first caution on lap 123. Bowyer and several others pitted during the caution a few laps before NASCAR red-flagged the race on lap 129. The race never resumed leaving Bowyer with the 13th-place finish and eighth in points. The 5-hour ENERGY team returns to action Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
• Started 11th and finished 13th. Now eighth in points.
• Ran in the top 15 throughout the race.
• Crew worked throughout the race to perfect car’s handling.
• Pitted during race’s only caution but race never resumed.
Bowyer Quotes: “I thought we had a great 5-hour ENERGY Toyota today. We were fast in practice and qualifying and I thought we would be just as fast in the race. When we went green we were looser than expected and without any cautions we just didn’t have the chance to dial-in our Toyota. A 13th-place finish isn’t what we were aiming for but it isn’t too bad either.”
• Tony Stewart led 42 laps and won Sunday’s race.
• Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards rounded out top 10.
• Race ran caution free until about lap 123 due to rain. NASCAR stopped the race on lap 129 and it never resumed.
• Average race speed: 160.166 mph
• The last race stopped short of its scheduled distance was in 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (winner Joey Logano).
• The race featured nine lead changes among five drivers.
• NASCAR estimated attendance at 90,000.
NAME: Clint Bowyer
HOMETOWN: Emporia, KS
RESIDENCE: Clemmons, NC
NAME: Mark Martin
HOMETOWN: Batesville, AR
RESIDENCE: Daytona Beach, FL
NAME: Martin Truex Jr.
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, NJ
RESIDENCE: Mooresville, NC