Martinsville Race Report
• Martin Truex Jr. started 13th and finished fifth – in four-way tie for third in points.
• Clint Bowyer started fourth and finished 10th – ninth in points.
• Brian Vickers started sixth and finished 18th – No. 55 is ninth in owner points.
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished fifth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 13th and worked for much of the 515-lap race to improve the No. 56’s handling during long green-flag runs. Truex raced in the top-10 for most of the race. Truex survived two wild green-white-checkered finishes that took out several leaders to collect the team’s second top-five finish and fourth top-10 of the season. The result moves Truex into a four-way tie for third-place in the standings just 12 points out of the lead. The NAPA KNOW HOW team returns to action on Saturday, April 14 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
• Started 13th and finished fifth.
• Earned second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season.
• No driver has more top-10 finishes (4) than Truex.
• Raced as high as fourth and as low as 15th.
• Battled lack of forward bite and tight through center during the race.
TRUEX: “This feels great. We backed into that one a little bit with those guys getting tangled up. Our NAPA Toyota was sixth to 10th place most of the day. We were fast on the short runs and struggled on the long runs to keep the right-rear tire under the car. Worked on it all day long and Chad (Johnston, crew chief) did a good job working on it. The pit crew was good and we fought hard all day and that’s what it takes. This is probably my worst race track and to come out of here with a fifth-place finish. I’m pretty proud of that.”
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY driver Clint Bowyer started fourth and finished 10th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver raced in the top five all afternoon. A caution flag flew with two laps remaining forcing a green-white-checkered finish. Bowyer restarted third on new tires and appeared in good position to claim the victory. But his bid for the lead ended just after the restart when he along with leaders Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson made contact and spun in turn one depriving the three top cars a chance to win. Bowyer restarted the second green-white-checkered finish in 10th but could not gain any positions. Bowyer is ninth in standings. The 5-hour ENERGY team returns to action Saturday, April 14th at Texas Motor Speedway.
• Started fourth and finished 10th
• Raced in the top five throughout the race. Led two laps.
• Restarted third, first car with new tires, on the first attempt of the green-white-checkered finish
• On the restart, spun going into turn one
• Restarted 10th on the second attempt of the green-white-checkered finish
BOWYER: What happened in turn one? “It was just a bad situation for everybody. I had a good day. Three of those Hendrick (Motorsports) cars were the class of the field all day long. It’s the nature of the beast. I hate it for those guys. I hate it for our guys. We ended up 10th and should have been easily a fourth-place finish there. You got tires, they don’t and they spin the tires -- the 39 (Ryan Newman) hits you in the rear. I mean, if I didn’t go down there, the 39 was and we’d just all run out of real estate and that’s the nature of the beast at this place.”
Brian Vickers Race Summary: No. 55 RK Motors Toyota driver Brian Vickers started sixth and finished 18th in Sunday’s 515-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. Vickers started on the outside of row three, but dropped to 28th before he could move from the outside to the inside lane. Unfortunately, track position is key at Martinsville Speedway and the Thomasville, N.C., native spent the rest of the race fighting to stay on the lead lap. He lost a lap on lap 202 then regained it when he took the wave around on lap 360. A pit stop for gas with about 50 laps remaining cost him two laps he never made up. The No. 55 team returns to action Saturday, April 14th at Texas Motor Speedway with Mark Martin behind the wheel. Vickers next appearance in the No. 55 is June 24 at Infineon Raceway.
• Started sixth finished 18th
• Lost a lap to the leaders on lap 202
• Took the wave around to get back on lead lap on lap 360
• Vickers will drive the No. 55 at the Watkins Glen, Infineon, both New Hampshire races as well as the remaining Bristol and Martinsville races in 2012.
• The No. 55 team is now ninth in the Spirit Cup Series owner point standings.
VICKERS: “We qualified well we just couldn’t get to the lower groove at the start of the race. We fought track position pretty much the rest of the day. We had a solid RK Motors Toyota but we lost a lap on the first long green flag run. We took some chances to get our lap back during the race couldn’t get the caution to fall in our favor.”
• Ryan Newman won Sunday’s race by 0.342 seconds over AJ Allmendinger.
• Seven cautions slowed the race for 56 laps.
• 515 laps are the most laps recorded for a Martinsville race.
• Ten drivers traded the lead 19 times. Average race speed: 78.823 mph
• NASCAR estimated attendance at 63,000.
NAME: Clint Bowyer
HOMETOWN: Emporia, KS
RESIDENCE: Clemmons, NC
NAME: Martin Truex Jr.
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, NJ
RESIDENCE: Mooresville, NC