Richmond Race Report
• No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished seventh and is 12th in driver points.
• No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Mark Martin finished eighth.
• No. 56 NAPA Brakes driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 25th and is now fifth in driver points.
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer started 23rd and finished seventh in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver rocketed toward the front of the field the moment the green flag dropped. Bowyer climbed into the top five by lap 335 and battled there until his car loosened up in the closing stages. Bowyer restarted eighth with 10 laps to go and gained one position before the checkered flag fell. The No. 15 team returns to action next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
• Started 23rd and finished seventh. Now 12th in points.
• Moved toward front of the field from beginning of the race.
• Raced as low as 23rd and as high as fifth
• Recorded his fourth top-10 of the season
Bowyer Quotes: “The 5-hour ENERGY Toyota was great all night. We had one little hiccup after the first pit stop when the car wasn’t handling very well, but we made adjustments the next stop and the car just took off. We worked our way into the top five, but it got away from us a little in the end. It was a great car and it was amazing most of the night. They gave me a great car and turned out good pit stops all night long. Overall it’s a top-10 finish. We wanted a little more, but it’s a good points day and we’ll take it and move on.”
MARK MARTIN RACE SUMMARY: No.55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished eighth in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started on the pole for the 53rd time in his 30-year career and led the first 29 laps of the race. Martin reported the car lost grip in the left rear as he faded to 17th in the race’s middle stage. The No. 55 team worked to improve the handling making gains each stop. Martin charged back into the top 10 with less than 100 laps to go and gained two positions racing hard after a late caution. The Aaron’s team returns to action Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway with two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip behind the wheel. Martin’s next race is May 12 at Darlington Raceway.
• Started first and finished eighth.
• Friday’s pole was Martin’s 53rd career pole and second in 2012.
• Martin won the pole for the fall race at Richmond in 1981.
• Led first 29 laps of the race.
• Took wave around on lap 315 when caution flew after green-flag stop.
• Moved into 10th at lap 325 and gained two spots after a restart with 10 laps remaining.
MARTIN: “That was a battle tonight. I thought we were going to finish six laps down. But they got it fixed. Never have I had a car they were able to fix like they did tonight. That was amazing. That was a well-earned eighth-place finish. I’m proud of what my guys did tonight. They didn’t give up and we walked out of here with a top-10. That’s cool.”
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA Brakes Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 25th in Saturday night’s 400-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Truex started eighth as Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Mark Martin led the field from the pole position. The early stages saw the NAPA Brakes Toyota run comfortably in the top 10. As the race progressed, the No. 56 needed some major chassis changes to compete with the leaders. An untimely caution on lap 311 cost Truex two laps that he never regained despite major chassis changes and some late-race strategy. The finish moved Truex to fifth in the standings just 22 points out of first. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action Sunday at the Talladega Superspeedway.
• Started eighth and finished 25th.
• Battled an ill-handling racecar throughout the race.
• Lost two laps to the leaders when a caution flew on lap 311.
• Raced as high as sixth and as low as 25th.
TRUEX QUOTE: " It is disappointing. This is usually a good race for us, but not tonight that's for sure. I'm happy to see that overall MWR produced two top-10 cars that we can go back and figure out where we went wrong. It's unfortunate, but we'll rally back and be ready for Talladega next week. "
• Kyle Busch beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 1.095 seconds for his first victory of the season.
• Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five.
• There were 14 lead changes among seven drivers.
• Only 19 cars finished on lead lap.
• The race ran in 2 hours, 51 minutes in front of a NASCAR estimated crowd of 88,000
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