Talladega Race Report
- No. 15 Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished sixth and is 10th in driver
- No. 55 Aaron’s Color Your Way to Talladega Toyota driver Michael Waltrip finished 19th – No. 55 is ninth in
- No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 28th and is sixth in driver points.
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship Toyota driver Clint Bowyer started 24th and finished sixth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver dropped to the back early in the race to log laps and avoid any early trouble. Bowyer began to move up through the field at the half-way point and worked his way to second late in the race. An accident seconds after the restart on lap 184 swept up Bowyer’s Toyota causing minor damage. Bowyer started 10th for the green-white-checkered finish and moved into position on the backstretch pushing Kasey Kahne to battle for the lead. The pair couldn’t quite catch winner Brad Keselowski and second place-finisher Kyle Busch. Bowyer finished sixth. The No. 15 team returns to action next weekend at Darlington Raceway.
- Started 24th and finished sixth. Now 10th in points.
- Dropped to the rear of the field early in the race
- Raced his way up to second just past the half-way point
- Restarted 10th for green-white-checkered finish
- Recorded his fifth top-10 of the season
BOWYER QUOTE: How warm was your car on the final lap? “The Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship Toyota was blowing water before I even got to the line, but that was my only shot. Kasey (Kahne) made a couple good moves to juke and jive up there. Never led a lap for the Alabama gang -- really wanted to. All in all it was a good points day for us. It is fun -- it’s unbelievable how the storm brews all day long until the last few laps there. You just go like hell and hope for the best.”
How difficult was it to control your engine temperature with the small grill opening? “I wish we could find a different way to do it, but unfortunately right now we have to answer to the fans and that’s all we can do right now. Hopefully, before we come back here we can fix it a different way and keep it to where we can race all day long.”
MICHAEL WALTRIP RACE SUMMARY: No.55 Aaron’s Color Your Way to Talladega Toyota driver Michael Waltrip finished 19th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started ninth and grabbed the lead around lap 25. He led for 21 laps and remained in contention for the win until a lap 184 accident seconds after the restart damaged the No. 55. Waltrip returned to the track and finished 19th – the last car on the lead lap. Mark Martin will be back behind the wheel next Saturday night when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Darlington Raceway.
- Started ninth and finished 19th.
- Led 21 laps.
- Started his 93rd restrictor-plate race – tying teammate Mark Martin for most restrictor-plate starts
- Next race for Waltrip is the June 24 race at Kentucky Speedway
WALTRIP QUOTES: “We took off and the guys in front of me didn’t go. I let off (the throttle) and got clobbered. It was just a chain reaction. I tell you – I had a blast! I’m going to be better on Fox because those guys speak in a code out there. It’s just crazy being out in the middle of them, seeing how they drive and the moves they make. I’m just really happy I got to experience it. I was hoping for a better finish, but I really enjoyed myself.”
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 28th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The NAPA driver spent most of the Aaron's 499 cruising mid-pack and staying out of trouble. Before Truex ever got the directive from crew chief Chad Johnston to race his way to the front and contend for the win, he was collected in a multi-car crash on lap 142. The NAPA KNOW HOW crew made significant repairs in the garage to allow Truex to return to the track in 30 laps to gain valuable positions and points. Truex is sixth in the championship point standings – 46 points out of first. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action next Saturday night at one of Truex’s favorite tracks – Darlington Raceway.
- Started 16th and finished 28th.
- In opening laps, raced in the top-10 before dropping back to play it conservative
- Involved in multi-car crash on lap 142
- Made repairs in the garage and returned to the track to move from 32nd to 28th by the checkered flag.
TRUEX QUOTE: What happened on the race track? “Not real sure. We were kind of out there taking out time trying to get to the end, taking care of our temps. Our NAPA Toyota was really fast and just waiting until the end to use it. Unfortunately we didn’t make it there. Not sure what happened up ahead. I about made it through there and I was kind of spinning down the track a little bit. I think the 24 (Jeff Gordon) came along and hit us and that’s what really killed the car. Before that we were going to be okay. It’s just one of those deals, I’m not sure what happened up ahead -- a lot of smoke and just guys stopping in front of me and tried to turn to get below and kind of got into the side of the 20 (Joey Logano), got sideways and then I got hit.”
What did you see happen on the race track? “Just some cars up ahead got together and just really had nowhere to go. We were okay, we were kind of spinning there down the track and got hit by, I think it was the 24 (Jeff Gordon) and cleaned the front off the car. Not his fault obviously. I thought we were going to be okay until that happened. It’s just a shame, we had a fast car and really didn’t get a chance to show it today.”
- Brad Keselowski beat Kyle Busch by 0.304 seconds for his second victory of the season.
- Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five.
- There were 34 lead changes among 17 drivers.
- Only 19 cars finished on lead lap.
- The race featured five cautions for 24 laps
- The race ran in three hours, 34 minutes in front of a NASCAR estimated crowd of 108,500
NAME: Clint Bowyer
HOMETOWN: Emporia, KS
RESIDENCE: Clemmons, NC
NAME: Martin Truex Jr.
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, NJ
RESIDENCE: Mooresville, NC
NAME: Michael Waltrip
HOMETOWN: Owensboro, KY
RESIDENCE: Huntersville, NC