Darlington Race Report
- No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished fifth and is fifth in points.
- No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished 11th and is 11th in points.
- No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 20th - the No. 55 is 12th in owner points.
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished fifth in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. On Friday, the Michael Waltrip Racing driver qualified a career-best sixth at the track "Too Tough To Tame." Throughout most of the 367-lap event on Saturday, Truex battled a loose-handling Toyota. Despite the challenge, he competed comfortably within the top-five. Shortly after the team's green-flag stop on lap 279, the NAPA Toyota claimed the lead and held it for 25 laps. Crew chief Chad Johnston called the driver in for one final time on lap 308 for two tires and much-needed fuel as the NAPA Toyota was nine laps short of making it to the end of the race. By the time the checkered flag waved, Truex raced from 11th to fifth. The team scored its fourth top-five and seven top-10 finish of the year. The result also keeps Truex tied for fifth in the championship standings – 40 points out of the lead. The NAPA team returns to action next Saturday night for NASCAR's Sprint All-Star festivities when the No. 56 team competes in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Truex qualified sixth and finished fifth.
- Battled a loose condition throughout the race.
- Ran as high as first and as low as 11th.
- Led 25 laps, for a season high 303 laps as driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota.
Martin Truex Jr. Quote: As the saying goes, ‘Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.’ I really wanted to win so bad. Hindsight is 20/20 and we win as a team and we lose as a team. Chad (Johnston – crew chief) made the call to pit when the rest of the leaders stayed out. We were nine laps short so we pitted there on lap 308 so fuel would not be an issue. Last year, fuel mileage was not on our side and who is to say it would be on our side this time? I am so proud of my guys. We turned in my best qualifying lap of my career and led 25 laps in the race. We’ve had a good season this year and I cannot thank them enough for everything they have done for me. We’ll get a win … several wins. It is just a matter of time.”
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No.15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished 11th in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 26th and raced his way into the top-15 as the race ran the first 172 laps without a caution. With the leaders setting a blistering pace, Bowyer fell down a lap on lap 163 while in 14th position, but was the first recipient of the Lucky Dog free pass. The 5-hour ENERGY crew worked on the Toyota’s handling throughout the race and worked its way up to 10th by the green-white-checkered finish. Bowyer raced to the ninth position on the final lap before having to check up to avoid an incident in front of him causing him to drop two positions to 11th. Bowyer and the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota return to action Saturday night in the NASCAR All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Started 26th and finished 11th.
- Went a lap down on lap 163 while racing in 14th position.
- Received the Lucky Dog free pass on lap 172.
- Restarted 10th for the green-white-checkered.
BOWYER QUOTES: "This isn't one of my best tracks, so to get out of here -- I had a top-10 there and they got together down there in (turn) one and two and I checked up and the 9 (Marcos Ambrose) just had enough momentum. He was far enough behind me that he didn't have to check up and sailed right around me, but lucky to get out of here I guess. The 5-hour ENERGY Toyota ain't tore up too bad."
Mark Martin Race Summary: No.55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Mark Martin finished 20th in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 18th and held his position in the early going as the race ran the first 172 laps without a caution. With the leaders setting a blistering pace, Martin fell down a lap on lap 98 and another at lap 280. The Aaron’s crew worked on the Toyota’s handling throughout the race and regained both laps late in the race. Martin and the Aaron’s Dream Machine return to action Saturday night in the NASCAR All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Started 18th and finished 20th.
- Lost laps on lap 98 and 280.
- Team made variety of changes throughout race to improve handling.
- Regained both laps late in the race.
MARTIN QUOTES: “That was a battle for 500 miles. We did everything we knew to do tonight. I’m proud of the effort. That isn’t what we were hoping for, but we’ll figure it out.”
- Jimmie Johnson won his 56th career victory and 200th for Hendrick Motorsports
- Top five included Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch and Truex Jr.
- There were 22 lead changes among eight drivers.
- Eight cautions for 38 laps.
- NASCAR estimated a crowd of 63,000
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