Michigan Race Report
· No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished seventh and is ninth in points.
· No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 12th and is seventh in points.
· No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 29th.
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished seventh in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Bowyer started 13th and worked his way into the top 10 by the first caution on lap two. Bowyer remained in the top-10 for virtually the entire race and worked his way to the lead by lap 165. Bowyer pitted for fuel only with 30 laps remaining and returned to the racetrack in sixth position. He battled a loose handing condition in the closing laps, but was able to wheel the No. 15 to seventh place by the checkered flag. Bowyer has three straight top-10 finishes. The No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota team returns to action next weekend on the road course at Sonoma.
· Started 13th and finished seventh
· Raced in the top 10 virtually the entire race
· Led lap 164 to collect a bonus point
· Collected his third consecutive top 10 finish and seventh straight top 15
BOWYER QUOTE: “We had a better car than where we finished -- I think. We just got a little bit behind on that next-to-last run. It was just really hard to pass. There, midway through the race, I thought I was pretty good. Just came up short -- we’ll have to go after them next week.”
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 12th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Truex started 16th in the 400-mile race that started two hours late due to rain. Once the race settled in, the NAPA driver produced top-10 times and patiently picked up positions on the track. Interim crew chief Scott Miller implemented several strategies throughout the race, but scrapped most due to caution flags. A final green-flag stop on lap 163 saw Truex drive up from 16th to a 12th-place finish. The results moves Truex to seventh in points. The NAPA team participates in the first road-course race of the season next Sunday in Sonoma, California.
· Started 16th and finished 12th
· MWR’s executive vice president of competition, Scott Miller, served as crew chief as Chad Johnston
and his wife Stacey welcomed the birth of their son Chase Allen Johnston on Friday.
· Raced as high as seventh and as low as 34th
· Dodged two accidents (laps 126 & 133)
· Owns four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 2012
Truex Quote: “Our NAPA Toyota was really good all day long. We just kept pitting at the wrong time. It was one of those deals where we would pit and the caution would come out -- that got us way in the back. From dead last, we got back to like 13th or something and then had a bad restart where I got my fender knocked in and so I got tight. Just one of those days where we couldn’t catch a break, but the car was super fast. Fortunately, we were able to come back -- we passed a ton of cars today. It’s hard to pass here. That says a lot about the car. Just one of them days where we just couldn’t catch a break.”
How did the new left side tires perform on your car?
“It was pretty good really. The start of the race -- the car was really, really loose, but a lot of the guys were. Once we got going and got some rubber on the track, the car was really good all day. Just couldn’t catch a break -- fought track position real bad.”
Mark Martin Race Summary: No.55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin saw a sure top-10 finish go up in smoke in the final laps of Sunday’s 400-mile race at Michigan International Speedway. Martin appeared to secure a seventh-place finish when he reported engine trouble in the final 10 laps. Martin tried but could not make it to the checkered flag and finished 29th. Until the ending, Martin posted as fast of lap times as any of the 43 drivers. After starting 14th, the Michael Waltrip Racing driver moved as high as second and never ran outside the top 10. Martin’s next race is July 29 at Indianapolis. Brian Vickers will drive the No. 55 this weekend on the road course at Sonoma.
· Started 14th and moved to second in the first half of the race.
· With 80 to go, Martin used Aaron’s Lucky Dog Free pass due to caution falling a few laps after No.
55 made a green flag stop.
· Appeared to secure a seventh-place finish before engine issues ended his race.
· Finished five laps before the end of the race.
MARTIN QUOTE: “This was a heck of a Camry and a heck of an Aaron’s race team. All these guys are so smart and so talented. I had a fast, fast race car and I just salute all the guys on the team. They are all great and I am so proud of them."
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race by 5.393 seconds over Tony Stewart.
· Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five.
· The race took two hours and 52 minutes.
· The race featured 23 lead changes among 14 drivers.
· The race was slowed by eight cautions for 39 laps.
· NASCAR estimated the attendance at 82,000.
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