Daytona Race Report
· No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Michael Waltrip finished ninth and is 12th in owner
· No. 56 NAPA Brakes Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 17th and is eighth in the standings.
· No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished 29th and is 10th in the standings.
Michael Waltrip Race Summary: No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Michael Waltrip finished ninth in Saturday night’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Waltrip raced near the front of the pack in the early going. But, his chances to contend for a victory took a major hit on lap 124 when the No. 55 made contact with Joey Logano’s car as part of a multicar accident. After three trips to pit road, Waltrip restarted in 31st on lap 130. The co-owner of MWR stayed in the back of the pack until the green-white checkered finish. Waltrip dodged spinning cars in the fourth turn to cross finish line in ninth. It marked his 130th top-10 finish of his career and 14th at Daytona. Brian Vickers returns to the seat of the No. 55 on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
· Started 28th and finished ninth
· Raced at the front of the pack in the early going.
· Involved in a multi-car incident on lap 129
· Dodged several spinning cars in the final corner to finish ninth.
· Scored his 14th career top-10 finish at Daytona International Raceway
WALTRIP: “We got into Joey (Logano) there when he was coming to pit road and messed up the front of the car earlier in the race. Then at the end of the race I was confident I could push and I just got ahold of the back of the 39 (Ryan Newman) and we were coming and then they started crashing and he squirted through in fifth and I squirted through in ninth. We just had a damaged car and probably pretty lucky to get a top-10. Earlier in the going I was trying my best to get up to the lead and making moves that got us close, but I think in general across the board we weren’t as strong as the front few cars. We got close, but that was all that we could do is get close.”
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA Batteries Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 17th in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Truex started 18th but took over the lead on laps 46-47. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver spent most of the 160-lap superspeedway race in the top-10. On lap 124, Truex and Jimmie Johnson collided as Johnson attempted to enter pit lane. The collision triggered a multi-car accident, but Truex escaped without significant damage. The NAPA Batteries Toyota appeared destined for a good finish until a 14-car accident with eight laps remaining caused heavy damage to the No. 56. The NAPA KNOW HOW crew worked hard on pit road to return it to the track for a green-white-checkered-flag finish and a top-20 result. Truex remains eighth in the championship standings. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
· Started 18th and finished 17th.
· Led two laps Saturday and has led 320 laps in 2012
· Involved in a multi-car crash with eight laps to go to limp home to the finish
· Owns four top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 2012
TRUEX: “We nursed our NAPA Batteries Toyota to the checkered flag. We got hit twice in that big crash and there’s nothing much you can do. I thought we were going to be OK, but then the hole closed up and we got hit. That’s Daytona. The NAPA guys did a great job fixing our car. It was tough to drive but we got a couple more spots there at the end. It was a wild one out there. I want to thank the Intrepid Fallen Heroes soldiers who joined our team today. It was a privilege having them join the NAPA team today. I wish we could have ended the race in victory lane with them. Next up is New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It’s a track that has been good to the Truex family. I hope it is good for Michael Waltrip Racing next Sunday.”
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished 29th in Saturday night’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Bowyer started 29th and immediately dropped to the rear of the field at the start of the 160-lap race. The No. 15 team used a cautious strategy throughout the entire race to avoid the “big one” at Daytona. With 40 laps to go Bowyer began working his way to the front of the field. The Michael Waltrip Racing team raced as high as fifth in the last 20 laps before a multi-car incident ended its run eight laps short of the finish. The No. 15 team finished 29th and recorded only its second DNF (Did Not Finish) of the season. Bowyer returns to action next Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
· Started 29th and finished 29th
· Dropped to the back of the field at the start of the race to preserve equipment
· Raced into the top-10 with 20 laps to go and races as high as fifth.
· Received heavy damage in a multi-car pile-up on lap 152
· Was unable to return to the racetrack in the closing laps
BOWYER: “We had a great 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, but never really got a chance to show how good we could be. We tried to conserve our stuff until the end of the race and stay out of trouble, but trouble found us at the end of the race. That’s just how it goes at Daytona sometimes. We took a pretty big points hit and that hurts, but we’ll keep at it and try to make them back up next week in New Hampshire.”
· Tony Stewart won in a green-white-checkered finish that ended under caution after a final corner
· Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five finishers.
· The race took two hours and 32 minutes.
· The race featured 12 lead changes among nine drivers.
· Six cautions slowed the race for 23 laps.
· NASCAR estimated the attendance at 115,000.
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