Michigan Race Report
No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished seventh and is seventh in points.
No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 10th and is sixth in points.
No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 35th. The No. 55 is now 18th in owner points.
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. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 12th and immediately showed that he and his teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin were as fast as any in the field. Bowyer quickly climbed into the top eight and took over the lead on lap 71. He led for 19 laps. Bowyer battled for track position in the second half of the race. He restarted seventh on the green-white-checkered finish and held his position amid fierce driving in the final laps. Bowyer and the 5-hour ENERGY team return to action on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
· Started 12th and finished seventh.
· Led 19 laps of the 85 laps MWR led at Michigan on Sunday.
· Collected his 13th top-10 finish in 23 starts in 2012.
· Mobil 1 Oil Driver of the Race winner
· Remains seventh in points with three races before the Chase.
BOWYER: “How was your race today? “ It was a solid day for us. We got up there and we led then we pitted and lost track position. You just can’t pass. It will age and it will keep getting better. This race was better than last time and it will keep improving. We did what we needed to do -- I said we needed single digit numbers. If we keep doing that then they are running out of races to catch us. Kasey (Kahne) from outside the top-12 is catching us, but everybody behind us inside the top-10 finished behind us. Proud of my guys on the 5-HOUR Energy Toyota -- it was a good day and we’ll go on to Bristol.”
What was the last restart like for you? “It was pretty wild. You know what you’re up against -- you know what’s at stake and you know you’ve got that grizzly bear (Ryan Newman) behind you that’s going to go for broke. Just tried to be patient and tried to be aggressive all at the same time.”
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 10th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Truex started seventh and immediately raced to the front of the field. He ran in second behind Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Mark Martin in the early going. As the race moved on the No. 56 grew stronger. Truex led for 12 laps and never ventured outside the top 10. He lined up eighth for the green-white-checkered flag finish but neither Truex nor the other drivers in the outside lane could gain an advantage. The tenth 10th-place finish was his 13th top-10 of the year. The result keeps Truex in sixth-place in points with a 68-point cushion on 11th place for the tenth and final Chase points berth. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team competes Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
· Started fifth and finished 10th
· Led twice for 12 laps – has led 333 laps in 2012
· MWR cars led 85 of the race’s 201 laps.
· Raced as high as third and low as 16th during green-flag pit cycles.
· American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award winner
· Owns five top-5 and 13 top-10 finishes in 2012.
TRUEX: How was your race today?“We had a really strong NAPA Toyota in today’s race, but it was all about track position. We just were in the wrong lane on a couple of those restarts and that ultimately hurt us because it was just too tough to pass. The guys did a really good job giving me a strong car today and we showed our strength early on, but unfortunately it was just tough to get that track position.”
Mark Martin Race Summary: No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 35th in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver earned the pole for the fourth time in 2012 and 55th time in his 30-year Sprint Cup career. Martin dominated the race leading 56 of the first 65 laps only falling out of the lead during a pit stop sequence. The Aaron’s Dream Machine pulled out to a several second lead and seemed to be cruising at lap 65 when he came upon Juan Pablo Montoya. As Martin prepared to put Montoya down a lap, Montoya and Bobby Labonte began to spin. Second-place driver Kasey Kahne made contact with Martin as the pair attempted to avoid the spinning cars. Martin slid off the track and made heavy contact with the end of a pit wall opening. The wall speared the side of the No. 55 causing severe damage behind the driver’s seat. Martin was uninjured, but the car could not continue. The No. 55 returns to action Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway with Brian Vickers behind the wheel. Martin returns to the No. 55 Sept. 2 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
· Started first and finished 35th.
· Led 54 laps only giving up the lead during a pit stop sequence.
· Tapped by Kasey Kahne as they attempted to avoid two cars spinning.
· Made heavy contact with the end of a pit wall opening; Martin was uninjured.
Martin’s pole on Friday was his 55th career pole tying him for seventh with Bill Elliott.
3M Lap Leader Award winner.
MARTIN: “I just want to thank all the race fans because I wouldn’t get an opportunity to drive something like this if Aaron’s wouldn’t sponsor me -- Aaron’s and Toyota behind me and MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing). Michael Waltrip (team owner) gave me a chance to drive awesome race cars and this is just the coolest thing in the world. I’m disappointed that we got tore up, but man, what a hot rod. Big steam under the hood from Toyota and Rodney Childers is such an awesome crew chief. Driving stuff like that -- that’s what it’s all about. I’m glad I’m okay and I’m glad I got to drive that thing -- it was awesome. I wish we could have finished the day off, but I’m so grateful to have a chance to drive race cars like that.”
· Greg Biffle won the race after Jimmie Johnson blew an engine with less than five laps remaining
forcing a green-white-checkered finish.
· Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five
· The race took two hours and 47 minutes.
· The race featured 26 lead changes among 13 drivers.
· Eight cautions slowed the race for 35 laps.
· NASCAR estimated the attendance at 83,000.
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