Chicagoland Race Report
· No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished ninth and is ninth in NASCAR’s
Chase for the Sprint Cup.
· No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished 10th and is sixth in NASCAR’s Chase for
the Sprint Cup.
· No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 14th. The No. 55 is 14th in owner
CHASE STANDINGS (After 1 of 10 races)
1. Brad Keselowski 2056 Leader
2. Jimmie Johnson 2053 -3
3. Tony Stewart 2048 -8
4. Denny Hamlin 2041 -15
5. Kasey Kahne 2041 -15
6. Clint Bowyer 2041 -15
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2039 -17
8. Greg Biffle 2037 -19
9. Martin Truex Jr. 2035 -21
10. Kevin Harvick 2032 -24
11. Matt Kenseth 2030 -26
12. Jeff Gordon 2009 -47
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished ninth in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 18th and joined the crew in working to steadily improve the Toyota’s handling throughout the race. Truex like many of the drivers battled a car that wouldn’t turn in the corners of the 1.5-mile oval. He moved into the top-10 with less than 75 laps remaining. It marked his 15th top-10 finish of the 2012 season. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup. Truex will start the second of the 10-race Chase in ninth just 21 points out of first.
· Started 18th and finished ninth
· Battled a tight handling car throughout the race.
· Ninth in points just 21 points after the second of 10 Chase races.
· 15th top-10 finish.
TRUEX: How did your car handle in the race? “ We were horrible at the start -- just straight to the rear. We were just so, so tight all day long. I don’t know what happened -- I can’t believe we missed it that bad. Good job by all the guys on this NAPA Toyota. We just had to stick with it, keep pushing and keep pounding on it. We made lots and lots and lots and lots of changes -- big changes and it just worked at the end. We just kept getting them one at a time.”
How does this impact your start in the Chase? “It wasn’t the way we wanted to start the Chase. We had high hopes coming in here and we really had a pretty good weekend. At the start of the race the car was just really tight -- just plowing. I was pretty worried. We worked really hard for that top-10. At the beginning if you would have told me we were going to get a top-10, I would have told you that you were crazy. All in all a good day. If that was one of our bad days, we’ll take it. The guys did good -- we just had to battle and stay after it all day long. Lots and lots of big adjustments and we were able to pull out a top-10 at the end. Not a bad day and we’ll go on to New Hampshire.”
What do you think of managing a top-10 with the adversity early? “Top-10 is good. We were pretty bad today. I’m just proud of Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all the guys for the hard work and the good adjustments. We were just so tight at the beginning. I started 18th, which wasn’t that great and we went backwards pretty fast. It wasn’t looking pretty there for awhile, but just fought hard. Had good restarts all day -- had a good motor and good adjustments. Just picked them off one at a time -- it wasn’t easy, but we got it done. I really felt that we were going to be good today. Not sure what happened, but we’ll go back and look at it and hopefully figure something out.”
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished 10th in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started ninth and raced near the top 10 during the first half of the race. Bowyer pitted under green on lap 148 when a caution came out due to an incident on the backstretch. The caution put the No. 15 team a lap down in 16th, but they immediately returned to the lead lap with a wave around prior to the restart. Bowyer continued to battle in the second half of the race breaking into the top 10 on lap 163 and took the lead on lap 234. Bowyer led for six laps before giving up the lead for his final pit stop. Bowyer returned to the track in 14th following a two-tire stop on lap 239. With fresh tires for the final 28 laps, Bowyer raced his way to a top-10 finish.
Bowyer and the 5-hour ENERGY team return to action Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the second of NASCAR’S 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup. Bowyer is sixth in the Chase after the first of 10 races just 15 points out of first.
Started ninth and finished 10th
· Sixth in points after the first of 10 Chase races and just 15 points behind the leader.
· Earned a bonus point for leading six laps late in the race.
· Posted his 16th top-10 in 2012.
BOWYER: “We were fast all weekend, but we need to do better if we want to win the championship. Today wasn’t our worst day, but it also wasn’t our best. We tried some things that we thought would put us in a good position, but just never clicked the way we were hoping. I know we are capable of more and that can be the most disappointing part. Overall we came out sixth in the points, the same place we started. I’ll try to make up some ground next week in New Hampshire.”
Mark Martin Race Summary: No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 14th in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 15th and raced in the top 10 for most of the race. After running speeds comparable to the top five, a caution following a green flag pit stop forced Martin to take a wave around at lap 156. The team tried two- and four-tire stops, but could not get Martin in position to race with the leaders in the final third of the race. The No. 55 returns to action Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with Brian Vickers behind the wheel of the Freightliner/Jet Edge Toyota. Martin returns to action in the Aaron’s Dream Machine at Dover on Sept. 30.
· Started 15th and finished 14th
· Ran in the top 10 for the first half of the race.
· Climbed as high as sixth after a two-tire stop.
· Brian Vickers drives the No. 55 next week at New Hampshire.
· Martin returns to action Sept. 30 in Dover.
MARTIN: “That was a tough afternoon. We got a decent finish in the Aaron’s Dream Machine, but I was hoping for a lot better. We raced hard all day long, but just couldn’t get the handle or the break we needed at the end.”
· Brad Keselowski won the race by 3.2 seconds over Jimmie Johnson.
· Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five finishers.
· The race took two hours and 47 minutes.
· The race featured 16 lead changes among nine drivers.
· Four cautions slowed the race for 23 laps.
· NASCAR estimated the attendance at 65,000
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