Kansas Race Report
· No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished second and is sixth in
NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup now 43 points out of the lead.
· No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished sixth and is fourth in NASCAR’s Chase
for the Sprint Cup now 25 points out of the lead.
· No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 24th. The No. 55 is 14th in
CHASE STANDINGS (After 6 of 10 races)
1 Brad Keselowski 2250 Leader
2 Jimmie Johnson 2243 -7
3 Denny Hamlin 2230 -20
4 Clint Bowyer 2225 -25
5 Kasey Kahne 2220 -30
6 Martin Truex Jr. 2207 -43
7 Tony Stewart 2203 -47
8 Jeff Gordon 2199 -51
9 Matt Kenseth 2195 -55
10 Kevin Harvick 2191 -59
11 Greg Biffle 2188 -62
12 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2128 -122
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway, his second straight runner-up finish at the track. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 16th and quickly worked his way to the front of the field climbing into the top 10 by lap 38 and top five by lap 76. Truex lost ground when a caution flag fell after he pitted, pinning him a lap down. After taking advantage of the wave-around rule, the No. 56 surged from 25th to 10th. Truex moved from fourth to second on a restart with 28 laps to go in the 400-mile race. The NAPA Know How Toyota was closing, but finished 0.495 seconds behind winner Matt Kenseth. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Truex will start the seventh race in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in sixth, 43 points out of first.
· Started 16th and finished second.
· Regained a lost lap after caution fell seconds after Truex pitted.
· Seventh top-five finish and 18th top-10 of 2012.
· Second consecutive second-place finish at Kansas
TRUEX: How does it feel to finish second again at Kansas Speedway? “Well, it’s a lot different mood after this one too. After the first one I was disappointed. Today, I’m happy with my team and my race car we had all day. We really had to battle for this one. We got track position early. We got up towards the top-five and we had a strong car -- a little bit tight. Then we got caught by that caution deal and had to go all the way to the back. Just tough to pass, so it was a battle all day long. Proud of the guys on the NAPA Toyota -- they never gave up. Just kept digging all day long. That’s a good run for us, for sure. Just a little bit too tight there at the end there to run with Matt (Kenseth). A good run and we’ll go on to Martinsville.”
What did you think of the track? “I thought the track was great. The outside lane is going to come in really, really good -- probably by next year, I would say. Their winters here are pretty rough and I expect it will weather the track in nicely. Once the track gets to where it doesn’t need to get rubbered-in so much to get any grip and the tires, we can soften the tires a little. This place is going to be awesome with the progressive banking. You could already feel the track coming in today. The tire is just kind of hard and it was hard to work that outer groove in, but once the outside got working it was actually pretty darn good. It’s going to be a cool, racey track here in the future and they did a great job with it.”
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished sixth in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started third and ran at the front of the field throughout the race. Bowyer led five laps and was in position to win his second consecutive race. A record 14 cautions fell, including four consecutive which erased Bowyer’s fuel economy strategy. However, the Emporia, Kan. native avoided the trouble that plagued many contenders and earned his 20th top-10 finish of the season. Bowyer and the 5-hour ENERGY team return to action Sunday at Martinsville Speedway in the seventh race in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. Bowyer is fourth in the Chase just 25 points out of first.
· Started third and finished sixth
· Led five laps.
· A record 14 cautions including four consecutive erased the No. 15’s fuel economy strategy.
· The No. 15 carried a special paint scheme honoring its new Pink Lemonade flavor and the Avon Foundation for
Women Breast Cancer Crusade
BOWYER: How was today’s race? “It was just a long day -- frustrating. I think I started on the outside one time early in the race and every other time I had to restart on the bottom and it just killed me. We were obviously set up for fuel mileage and after the cautions kept coming, it just kept digging us more and more in the hole. Restarts kind of killed us all day long, but we gained on the points leaders -- but not near enough.”
What’s your plan for the upcoming races? “We’ve just got to keep digging. You’ve got to keep gaining on them. I was hoping to gain a little bit more than that, but we had a solid day and just frustrating though.”
Did today’s race seem crazy? “Yeah, it was just -- man, I don’t know. For us, if we got hung up on the bottom every restart it was worth a position -- maybe two and it just wasn’t much fun. But, it is what it is. I don’t know what the hell was going on behind us. They kept wrecking. It seemed like every 20 laps we would have a caution. That wasn’t much fun.”
Mark Martin Race Summary: No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin led 60 laps, but finished 24th in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Martin started second and looked like one of the fastest cars on the track, but luck was his biggest nemesis Sunday. Crew Chief Rodney Childers’ strategy put Martin in the lead for more than 50 laps with one pit stop left for the field. Martin came on pit road as the leader for what could have been his final stop when the caution flew seconds later, putting him a lap down. Utilizing the Aaron’s free pass, Martin returned to the lead lap in 22nd position. Soon after the restart, the No. 55 engine soured, losing a cylinder leaving the team with a less than representative 24th-place finish. Brian Vickers drives the No. 55 MyClassicGarage.com Toyota Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Martin returns to action on Nov. 4 at Texas Motor Speedway and will drive the No. 55 in the remaining 2012 races.
· Started second and finished 24th
· Led 60 laps. Only race winner Kenseth and Aric Almirola led more laps.
· Cautions seconds after Martin’s pit stops twice dropped him to the rear of the field.
· Late race engine issues kept him from challenging in the final 40 laps.
· Martin has led 12,779 laps in his career.
MARTIN: “That’s disappointing, but it was a heck of a run today. We couldn’t buy a break. Rodney had the right strategy today, but the caution fell every time we made a pit stop. Our Toyota was awesome today. We’ll get them in Texas.”
· Matt Kenseth won the race by 0.495 seconds over Martin Truex Jr.
· Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five finishers.
· The race took three hours and 28 minutes.
· The race featured 16 lead changes among 10 drivers.
· 14 cautions slowed the race for 66 laps.
· NASCAR estimated the attendance at 78,000.
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