Phoenix Race Report
• Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota - finished sixth, now fourth in points
• Mark Martin, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota - finished 21st, now seventh in points
• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Filters Toyota - finished 36th, now 34 in points
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished sixth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 13th and raced his way to 11th before making contact under caution with another car leaving his pit stall on lap 50. The incident left the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota with right front fender damage and forced Bowyer to return to pit road for repairs. Bowyer restarted in 35th position after the incident, but wasted little time in making up ground. Bowyer raced his way back into the top-15 over the next 50 laps and after a two-tire stop on lap 100 he found himself back up to seventh. The No. 15 stuck to its strategy the rest of the way making minor adjustments and conserving fuel to reach the end. The race ended in a green-white-checkered finish after a late race caution. Bowyer battled several drivers for position over the closing laps to finish sixth. The 5-hour ENERGY team returns to action next Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
• Started 13th and finished sixth.
• Received right front fender damage due to a pit road incident on lap 50.
• Made multiple trips to pit road for repairs and restarted 35th.
• Returned to the top-10 after a two tire stop on lap 100.
• Was able to stretch fuel for a green-white-checkered finish.
BOWYER: “After everything that happened, it was a decent day. We got up there and thought we were going to get a chance for a top five. Then I saw the 32 (Ken Schrader) have trouble and I was like, ‘Uh oh, it’s going to get wild now.’ All in all it was a decent day for our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota.”
Mark Martin Summary: No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 21st in Sunday’s 500-kilometer NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver won every practice Friday and Saturday and for the 56th time in his career started Sunday’s race from the pole position. He took off from the start leading the first 49 laps, but an extra stop for a right side vibration on lap 63 dropped him a lap behind the leaders. A caution a few laps later put Martin back on the lead lap. Martin spent the rest of the race battling for track position on the flat mile oval. A green-white-checkered finish saw Martin drop from 16th to 21st during a wild conclusion. Martin led for 75 laps Sunday. The Aaron’s Dream Machine returns to action Thursday testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s race.
• Started from the pole and finished 21st
• It was Martin’s 56th career pole – seventh most of any driver. No. 55 also led each practice.
• Led first 49 laps - 75 total. Right side vibration forced extra stop on lap 63
• Battled track position throughout race.
• Martin has led 12,856 laps in his career.
MARTIN: “We learned a few things and we’ll try to apply them next time. Obviously, it’s a disappointing result for a great effort on the weekend. The car was pretty fast, but we had multiple problems today.”
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: Mechanical issues left No. 56 NAPA Filters Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. with a 36th-place finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Truex raced in 12th but reported a loss of power at lap 50 shortly after the Michael Waltrip Racing team’s first pit stop. Truex went to the garage for repairs. The NAPA Filters Toyota returned to the track several laps later. He recorded lap time equal to the top 10 cars. The NAPA team returns to action Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
• Qualified 14th but started 10th after several cars dropped to the back due to engine changes
• Raced in 12th before experiencing a mechanical problem
• NAPA KNOW HOW crew replaced the gear allowing Truex to refire the engine on lap 82
• Raced NAPA Filters paint scheme to launch NAPA’s March oil change special
TRUEX: “Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks and yet, the last two races have not been good at all for us. Last year, we went out on lap 2. This year we went behind the wall 50 laps in. Something broke in the gear and it caused me to lose power. It felt like the axles were out of it. It’s a shame. We worked on our NAPA Filters Toyota all weekend long and when it was time to race, I was very happy with the overall balance of my race car. I told Chad, I wish we had a time machine because when we went back out, my NAPA Filters Toyota kept getting faster and faster. The rest of the cars seemed like they were slowing down. I guess I’d rather be fast and have stuff like this happen than have a slow car and deal with something breaking. It’s great to see how fast we could get our car going. We learned a bunch out there today that will definitely help us when we come back and I think it will help us next week at Vegas. It was a lot of fun out there today. I just wished the gear would have held up for us.”
• Carl Edwards edged Jimmie Johnson by 0.129 seconds for the win.
• Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out top five.
• Eight cautions slowed the race for 43 laps.
• Race featured 12 lead changes among nine drivers.
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