Kansas Race Report
• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota – finished fourth, is 14th in driver points
• Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota - finished fifth, is ninth driver points
• Mark Martin, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota - finished ninth, No. 55 is 11th in owners points
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished fourth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started seventh and quickly drove his way to third. Truex remained in the top five until a pit road penalty on the lap 72 dropped him to 34th. Crew chief Chad Johnston decided to get off pit sequence with the rest of the field. The strategy allowed Truex to take the lead on lap 106. The No. 56 led 46 of the race’s 267 laps. On the final stop, with 45 laps remaining, Truex’s pit crew gained five spots on pit road to restart second. In the closing laps, Truex battled in and around the top five and crossed the finish line fourth. Each of the three MWR Toyotas earned top-10 finishes on Sunday and it marked the second consecutive good performance for Truex who finished second in Texas last week. Truex has led 188 laps in the last two races. The No. 56 returns to action Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.
• Started seventh and finished fourth
• Led 46 laps on Sunday. He has led 188 laps in the last two races.
• Overcame a pit road penalty on lap 72 that dropped him from third to 34th
• The NAPA Know How crew gained Truex five spots on pit road on the final stop of the day
• Second consecutive top five finish for the No. 56 team
TRUEX: Did the team need these two top-five finishes? “We do and the guys on this NAPA team did such a good job this weekend. Everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) and the 15 (Clint Bowyer) was fifth too so it was a good day for us as a whole. Happy with that. We fought the car all day long -- had to go to the back once for a pit road penalty and fight our way through there. All in all, I’m very happy with fourth place. Got a lot of questions this week about being second and how I seemed so disappointed and all that. Of course I was -- circumstances. Today is the complete opposite. Very happy and excited about a fourth-place finish. It just depends on circumstances. It was a great day, we overcame a lot and the guys did a great job bouncing back after that pit road problem we had and we had a great race car. Just needed a little bit. These newer paved tracks, we’re off just a little bit, but looking forward to going to Richmond next week.”
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished fifth in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Emporia, Kan. native’s home track of Kansas Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 10th and showed he was one of the fastest drivers on the 1.5-mile oval early in the race. The 5-hour ENERGY Toyota raced as high as second and never ventured out of the top 15 except during pit stops. The No. 15 crew worked to perfect the Toyota’s handling throughout the race taking only two tires nearly every pit stop. Bowyer raced sixth at the final restart and moved to fifth in the closing laps. Sunday’s finish marks Bowyer’s third top-five finish and fourth top-10 finish in 2013. Each of the three MWR Toyotas earned top-10 finishes on Sunday. The No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota team returns to action Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. .
• Started 10th and finished fifth.
• One of the fastest cars on the track throughout race.
• Raced as high as second and never fell out of the top 15.
• Took two tires nearly every pit stop
BOWYER: “What do you take away from this race? “ Just momentum. We needed a turnaround after last week. Certainly you want to win it at home, but a good top-five finish is a great way to get things bounced back with our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota. Proud of (Brian) Pattie (crew chief) -- we weren’t very good in practice. The guys dug deep and leaned on all their tools and got us better. It looked like a wild race right there at the end -- wish we had been a part of it. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to see good racing here.”
Do you put extra effort into trying to win at Kansas? “You want to run well here. Not that you don’t want to run well everywhere, but you dig deep here and give it everything you’ve got because you want to win here. Our day will come. If we keep knocking down top-fives at your home track, eventually you’re going to knock into the victory lane there. Happy all three MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) cars are in the top-10 -- another Toyota in victory lane. It’s a good day, not a great day for us. Obviously, a great day is winning, but I’ll take it.”
How treacherous was the race track? “It was slick, especially on them restarts. It’s just a product of these repaves. This race track, these hard tires -- you’ve got your hands full. I’m telling you, a couple times I about got turned around and I know a lot of people did. It’s just the nature of the beast. You have to hold on, you have to be patient, you’ve got to be conscious of what’s going on, what you’re up against and you have to play defense, but you have to play offense too and that’s where you get yourself in trouble. Sometimes playing defense when you’re car is not as good on those restarts and get yourself in trouble and sometimes when your car is better than another guy and you can be a little too offensive and get yourself in trouble too.”
Mark Martin Summary: No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished ninth in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started eighth and ran in the top 10 in the early going. A two-tire stop moved Martin to second but the crew battled handling issues on the ultra-fast 1.5-mile oval. Contact with Greg Biffle at the Lap 85 mark dropped Martin from 12th back to 30th but the Aaron’s Dream Machine suffered no damage. Martin charged back to the front but more contact on a restart cost him several positions. As the race wore on Crew Chief Rodney Childers put Martin on a strategy that put him in the top 10 on the final restart with 45 laps remaining. The final segment ran caution free and Martin held on for ninth place. Each of the three MWR Toyotas earned top-10 finishes on Sunday. The No. 55 returns to action Saturday at Richmond International Raceway.
• Started eighth and finished ninth
• Climbed as high as second.
• Lost spots twice due to contact on restarts.
• Used pit strategy in the closing stages to position team for good finish.
• Ran its best on the final green flag run to claim ninth.
MARTIN: “Rodney (Childers, crew chief) just did a great job on the pit box, adjusting the car. We missed it pretty good but our best run of the day was the last run of the day. That’s the way you do it. I’m really proud of the guys and how hard they fought. We’ve got a little work to do to get a little better.”
• Matt Kenseth won the race by 0.150 seconds over Kasey Kahne
• Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer rounded out top-five.
• The race lasted two hours, 59 minutes
• The race featured 13 lead changes among six drivers
• The race was slowed by cautions eight times for 40 laps
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