Charlotte Race Report
• No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished eighth and is fourth in points.
• No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished ninth and is now ninth in points.
• No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 34 and the No. 55 is now 20th in owner
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished eighth in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bowyer started fifth and quickly showed he was one of the fastest cars on the track running in the top three and threatening the leaders. Bowyer continued to race up front while working on handling issues throughout the race. The No. 15 climbed to sixth with 65 laps remaining as he sought his second consecutive victory at Charlotte. However, Bowyer could never make a run at the leaders in the closing stages and finished eighth. The finish moves Bowyer from fifth to fourth in the driver standings. The No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota team returns to action next weekend at Dover International Speedway.
• Started fifth and finished eighth.
• Showed from the start he had one of the fastest cars in the race.
• Battled a tight handling car through the middle stages running near the top 10.
• Moved to fifth with 65 laps remaining.
BOWYER QUOTE: “I think we were on the splitter most of the night. It just took too long to get an opportunity to get off of it. Once we got off of it, we had been working so hard trying to get the thing to turn while it was dragging the splitter that once we got off of it then it got loose. We just chased our tail all night long. For everything that we battled through to end up with a top-10 is good, but certainly not what we wanted.”
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished ninth in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 17th and quickly raced to 10th place by lap 40 giving Michael Waltrip Racing three Toyotas in the top 10. The NAPA driver recorded top-five lap times during the middle stages of the race but needed track position to get back in contention. The break came on lap 261 when the NAPA KNOW HOW crew pitted for two right-side tires. Truex moved back into the top 10 and 30 laps later, he ran in fifth. With 15 laps to go, the NAPA Toyota pitted one final time for two fresh tires and when the checkered flag waved, Truex crossed the line in ninth. The finish moved him to ninth in the driver standings. The No. 56 NAPA KNOW HOW crew returns to action Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
• Started 17th and finished ninth.
• Broke into top 10 by lap 40 and top five by lap 300.
• Ran as high as third and as low as 17th.
• Moved to ninth in the driver standings.
TRUEX QUOTES: “The whole race was a battle. Long night. We had way better than a ninth place car. We passed a lot of cars tonight, which was very, very hard to do. Not a lot of guys passed cars and we did. At the end of the night we just got messed up there on that one restart when we were running third. Everything just played against us tonight -- all those restarts that we kept being in the wrong lane and getting shuffled back. Once we finally got shuffled back then it goes green the whole way. Then we couldn’t gain them back. It’s frustrating, but at the same time the guys did such a good job with the race car from last week. Not making the All-Star race really got our butts in gear this week and got Chad (Johnston, crew chief) working on some things. He did an awesome job all weekend. The car was great yesterday in practice. The car was really good all night tonight. We were off here and there, but as much as this track changes to be able to keep up with it the way we did I thought was really good. We just have to get better at the little things and somehow catch a damn break every once in a while.”
Mark Martin Race Summary: No.55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Mark Martin finished 34th in Sunday night’s 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started fourth and raced the first quarter of the race in the top 15. At the lap-123 mark, a cable from an overhead camera above the tri-oval fell on the racing surface damaging several cars including Martin’s. The team made extensive repairs to the front end and left rear during a 15-minute red flag. When racing resumed Martin raced around 20th but fell down a lap to the leaders on lap 207. Martin looked to be in position to regain the lost lap with just 75 laps remaining but Aric Almirola made it three-wide with Martin and Jeff Gordon going into turn 1. Almirola and Martin touched triggering a multicar accident that ended each of their races. Martin and the Aaron’s Dream Machine return to action Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
• Started fourth and finished 34th.
• Ran in the top 15 first quarter of race.
• At lap 123, an overhead camera cable fell on track damaging several cars including Martin’s.
• No. 55 team made extensive repairs and Martin restarted race after red flag.
• Lost lap on lap 207; Lap 325 accident ended his race.
MARTIN QUOTE: “It went three wide. I hope everybody is okay. Three wide, you shouldn’t be doing that. We get away with it a lot, but that’s an awful high speed place to be trying to do that. I was caught in the middle. I got squeezed. I think we would have had a top-12 finish out of that race tonight. Like everyone we were fighting the handling, but our Aaron’s Dream Machine was getting better and better.”
• Kevin Harvick won the race by 1.490 seconds over Kasey Kahne.
• Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano rounded out top-five.
• The race lasted 4 hours and 35 minutes
• The race feature 24 lead changes among 12 drivers
• The race was slowed by 11 cautions for 61 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