Michigan Race Report
• No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished third and is 13th in points.
• No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished seventh and is third in points.
• No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 26th and is 19th in owner points.
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished third in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver lined up 13th and quickly drove into the top five by lap 26. Truex raced in 10thplace at the halfway mark, despite losing track position on a restart when the leader spun his tires. Truex returned to the top five after a quick pit stop on lap 105 and appeared ready to battle for the victory. He restarted the race in second with just 30 laps to go and brought the NAPA Toyota home third. It marked the team’s third top-five finish in 2013 and 27th of Truex’s career. The finish moves Truex to a tie for 13th in the standings. The No. 56 NAPA KNOW HOW crew will race in the first road-course race of the season Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.
• Started 13th and finished third.
• Ran as high as second and as low as 18th.
• Raced majority of event in the top 10.
• Top-five finish allows Truex to move up to 13th in the championship standings.
TRUEX: How was the race? “We fought hard today. We fought hard all weekend really. We had a good car on Friday and didn’t qualify as well as we wanted to and then yesterday we struggled quite a bit. Made quite a few changes for today. Just have to thank Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all the guys on the NAPA Toyota -- they did a phenomenal job. We were really strong in the long runs today. It just took us too long to get going. Overall it was a great day -- after the last two weeks we’ve had we really needed this. Hopefully, we will just keep this going and see where it takes us.”
Did you expect the car to be this strong following practice yesterday? “Last night I went to bed and I was like, ‘I don’t know how tomorrow is going to go.’ I was a little nervous this morning, but me and Chad (Johnston, crew chief) worked together really well on the car and we made some changes. Just can’t thank him enough for what he did. He’s done such a good job with the race cars here and the last two weeks were really tough on us. At Dover we had a top-two or three car easily and then here today we were top-five all day long. All in all a good day and we just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”
How was the power in your engine today compared to last week? “It was definitely better than last week, I mean, based on what they told us they were running package wise. So yeah, I mean, it was definitely better than last week. It wasn't quite back to what we had a few weeks ago at Dover, but again, they’re working on that, and hoping to have back what we had there by the next two weeks, I believe not Sonoma but I believe the race after that. Today we felt fine. We were very competitive horsepower wise, and all that was good.”
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished seventh in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Bowyer started 27th and immediately suffered front-end damage on lap one as cars checked up in front of him and Bowyer made contact with Trevor Bayne. The Michael Waltrip Racing team made multiple stops for repairs and returned Bowyer to the back of the field. For the remaining laps Bowyer and his Brian Pattie-led crew made small changes creeping slowly up the scoring sheet. Bowyer was the beneficiary of a timely caution flag as cars were starting the final round of pit stops with 30 laps to go. Bowyer jumped from 17th to inside the top-10 – restarting eighth with 27 laps to go. Bowyer gained one more position finishing in seventh. Bowyer remains third in the standings as the team returns to action this weekend with the No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota at Sonoma Raceway.
• Started 27th and finished 7th.
• Suffered front-end damage just after the green flag fell to start the race.
• Used entire race to work his way from the back to the front of the field.
• Restarted eighth with 27 laps to go.
• Remains third in standings.
BOWYER: "That was a crazy day. We got off to a rough start in the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota. We worked on it all day long, and made the absolute best of the situation we were in. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty decent points day for us. Not the way we would have drawn it up, but I'll take it."
Mark Martin Race Summary: No.55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 26th in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Martin started 22nd and quickly showed he had one of the best cars on the track. Some pit strategy and fast lap times vaulted the No. 55 as high as third by lap 44. An untimely debris caution during a pit stop cycle dropped Martin to 27th on lap 80. He worked his way back through the field climbing up to 11th with less than 30 laps remaining. But chances for a top-10 finish vanished when Martin reported problems under the hood and he faded back to 26th. The No. 55 returns to action on the road course at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday with Brian Vickers driving the RK Motors Toyota. Martin and the Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota return to action July 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
• Started 22nd and finished 26th.
• Climbed as high as third on lap 44 using pit strategy and quick lap times.
• Overcame losing a lap and moved to 11th with about 30 laps remaining.
• Problems under the hood ended the No. 55’s bid for a top-10 finish.
• Brian Vickers will drive the No. 55 RK Motors Toyota at Sonoma Raceway next weekend.
• Martin and the Aaron’s Dream Machine return to action July 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
MARTIN: “How was the race? “ The guys did a great job. We had a good run. Just came up 16 laps short. It was a great effort and I’m really proud of the guys. They stepped up again this week. I had a good day. My car handled good, it was faster than a lot of cars, and there were a few that were faster than us. We raced around and sorted it out.”
• Greg Biffle edged Kevin Harvick by 2.989 seconds.
• Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five.
• The race featured 22 lead changes among 13 drivers.
• The race lasted 2 hours and 52 minutes.
• The race was slowed by eight cautions for 38 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