Kentucky Race Report
3rd Clint Bowyer
7th Martin Truex Jr.
31st Brian Vickers
PLACE DRIVER PTS Behind Leader
3rd Clint Bowyer -41
8rd Martin Truex Jr. -120
No. 55 is 20th in owner points
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 30th Camry Anniversary Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished third in Sunday’s rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. Rain Saturday night forced NASCAR to start the race at noon on Sunday. Bowyer started 15th and immediately reported his car turned too much in the corners. He avoided major disaster on lap 43 when Kyle Busch spun in front of Bowyer and others nearly triggering a multi-car accident. The No. 15 moved into the top 10 a few laps later then climbed to third on lap 83. Bowyer battled with the leaders throughout the remainder of the race racing as high as second. Bowyer lost second place to Jamie McMurray with four laps remaining and finished third. Bowyer remains third in the standings just three points behind Carl Edwards in second place. The Michael Waltrip Racing team returns to action Saturday night with the No. 15 PEAK BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid Toyota at Daytona International Speedway.
• Started 15th and finished third
• Avoided major disaster on lap 43 when he narrowly missed cars dodging a spinning Kyle Busch.
• Raced with leaders for final two-thirds of the race.
• Fell from second to third in the final laps.
• Remains third in points just three points behind second place.
BOWYER: Were you having fun at the end of the race? “Well, to be honest with you, I was blocking hoping I was running out of laps. It was just too many to be blocking like that. I knew he (Jamie McMurray) was a lot faster. I was either going to get myself wrecked or let it go and I chose to let it go. Good day for us. Obviously when you get that close at the end you can smell a chance at the win – just not our day yet. I’m proud of the way our team is working together and keeps clicking off solid finishes. This is what we have to do this time of year and hopefully those wins will come when the time is right.”
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished seventh in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 19th in the race postponed from Saturday to Sunday because of rain. The NAPA driver dodged a multi-car crash on lap 48 then fell down a lap when he pitted a few laps before a caution. Truex returned to the lead lap on the wave around. The NAPA Toyota climbed from 25th to 18th after the lap 94 restart. At the halfway mark, Truex raced in 11th and remained near that spot until the final laps when he took four tires during a pit stop preparing for a 16-lap shootout. Truex restarted 14th and used the new tires to carve his way to seventh – the team’s 8th top-10 of 2013. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.
• Started 19th and finished seventh
• Raced into top 10 by lap 50
• Took wave around after caution came out on lap 87 when exiting pit road.
• Battled both loose- and tight-handling conditions.
• Turned in the team's eighth top-10 of 2013.
TRUEX: How was the race? “We dodged a lot of bullets today. We didn’t have a very good car all day long. Track position was important and we got it a few times and we lost it a few times. One time we pitted and caution came out and we had to take the wave around. Just could never get the car right today -- really loose in and really tight off. The track didn’t seem like it was really any different from the start to the finish -- it really never changed. We just never could get the car in the race track and I feel very lucky to finish where we did. We were bad all day, but the one run was really bad and we were seventh or eighth before we put tires on and we tried to make it better and we made it worse and fell back to 18th or 20th or something and then had to work our way back and it was difficult. These are the kind of days that we need when we don’t have a good car. Just persevere, fight through it and get a top-10.”
Why did the team elect to take four tires rather than two on the final pit stop? “The last stop everybody took two (tires) and our car wasn’t very good on two so we elected to take four. We were pretty far back on that restart and luckily we had two really good restarts and we were able to get some spots and then hang onto them at the end.”
Brian Vickers Race Summary: No. 55 Aaron’s/Louisville 2013 National Champions Toyota driver Brian Vickers finished 31st in Sunday’s rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. Rain Saturday night forced NASCAR to start the race at noon on Sunday. Vickers started ninth and immediately reported the No. 55 would not turn in the corners of the 1.5-mile oval. The Rodney Childers-led crew made several major adjustments improving the handling of the Aaron’s Dream Machine. Vickers broke into the top 10 around the lap-100 mark and threatened the top-five before an untimely caution flag as he drove on pit lane to make stop. Vickers was forced to restart the race in 23rd. A two-tire stop on lap 198 moved him to second place. That strategy looked perfect as he held on to seventh place and planned to pit for new tires. But a cut tire forced Vickers hard into the wall on lap 242 leaving him with the 31st-place finish. No. 55 returns to action Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway where two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will pilot the Aaron’s Dream Machine. Vickers’ next action is July 14 at New Hampshire Speedway.
• Started ninth and finished 31st
• Crew worked throughout the race to improve handling and he moved into top-10 on lap 100.
• Caution while he was on pit lane forced him to restart race in 23rd on lap 197.
• Two-tire stop on lap 198 moved him to second.
• Cut tire sent No. 55 into the wall on lap 242; Vickers unhurt but ended race.
VICKERS: Are you okay and what happened that caused the car to hit the wall? “Man, that was a hard hit. It was a hard fought day -- the guys and everyone on this Aaron’s Dream Machine did a great job making it better. We were way too tight to start, but man we had a good car there at the end. We drove up to the front, we pitted and we were one car length away from making it to pit road before the caution came out and the lights came on right before we crossed the line. We would have come out in the lead if we would have made it and unfortunately we came out at the tail end of the field then clawed our way back to the top-five. We were running great right there with two tires -- those guys had four and just lost a tire. Not really sure what happened, it just blew going into three. Really hard hit. I just hate it. It was great to have the Louisville Cardinals on the car this week. Thank Aaron’s for putting them on there and especially here in the state of Kentucky. Love to have gotten them a victory, but unfortunately it just wasn’t our day. Just didn’t have luck on our side and then this tire just kind of put a fork in it. We had a good car. I think if we would have had four tires and track position there at the end we could have given those guys a run for their money.”
• Matt Kenseth beat Jamie McMurray by 0.699 seconds.
• Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch rounded out top five.
• The race featured 11 lead changes among six drivers
• The race lasted three hours and two minutes
• The race was slowed by 10 cautions for 42 laps
• Rain Saturday night forced NASCAR to race at noon on Sunday.
NAME: Brian Vickers
HOMETOWN: Thomasville, NC
RESIDENCE: Miami & NYC
NAME: Clint Bowyer
HOMETOWN: Emporia, KS
RESIDENCE: Clemmons, NC
NAME: Martin Truex Jr.
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, NJ
RESIDENCE: Mooresville, NC