Sunday, April 25, 2010

MWR - Talladega Race Report

Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - finished 12th - now 15th in points.
David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship Dream Machine Toyota - finished 14th - now 27th in points.
Michael Waltrip PRISM MOTORSPORTS Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota finished 39th.
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: Martin Truex Jr. didn't lead a bunch of laps or beat and bang at the front of the field Sunday in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. But on the final of three green-white-checkered flag attempts to finish the race, Truex raced as high as fifth and looked to be in position to take the checkered flag less than two-miles away. But with no helpers to push the NAPA Toyota, Truex could not mount a charge and came across the finish line in 12th. Truex stayed patient throughout the race never showing his hand until the end. The NAPA Toyota gained two spots and is now 15th in points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond on Saturday.
TRUEX: “I did all I could but my NAPA Auto Parts Toyota just wouldn't go there at the end especially when I got shuffled out of the draft. It’s a shame, but considering my finishes over the last couple of races, I’ll take it. We avoided all the wrecks and were in contention in the end so it was a good day.”
 Truex Notes:
  •  Truex Jr. started 17th and finished 12th.
  • Took it easy in the early going telling crew chief Pat Tryson he could “easily” catch the lead pack in the draft.
  • Truex stayed very patient in the early going riding mid pack.
  • The No. 56 pit crew turned in a 12-second stop midway through the race.
  • Jumped up to 10th on the lap 148 green flag pit stops.
  • Truex restarted race with nine laps to go in 20th but moved to fifth by the final green-white-checkered finish.
  • Couldn’t get anyone to push him to the front on the final lap and faded to 12th.
 David Reutimann Race Summary: David Reutimann’s Aaron’s/University of Alabama National Championship Toyota was a fan favorite in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. In addition to carrying the home state colors, the No. 00 was as fast as any of the 43 cars on the track. Reutimann led five laps but looked like he would leave with a poor finish after falling out of the lead draft. But a late caution enabled him to climb back into the lead pack. In the final green-white-checkered finish he couldn’t get the help needed to battle for the victory and finished 14th. Reutimann is now 27th in points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Richmond for Saturday night’s race.
REUTIMANN: “It seemed like I could give help, but no one seemed to really want to give me any. The 11 (Denny Hamlin) worked with us really good and there was a couple other guys that would. A lot of guys would work with you and then hang you out. That’s just how it goes – no big deal. We should have finished a whole lot better than 14th today. We had a good car. At least we didn’t tear anything up and we have something good to bring back.”
Reutimann Notes:
  •  Reutimann started 30th and finished 14th—his best Talladega finish.
  • Reutimann has finished in the top 15 in four of the five races he’s finished in 2010.
  • Led five laps and looked to be one of the fastest cars on the track.
  • Reutimann climbed into the top five around the lap 60 mark.
  • Pushed Jimmie Johnson to lead on lap 69 while running second.
  • Avoided a spinning Denny Hamlin on lap 75.
  • Led lap 154 as the field raced three wide.
  • Hung out in the draft with 30 to go and fell out of lead pack about 13 seconds behind leader.
  • A caution with 10 laps remaining allowed Reutimann to climb back into the lead pack.
  • Survived the three green-white-checkered attempts to finish the race.
 Michael Waltrip Race Summary: Sunday’s 188-lap Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway wasn’t even 30 laps old and Michael Waltrip was the story of the race. The two-time Daytona 500 winner charged from the last starting spot to the lead and led four laps. When he wasn’t leading, the superspeedway ace pushed Dale Earnhardt Jr., Sam Hornish and Brian Vickers to the lead. Waltrip proved his Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota could drive from the back to the front in just laps. It appeared Waltrip would be one of the drivers to battle for the victory as the laps clicked off. But, a multicar-accident on lap 84 saw Waltrip’s PRISM Motorsports Toyota suffered significant left side damage and his day ended in the garage with a 39th-place finish.
 WALTRIP: How did it feel leading the race? “Honestly, at one point I looked up and it was me and Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. leading the race and I thought, ‘This feels great!’ I hope the fans are enjoying it. The car was fast. Kyle (Busch) just messed up and ran into a guy and crashed him. When you set yourself to the standards that he does, he’s really good and he’ll tell you about it, but whether it’s a tear-off or a caution flag, when you set yourself to those standards and then you make a mistake like that in front of the field, it’s kind of disappointing.”
 How did the spoiler feel out on the race track? “It was fun.  I’ve haven’t had a car in a couple of years that was that racey.   And whether it was just me relating to the spoiler because that’s how I won my races at Daytona and Talladega or if it’s indeed just the spoiler makes things more fun, I don’t know.  But I liked what I felt.”
 Did you have fun out there today? “I thought I could win.  I’ve raced 500 miles a lot of times and a win wasn’t in the cards.  A lap down and not running like you wanted and you just fight your way through it so that when the day comes along like this you’re ready and I was ready.  Golly, I wanted to do it so bad for my sponsor.  This is my first Cup race for Aaron’s and to be able to lead the race for them and be a part of the front of the pack, it was really fun for me.”
  • Waltrip drove the No. 55 Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota for PRISM Motorsports
  • Waltrip started last and rocketed to first place in the first 30 laps.
  • Waltrip led four laps and also pushed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the front of the pack to the roars of the Talladega fans.
  • He also pushed Sam Hornish and Brian Vickers to the lead riding right on their bumpers.
  • Waltrip suffered some right side damage as the field avoided a spinning Denny Hamlin on lap 75.
  • The damage appeared minimal and he returned to the front of the field.
  • A multicar accident on lap 84 collected Waltrip ending his day.
  •  Kevin Harvick beat Jamie McMurray by 0.011 seconds.
  • Juan Montoya finished third. Denny Hamlin and Mark Martin rounded out the top five.
  • There were 88 lead changes among 29 drivers— a race record.
  • Rain cancelled qualifying on Saturday and NASCAR set the field based on points.
  • Saturday’s Nationwide race took place an hour after the Sprint Cup race.
  • In the DirecTV Head2Head competition Truex defeated AJ Allmendinger and will face Mark Martin in Richmond

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