No. 55 Aaron’s/Best of the Best Toyota driver Mark Martin finished third in Saturday night’s 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started fourth and never ran outside the top five in the second half of the race. The No 55 often posted the quickest lap times of the 43 cars on the track. With only two cautions, drivers didn’t have many opportunities to adjust their cars. The Rodney Childers-led crew prepared a nearly perfect Toyota and made minor air adjustments during the race. Martin and the Aaron’s team return to action this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
To see the Texas recap video on MWR.com, please click here: http://www.michaelwaltripracing.com/gallery/videos/1176/texas-recap-video
- Martin started fourth and finished third.
- It was Martin’s eighth top five at Texas.
- Named Mobil 1 Driver of the Race
- The third placed is his best of the 2012 season.
- Finished just seconds behind winner Greg Biffle
MARTIN: How was your effort tonight? “I am just so proud of MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) and all the people there and the teamwork that they have shown there starting with Martin Truex, Jr., who has put so much work into getting the program where it was when we started the season and everybody combined. They really have a lot of great people there with great attitude, great teamwork and, man, have I got one awesome crew chief in Rodney Childers. This is so much fun and such an incredible privilege to drive a race car at this point in my career — to be able to drive a race car for a team like that and in a hot rod like that. I could see the leader the whole race, and at times we could gain ?? when we were at our very best we were making some gains on the leaders, and when we were at our worst we were falling back some, and most of the time we could kind of maintain pace. We don’t have much more work to do, and we can get up there and be battling for the win, so I’m really proud of the guys. We’ve made improvements every race that we’ve got to run together, so Rodney and I are starting to figure some things out in the car that I like for the long haul, so it’s working well.”
Are you excited to carry momentum into next week’s race? “After today I’m really excited, but I was excited anyway. I love going to the race track (Kansas Speedway). There’s nothing else that I find quite as much fun as going to work with a great race team with a great attitude. So it’s fun for me to go to every race that I get to go to. But with the great run we had here we’ll be able to roll this logic, setup logic into next week’s car and hopefully ?? we’re still working. We’re still trying to improve on our long haul — getting a little easier on the tires so the thing will stay faster. If we can make any more improvement maybe we can get right up there and make some sparks for those guys. It’s a great place (Kansas Speedway). It’s almost like a home track because I raced so much up in Springfield (Mo.) and I?70 and around there, so we should have a lot of charged?up fans.”
- Greg Biffle beat Jimmie Johnson by 3.235 seconds for his 17th career victory.
- Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.
- There were 18 lead changes among seven drivers.
- Only 12 cars finished on lead lap.
- Raced ended with 234 consecutive green flag laps.
- Average speed was 160.577 MPH. Two debris cautions slowed the race for 10 laps
- NASCAR estimated the crowd 159,200