|MARK MARTIN HAS SEVEN CAREER |
SECOND-PLACE FINISHES AT POCONO.
(MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING PHOTO)
His 20 top-five Pocono finishes are the most of any driver and he’s finished second at the Pennsylvania track seven times including last year’s near victory.
At the June race, the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver made a daring pass on a restart to take the lead with just seven laps left. Joey Logano retook the top spot with three to go and beat Martin to the finish line by 0.997 seconds for the victory. The Michael Waltrip Racing team returns to the “Tricky Triangle” this weekend after finishing ninth last weekend in Dover.
MARK MARTIN HAS NO WINS BUT SEVEN 2ND-PLACE POCONO FINISHES: “I don’t have a bucket list. I’ve always believed you are never owed this stuff. I've earned all those second place finishes, and I'm proud of that. You're not entitled. You've got to go get 'em. That’s what makes winning so rewarding. These races aren’t easy to win.”
MARK MARTIN ON WINNING THIS WEEKEND: “We struggled in May. We didn’t like how we ran at Darlington or Charlotte, but last weekend in Dover was a lot better. It was a great team effort. Obviously, until you are sitting in victory lane you have room for improvement but we think we should be pretty good this weekend at Pocono. “
MARK MARTIN ON POCONO: “I admit I wasn't overly optimistic about the repaving last year, but they did a heck of a job. The race was a great show. The restarts at Pocono are insane and you have to take full advantage of them. That was the biggest opportunity to make gains and definitely big gains. You could get three or four at a time if somebody got bottled up a little bit. Had to be on your toes for the restarts for sure.”
CLINT BOWYER — No. 15 RK Motors Toyota driver Clint Bowyer and Crew Chief Brian Pattie are in their second season together at Michael Waltrip Racing. Their first season culminated in a runner-up finish for the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup. The pair heads to Pocono Raceway this weekend in third-place in the standings ahead of their 2012 pace in top-fives, top-10s, laps led and seven spots higher in the point standings.
CREW CHIEF BRIAN PATTIE ON POCONO: “The three distinct corners make Pocono a challenge. They pose a problem setting cars up, so we just try to pick the corners that we can pass going into and get good speed going down the straightaways. The speeds are way up since the repave. The track is way smoother so that changes the setup a lot from previous years. Hopefully the winter up there has done the track some good and given it some character so we can get a little more grip. That’d help with the racing.”
Until then, Johnston had never led a team in any form of NASCAR competition.
Now, after 72 races together, Truex and Johnston earned MWR its first berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup alongside teammate Clint Bowyer and are in contention for a second-straight appearance. Plus, nearly half of their finishes — 33 — are top 10s.
In four races together at Pocono Raceway, Truex has earned one top-five and two top-10 finishes and ranks eighth in most points earned by at driver.
TRUEX JR. ON CREW CHIEF CHAD JOHNSTON: “I think what makes it work between me and Chad is the fact that he understands how our system works and how to get the most out of it. He knows how to get the right information out of the people and then give the right feedback to make our cars even better.
“As far as the engineering side goes, he’s not afraid to go out on a limb and work on stuff himself to make our cars faster. And as far as our relationship, I think we have similar backgrounds growing up in racing with our dads. We have a passion for racing that started at a young age. We aren’t afraid to work hard to get what we want. Chad works harder than anyone I have ever seen in the garage as far as crew chiefs go. I think that’s a big part of why we have been successful together. The only thing that’s missing is a win and that’s coming. We are running too well for that not to happen. I just hope it’s this weekend and I think we are more than capable of making a win happen at Pocono.”
TRUEX JR. ON TEAM'S SUCCESS AND POCONO: "On Sunday at Dover, I thought we
had a real chance to win the race. I am so proud of my NAPA team and what all we have been able to accomplish. They are giving me such good race cars and making really good adjustments throughout the course of a weekend. We just need to put it all together and have some of these things quit biting us. We’ve got the speed. We’ve got the race team. We’re headed to Pocono and we’ve been good there. In the fall, I think we had the best car. The storm ended the race when we were running in third. I am looking forward to going back there and getting two more spots out of the place.”
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