MWR Weekly Wrap-Up: Patriotic pride during the Coca-Cola 600

Honoring Memorial Day at the Coca-Cola 600; from pre-race to red, white and blue
paint schemes, NASCAR showed their support of our Armed Forces, past and present.
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

Racing at home at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the second week in a row has had the Michael Waltrip Racing team busier then normal. Since the All-Star Race last weekend, the pace has been non-stop. Fan Fest at MWR took place on Wednesday, and the teams were at the track Thursday, Saturday and in for the long haul on Sunday.

All the MWR drivers started within the top 15, but that cannot be said of their finishes after a night of ups and downs.

Credit: Michael Waltrip Racing
Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota
Started: 5th
Finished: 13th 
Points: 12th (-87 behind Biffle) 

Clint Bowyer and his teammates struggled during the 600 miles at Charlotte. A variety of factors affected Bowyer's night at Charlotte: handling issues, being lapped, you name it and it happened.

Crew chief Brian Pattie worked all evening trying to dial in the No. 15 car but the ever-changing track presented extra challenges.

At one point Bowyer told his team the car was "junk - fix it." Working his way back after being lapped, finishing in 13th can be considered an accomplishment.

"Not a very good night, but my guys kept at it and salvaged a decent run. Happy for@kaseykahne, after the start he had he deserves it," Bowyer Tweeted.

Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
Mark Martin, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine/Armed Forces Foundation Toyota
Started: 6th
Finished: 34th 
Points: 13th (owners)

The evening started great for Mark Martin. He qualified well on Thursday and started in 6th for the 600.

His night abruptly ended when the engine blew on the No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine.

"Well.. That sucked... We had just got it going better.. @55MarkMartin and the crew did a good job.." crew chief Rodney Childers Tweeted after their race prematurely ended.

"That’s so disappointing," Martin said of his early exit. "I thought we were going to have a top-10 finish tonight. We worked like heck on the Aaron’s Dream Machine throughout the race trying to get it to turn like we wanted, but we just never could get there. We still weren’t very bad, but if we could have got it to turn a little better I think we could have gone up there and raced with them. My crew did great and we’ll go get them at Dover."

Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
Started: 15th
Finished: 12th
Points: 6th (-49 behind Biffle) 

Martin Truex Jr.'s night at Charlotte was like a yo-yo. Up within the top 10, falling back, up again...the night clearly was a struggle for the No. 56 team.

After starting the evening in 15th, it was clear that Truex and crew chief Chad Johnston would be dialing in the car throughout the 600 mile race.

"It’s a tough one for us, so I guess 12th is okay for what we had all night.," Truex said of his challenging evening. "We really fought the car and kind of knew coming into the race after practice yesterday that we were off a little bit, but I guess a 12th-place day when you’re off a bit isn’t too bad. Going to one of my favorites next week, so glad to get through this one and guys did a good job fighting. We just couldn’t ever get the handle all night. We could get it to run good for 10 laps and then it would just get really tight, so we couldn’t ever get any front grip in it. Move on to Dover and see if we can’t get to victory lane. We’ll see."

After the race, Truex took to Twitter. "Tough night but we kept after it hard. Well figure this place out sooner or later!!!@napaknowhow"

Something to see:

Michael Waltrip Racing has a very cool time lapse video of what it takes to make the special paint schemes for this weekend. Check it out at
MWR Weekly Wrap-Up: Patriotic pride during the Coca-Cola 600 MWR Weekly Wrap-Up: Patriotic pride during the Coca-Cola 600 Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, May 28, 2012 Rating: 5