June 24, 2012
Clint Bowyer Sonoma
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer led 71 of 112 laps in a dominating victory Sunday in the 24th annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 on the Sonoma road course. Bowyer survived a green-white-checkered finish and hard charges by Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch to claim his sixth career victory. Bowyer started sixth and took the lead on lap 26. He remained in contention throughout the race that ran caution free during the first 82 laps. Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. combined to lead 86 of the 112 laps. Brian Vickers finished fourth, rounding out MWR’s stellar performance. The finish moves Bowyer to seventh in the standings. Bowyer’s Toyota carried a decal above the driver’s door honoring 11-year-old Brady Bakken who is battling cancer. The No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota team returns to action Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.
- Started sixth, led 71 of 112 laps, and won the race by nearly one second over Tony Stewart.
- Sixth career victory and third for MWR.
- Took the lead on lap 26 and held off Stewart and Kurt Busch through green-white-checkered finish.
- Bowyer and MWR teammate Martin Truex led a combined 86 of 112 laps while Brian Vickers
- Bowyer moved to seventh in points.
BOWYER: “Super excited for everybody involved to be in victory lane with this group so early in the season. It’s a dream come true. I’m very proud of all our partners, especially everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing). To switch teams like I did was a huge risk and it was obviously a chance for me to showcase my talents. I’m proud of everybody back home at the shop -- thank you guys for building us real good race cars. Thank you to 5-hour ENERGY -- I took one before the race and I needed it. How about them fans.”
Why is this team hitting it so strong? “We’re working together. You know, that’s something that I’m very proud of. All these guys work together and the crew chiefs and engineering staff -- everybody at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) -- that's what it takes. All of our cars run good today and it’s because everybody works together. I want to say hi to 11-year-old Brady Bakken back home. Eleven years old with stage three Lymphoma – hang in there buddy, we’re praying for you and this one is for you.”
What does this victory mean to you? “I’m proud of everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) for making this happen. What a wonderful opportunity at this stage in my career to make this jump and make it work. I’m proud of everybody -- Brian Pattie (crew chief) and everybody on this 5-hour ENERGY Toyota -- it's just awesome.”
How satisfying is it to pick up your first win with your new team? “It’s huge towards the Chase and everything else. This is big for our confidence level, this team. It’s a young organization that’s going to be in this sport a long time and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
OWNER MICHAEL WALTRIP: “I’m so proud of everyone associated with MWR. Clint was the man today holding off Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart. But I’m so proud of Martin Truex Jr. who led so many laps and Brian Vickers finishing fourth was really cool. This day is an exclamation point to all the hard work that has taken place at MWR. There are so many who played a role in this victory. This is for everyone at MWR and all of our partners who’ve supported us so well.”
View the Sonoma Victory Recap Video on Michael Waltrip Racing
View photos from the race and Victory Lane >