Offseason changes at Michael Waltrip Racing paid off with the company’s first occurrence of top-five finishes for all three cars in a single race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr., who finished second to Brad Keselowski in August, led the charge with a third-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, followed by team newcomers Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers, who is sharing the No. 55 entry with Mark Martin.
Truex, the only driver left on the roster from last season, qualified 15th. But on the first caution, drawn by contact between Kasey Kahne and Regan Smith, Truex and Vickers’ teams were among seven cars that elected not to pit and stayed out for track position. The two MWR teams stayed with the same plan on the fifth and final caution on Lap 479 of the 500. Given the hard composition of the tires, both decisions paid off.