Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Dodge team of Penske Racing may have been the ones celebrating in victory lane following the Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, but it was also a productive race for Michael Waltrip Racing.
MWR put all three of its Toyota entries -- the No. 56 of Martin Truex Jr., the No. 15 of Clint Bowyer and the No. 55 of Brian Vickers -- in the top-five. Truex finished third, Bowyer was fourth, and Vickers fifth.
...this just says a lot about everything that everybody at MWR has done over the off-season...
"I'm proud of MWR to get three cars in the top-five," Vickers said.
The Bristol race was Vickers' return to Sprint Cup competition, as the driver made his first of six 2012 starts from behind the wheel of the No. 55 MWR Toyota. Despite not being in a race car for a while, Vickers led several laps in his return to competition.
Truex and Vickers were among seven drivers who elected to stay out on the racetrack when a caution came out on lap 23 for a multi-car incident.
Vickers took the lead on lap 96, using lap traffic as an advantage to get around then-leader, A.J. Allmendinger in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge. Vickers was a mainstay up front until Keselowski took over on lap 217 of the 500-lap race. By the end of the event, Vickers was credited with leading 125 laps.
Sunday's race marked the first time in MWR's history that the organization had three cars finish in the top-five.
"So proud of the team," Truex said. "All the guys on the (No. 5) NAPA team and everybody at MWR. Clint and Brian were up front all day long, and this just says a lot about everything that everybody at MWR has done over the off-season -- working hard, giving us good race cars."
The No. 56 car was the highest-finishing Toyota in the race.