How did the Sprint Unlimited alternates fare?
Photo by Robert Laberge / NASCAR via Getty Images
The drivers competing in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited take the stage during pre-race festivities.
With four drivers eligible for the 2015 Sprint Unlimited electing to skip Saturday night’s exhibition race, the four alternates joined the 25-car field. Below is a breakdown of how each driver did.
No. 13 Casey Mears
Mears started the night 23rd, the lowest starting position of the four alternates. Avoiding collision in the first accident, Mears entered first pit stops under caution in 15th.
Mears ran inside the top-ten for much of the second segment, running as high as the top-three. He ended the night fourth overall, the highest of the alternates and only one to be running at the finish.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer
Bowyer started the event 18th, obtaining debris on his grille from the Keselowski accident on lap 24.
Bowyer would later be involved in the multi-car crash on lap 46, ending his race premature.
“The car’s really pull up and suck up pretty good, so you’re pushing, beating and banging on each other,” said Bowyer, who spoke with FOX Sports.
“…I saw a car backwards, and I hit it… these things don’t seem to like to go through the grass very well. Not the way we wanted to get started.
“It’s kind of a bummer. I was just starting to have some fun and get up through them. But the good news is we’ve got a long race, a big race, coming up next week, and we’ll go at it again.”
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stenhouse started the event 20th, running outside the top-ten for most of the first segment. The No. 17 entered first pit stops 19th on the racetrack with damage from the first accident.
Photo by Patrick Smith / NASCAR via Getty Images
Paul Menard leads the field in the opening laps of the Sprint Unlimited.
While running ninth on lap 61, Stenhouse collected Austin Dillon and himself in a turn-three accident. Stenhouse appeared to lose a right-rear tire.
The third-year Sprint Cup veteran finished 16th, out of the event.
No. 27 Paul Menard
Menard, who drew the pole position for the race, elected to lead the field to the green flag on the outside lane.
Leading the opening seven laps, Menard fell to ninth by the first pit stops.
“The car was really good, the Peak Menard Chevy was fast,” Menard said. “We made one little chassis adjustment on the pit stop, and the car came to life a little bit better.
“We learned some things for tomorrow.”
Menard collected damage from the lap 46 accident on the frontstretch. He received contact from Kurt Busch, ultimately receiving damage from contact with Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne.
Menard finished 21st, behind the wall.