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Vickers' Chase Diary - Pt.4

Last Sunday was a disaster for Brian Vickers, who fought the handling of his #83 Red Bull Toyota, spun off Turn 4 looking for grip in the high groove at Kansas Speedway and suffered a race-ending engine failure that dropped him to 37th place and left him 12th in the Chase standings, an all-but-insurmountable 250 points behind leader Mark Martin with seven races left.

Throughout the day, Vickers was restrained and patient on the radio, mindful there was no need to make a bad day worse. Here in the latest instalment of his Chase diary he talks about his attitude, his struggles at Kansas and a more aggressive approach to the final seven races...


“It was a rough weekend, a rough weekend. I've scanned other drivers, and it's amazing some of the things they've said. Sometimes I say to myself, 'Maybe I should be more vocal.' But I think, in the long run, the way I was raised, it's better to keep your head level and calm, collected—it always seems to work out better in the long run. Sometimes you can raise your voice and say things that are not necessary, and you can get the results you're looking for. But I've always felt like, in the long run, you get more flies with honey.

“But sometimes it's difficult. … When I come back on the radio, and I say, 'We're tight,' and I say it with a calm demeanour, then sometimes they under-adjust the car. They don't think it's that bad, because I'm not screaming at them. It's a little bit of a learning curve between me and a crew chief, when we first start working together, that they need to understand that, no matter how bad it is, my voice and my language is rarely harsh. I won't say never - when the fuse is lit, I can still explode. But it doesn't happen very often.

“The track (at Kansas) did change a lot (from Saturday's practice). It's not uncommon for that racetrack to have a big change from Saturday to Sunday. …I was up there chasing grip in the top groove and spun it out. It was my fault. I was pushing the car too hard, and I should have known better. It didn't damage anything, and we kept going, but ultimately, the engine was our demise.

“It was a very difficult race. I know that a lot of people were complaining about handling issues - which is not a bad thing. It forces you as a driver to try different stuff, racing high, racing low. I think it makes for a great race.

“Now we've got a lot of ground to catch up, and being conservative is out the window. If we want to get back in this thing, we've got to win races. We're going to roll the dice. I need to talk to my crew chief (Ryan Pemberton) before I say too much, but we need to get our mojo back. We need to get back on track, and we can do that.

“The best way to do that is to win a race, and California (this Sunday) is a very good place to start.”


as told to Reid Spencer



Related Pictures

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Brian Vickers at Daytona [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Brian Vickers leads the Sprint Cup pack at Infineon Raceway   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Brian Vickers celebrates victory at Michigan   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Brian Vickers [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Brian Vickers is 10th in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings heading into the third Chase race, Sunday’s Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, July 27, 2014 the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, July 27, 2014 the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, kisses the Brick after his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
The #24 Axalta Chevrolet crew celebrates in pit lane after driver Jeff Godron`s victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, salutes the fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, center, celebrates with team owner Rick Hendrick, left, daughter Ella Sophia and wife Ingrid Vandebosch by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars into the pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, races the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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