NASCAR »

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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finished in 5th position and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS finished in 12th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Kahne, who was also in the Chase, did not advance. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 26th position and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS finished in 13th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Gordon, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished in 9th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Harvick, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members work on the Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, races Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates with an American flag after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualified for 39th position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Harvick, who is in the Chase, is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who is in the Chase, is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet SS qualified for eighth position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Khane, who is in the Chase, is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS qualified for second position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Johnson, who is in the Chase, is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, poses after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.