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Brian Vickers’ Chase Diary – Pt.5

Red Bull driver Brian Vickers continues to look at the battle for the NASCAR Sprint Cup crown as the Chase goes on
Misfortune struck Brian Vickers at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., site of the fourth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Early on, the right rear shock absorber on Vickers' #83 Red Bull Racing Toyota began to work loose, and eventually the shock mount broke completely. His crew tried to compensate for the problem, but no amount of adjusting could get the car working optimally. Eventually, Vickers caught a piece of the massive wreck in turn one on lap 245 of 250. Vickers finished 29th and fell 351 points behind Chase leader Jimmie Johnson.

In the fifth instalment of his Chase diary, Vickers talks about the problems at California, his view of the Chase after four races and his attitude heading into Saturday's NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

“It couldn't have come at a worse time. Part of it was bad luck, and part of it was preparation — or lack of it. The shock broke. The mount, where it was welded to the chassis, broke. We're still trying to research and figure out what the problem was. Obviously, it's not something that should fail. The shock mount came loose, and the right rear shock broke off.

“It was a handful, and, especially with the packages we run these days, that didn't make it any easier, to say the least. It was a long race. (The shock problem) started very early in the race. It slowly worked itself loose. … Once we realised that we couldn't fix the issue, at that point we decided to adjust the car around it as best we could. We put some rubbers in the right rear spring, hoping that — not having the shock — it would have the same effect. We changed some other things — I don't really want to go into detail — but we changed some other things about our package to help the car perform the best it could. We made it better, but, obviously, it wasn't great.

“I think we need to focus on Charlotte, but at the same time, we also need to analyse, recognise and understand what caused the problem at California, so we don't make the same mistake. … It's going to be very difficult for us at this point to win the championship, but it's not impossible. We could get on a hot streak, win a couple races, (the leaders) could have some problems — and we're right back in it. Obviously, that's not very likely. I think at this point we really have nothing to lose. We just need to focus on winning races.

“I think that right now the #48 (Jimmie Johnson) and the #5 (Mark Martin) (are the cars to beat). I know the #42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) is there as well, but the #48 and the #5 have experience from previous Chases and the experience of running for championships and winning championships. I think that goes a long way. I wouldn't count out the #14 (Tony Stewart) at this point in the Chase, as strong as he's run all year, leading the points going into this deal.

“I would say right now my attitude is that I'm expecting to get back on track and get momentum going back in the right direction. We need to have a good run at Charlotte.”

As told to Reid Spencer



Related Pictures

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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)
Denny Hamlin and Darian Grubb, the crew chief of the #11 Joe Gibb Racing Toyota, consult in the garage area during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/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)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, leads 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: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the start of 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)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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