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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)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, applies the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits along with the rest of the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (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 Panasonic Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, races to win with Kyle Larson, driver of the 42 Target Chevrolet SS beside him finishing in eighth place Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win with a burnout Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase.  (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, takes the green flag waved by Evander Holyfield to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualified for fourth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Newman is 9th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, won the Pole position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. It was Harvick`s sixth pole win of the 2014 season. He is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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