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Brian Vickers’ Chase Diary – Pt.9

Red Bull driver Brian Vickers provides his latest installment in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
With his #83 Red Bull Toyota team experimenting with the set-up of his car, Brian Vickers struggled early last Sunday in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished 26th and remained twelfth in the Sprint Cup standings.

In the ninth installment of his Chase diary, Vickers talks about the Texas race, the difficulty of the track and the news that Danica Patrick was likely to run more than a dozen stock car races for JR Motorsports next season...


“I was pretty bummed to see Jimmie crash, because I'm really pulling for him to win four in a row. But anything can happen.

“We went there wanting to try something different. It was away from what's been our normal package and what's been successful for us. So I don't think anyone was completely surprised. It wasn't like we went up there with a normal package and we struggled. We went there intentionally wanting to try something different, and it didn't work. So we had to abort and then race, and we paid the price for it. At the same time, we learned a lot from it, and ultimately, that was the point.

“We really had very little to lose, and we weren't going to be any worse in the points no matter what happened. It wasn't successful — we didn't win the race — but we did learn. Sometimes you learn as much what not to do as what to do.

“(The track) was very tough. I don't know whether it was because the tyres, but I think the track's getting older, it's slick, and it's starting to wear out a lot. It was challenging for everyone, it seemed like. There were a lot of incidents in practice, a lot of things going on throughout the entire race that I think really caught people off guard.

“I think (the prospect of having Danica Patrick come to NASCAR) obviously is good for the sport, for NASCAR. It's going to bring more media, more attention, more fans — which is good for everybody. I'm a big believer that a rising tide brings all boats up. I think her situation's exactly that. It's going to be a rising tide for the sport, and all ships are going to rise with it. Obviously, hers may rise more than others, but her coming to the sport is going to bring a lot of things: more attention, probably more fans, etc.

“Now her success — or lack thereof — is going to be a whole different story. It's completely up to her. And if she's successful, it's going to be a bigger story. If she's not successful, it's going to be less of a story, but it's still going to be a story. It's not the first time that a woman has been in NASCAR, and I'm sure it's not going to be the last. Women have been welcome in our sport for many, many years. Whether they've been here or not is another question. Why they have or have not been in our sport is a whole different question.

“The fact remains that women have always been welcome. They've come and gone. I look at it as unfortunate for our sport that no (women) have been able to produce the amount of success to remain in the sport for a long period of time.

“I think (Patrick) is going to be an eye-opener. I think it's going to be more difficult than she imagines, and I don't think that has anything to do with her being a woman. I think that's solely because she's an open-wheel driver. She's an open-wheel racer, and she's not the first one that's come to our sport, and she won't be the last. And every single one of them will tell you that it's a very difficult transition. Our cars are nothing like theirs. They're very big, heavy, with a lot of horsepower and no downforce, no driver assist, no traction control — none of the above. Our racing is very competitive. It's very aggressive and very hard, beating and banging, bumper-to-bumper. We race a lot of different tracks and circumstances.

“That's going to be very different for her, and it's going to be a learning process. She's going to have to be very patient with herself. The one thing she has on her side that a lot of other open-wheel drivers never have had is time. The reason I say that is she has sponsors, and a lot of sponsors are going to come to her because she's a woman. She's going to have sponsors, and as long as she has sponsors, she's going to have owners that want to sign her to rides — good rides. And that's going to buy her time.

“Even Juan (Pablo Montoya) took four years to get to where he's at now. Here's something that people don't remember about Juan — and I'll give credit where it's due. The guy is obviously a wheel man. He's won the Indy 500, he's won a (CART) championship, he's won Formula One races, he's won Monaco, he's won in sports cars, he's won the Daytona 24-hour race. He's won in a lot of different types of cars. So he's proven beyond one circumstance that he can be successful. But even with all that, it still took him years before he could compete on a week-to-week basis in NASCAR.”

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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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