NASCAR »

Brian Vickers’ Chase Diary - Pt.10.

Red Bull driver Brian Vickers provides his latest instalment in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Bad luck continued to stalk Brian Vickers in last Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the ninth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Vickers was an innocent victim of the lap 170 multi-car melee that started when Dale Earnhardt Jr spun off turn four at the 1-mile track. Earnhardt's car had been smoking in the laps leading up to the crash with what was later diagnosed as an oil leak.

Sidelined by the wreck, Vickers finished 38th and remained 12th in the Chase standings, 666 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. In the tenth instalment of his Chase diary, Vickers talks about his misfortune at Phoenix, Earnhardt's spin, the hazards of double-file restarts and his outlook for Sunday's season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Some of it's luck, and some of it's preparation - and a lot of factors, of course. We shouldn't have been back [mid-pack] to begin with. We needed the track position. We went out very early in qualifying on Friday [and started 19th], which hurt us a lot, because, as the sun goes down, the track gets faster. I don't know whether we would have been a threat for the pole, but we definitely would have been in the top ten.

“As far as the race goes, we waited a little bit too long on the first green-flag set of stops, which put us behind. We lost more track position, because the guys with new tyres were just making up too much ground. It was bad luck and just lousy timing that we got in that crash. We actually had nowhere to go, but there's a part of it, too, where we have to take responsibility - we shouldn't have been back there to begin with. Had we not been back there, then we wouldn't have been in the crash.

“That part of life that you can't control - most people call that luck, and luck was definitely a huge part of it, but at the same time, the part that we could control, we didn't do a very good job of.

“I'm not sure what caused the spin - I don't know whether [Earnhardt] just spun out on his own, or if it was the oil - but he had been smoking for a long time, and I actually pointed it out to the spotter. Our crew pointed it out to his crew. But what do you do? It's really their choice whether they want to come in, and I understand why they don't want to come in. If they think it's just nothing, and it's going to go away, or they don't think it's a big deal, I understand why they didn't come in. I'm not mad at Junior for that, but it's definitely frustrating for us.

“The way the double-file restarts are now, I think you're going to see more of that, where the track is going to be blocked, and there's not a lot you can do about it. It's like the superspeedways. Everybody likes to blame the racetracks for the big crashes, but it has more to do with the fact that drivers make mistakes, cars have failures, parts break, tyres go flat - and, at those racetracks, you're just in one big pack. Even at a place like Phoenix, you put everybody in one big pack, and somebody makes a mistake, then you're going to have a big crash, and essentially that's what happened.

“I think we were definitely getting a handle on the car. The only thing we really lacked was track position, and it ended up costing us. It was very difficult to pass, and I'm not sure why. I think the new car has something to do with it. Everybody's getting better and better with the new car, and the possibilities are more limited, so the cars are just running more even, and the track's slick, and the tires don't have a lot of grip, and it's just hard to pass.

“We definitely need some luck. We need a good run. We need to finish the season off on a high note. Going down to Homestead and winning the race would really cap off a great season for us. I know the Chase has been pretty rough on us. We've had some bad luck, and we've had some mistakes, but if we could go down to Homestead and just have a good run but, if we could go down and win the race, that would cap off an amazing year.”

Reid Spencer / Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Brian Vickers [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field onto pit road due to rain during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, leads the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Friday, November 6, 2015 for Sunday`s second round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Johnson captured the Texas Motor Speedway checkered flag last April. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on November 1, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, spins during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 31, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, takes the chequered and caution flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 24, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 24, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Image)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 24, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/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 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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