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]
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, leads the field during the start of the Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, wins the Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/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)
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)
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)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, wins the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/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.