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Brian Vickers’ Chase Diary – Pt.11

Brian Vickers looks back at the final round of the NASCAR season at Homestead Miami Speedway
With a 20th-place finish in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Brian Vickers, finished the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in twelfth place, but the driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota remains optimistic for next season.

Before the 2010 season begins, Vickers will travel extensively, including a trip to Las Vegas for the end-of-season awards ceremonies, a Caribbean vacation for Cup champion Jimmie Johnson's fifth wedding anniversary and a possible visit to Asia.

In the final instalment of his Chase Diary, Vickers, who was one of the first to congratulate Johnson in victory lane, talks about the season finale, his prospects for the 2010 season, the fracas between Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya (who wrecked each other during the race) and the magnitude of Johnson's accomplishment.

“As far as the race goes, it obviously wasn't the way we wanted to finish the year. We wanted to go down there and get a win or at least have a good run. Unfortunately, we ended up 20th. There were times when we were better than a 20th-place car, but most of the night, we weren't that good.

“I still look back at the year and say that it's been a great year for us. We accomplished a lot of things and met all our goals, but we wanted to exceed them. We wanted to wrap the year up running well in the Chase, but unfortunately we missed the opportunity to do that, and Miami was our last chance to have a really strong finish to the year. We missed it a little bit. It's not the end of the world. We learned from it. We can get better next year, but it wasn't what we wanted out of the last race.

“I feel there's a lot of potential on the team. I felt a lot of potential on the team throughout the entire year. Hopefully, we can make a charge for the Chase again next season, but we're going to have to learn how to deal with being in the Chase and perform better in the Chase to make a run for the championship. I think that's part of being a new, young team.

“I saw the first (incident between Stewart and Montoya), when they got together and he (Montoya) cut a tyre down, when Tony turned down on him. I didn't see everything that happened or whose fault it was, but it didn't do either one of them any favours. Jimmie proved that you can think about things like that (the cost of aggressive action), and that's why he won the championship. Juan and Tony proved that they didn't think that far ahead, and it didn't work too well for either one of them.

“Being the last race and knowing that neither one of them could win the championship — even though they would probably lose some spots and some money — they were probably about at their wits' end and wanted to settle whatever they wanted to settle before the end of the year, make a point, prove a point, whatever it is they wanted to do.

“I don't want to comment too much on what happened, because I don't really know what happened. I just know they got together and they wanted to beat on each other. I'm not going to pretend like I've never done it before. If somebody hits me, I'm going to hit 'em back. I'm going to let them know that it's not acceptable.


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Related Pictures

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Brian Vickers at Daytona [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
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