And then having a select few folks in the community that still believed in me and supported me along the way, and that starts with Aaron's taking a chance off and on me; Ty made the call but I'm sure they had a say in it, and obviously Rob and Michael, Toyota, all this time, all the sponsors at MWR, and it's just when everything is going your way and when you're in victory lane, everyone is your friend.
But when your back is against the wall and everything is down and things are not looking so good, you find out quickly who is willing to vouch for you or not. I learned a lot through that experience personally and I grew a lot as a person myself, thankful for that, and with everything that's happened, I'd like to think that I'll never forget those learning curves. I doubt that's going to happen, but all of that, coming here, sitting in victory lane, just makes it one of the most special events of my life.
Well, I mean, he covered most of our past. Yeah, I can remember the day that collide walked into our go-kart shop in South Carolina and said he wanted to buy his kid a go-kart and we got it together overnight and they came and picked it up the next day, and a good friend of ours, Cory, helped Brian get started.
You know, this means a lot to me. We have been hot and cold over the years with MWR. We got to win our first race together in 2009 and our second race as a company in 2010 at Chicago. You know, it's something that you think about every single weekend, and you know, this weekend, we knew we had a good car.
A lot of people probably saw and said something last night about how I was not going to sleep all night. But when you've got a car that good in practice and you know you can make a small change to make it really, really good, it's hard to sleep at night.
So you know, we made a few changes this morning, and actually what we did didn't work, and we got going along through the race there. First pit stop of the race, we've made a mistake on pit road. We made really big adjustments, a double-adjustment in the year and left a wrench on the deck, and ended up getting a penalty and getting a lap down. We all fought all day, and Brian never gave up and just drove his butt off all day.
We just got the right opportunity at the end, and you know, sometimes days go your way and sometimes they don't. We've had plenty that haven't.
So just very fortunate that things worked out at the end the way that they did. The Toyota horsepower and having great fuel mileage all weekend, we knew this morning if it came down to a fuel mileage race, we were going to be in good shape.
Just happy for everybody and happy for everybody at MWR and the 250-some employees that we have that put all these cars together. Just really happy with Aaron's. They have been a big supporter of myself and this team and everybody at MWR for a long time. You know, have been wanting to get them a real win. Everybody said the win at Charlotte was not a real win because we won it in the rain. We got a real win now. It means a lot to me, and it's good for our team.
Yeah, I just felt like this race was actually sort of representative of the two entities being represented here, which is Michael Waltrip Racing and Brian Vickers. We were both at one point left for dead. We were believed that we wouldn't continue, and his career was in a state of flux.