Red Bull Toyota driver Brian Vickers has admitted that he is hoping his run of bad luck is done for the season, as he attempts to capitalise on an otherwise strong start to 2009.

Never before in a six-year Sprint Cup career has the 25-year old been as high as he is in the points after five races, with 14th place bettering the 17th place he occupied after race number five at Bristol last spring.

"We're definitely in the hunt, we're right there," he said, "We just have to perform the way we're capable of performing."

Vickers finished 29th in last Sunday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway, as his #83 Red Bull Toyota had a failing right-rear tyre that forced him to pit under green just past lap 300. He ended up four laps down and fell from eleventh to 14th in points in the process.

But Vickers, unhappy with the circumstances at Bristol, was happy with the car, just like he has been all season. Entering Bristol, he had posted three consecutive top ten finishes, including a fifth-place effort at Atlanta earlier this month.

"We've had some great runs, and I've been really proud of the team," Vickers noted, "We've had a good season overall. At Daytona, we were wrecked and, at Bristol, we lost track position and blew a right-rear tyre, but everybody is going to take their turn in the barrel. We've taken ours a couple times early and, hopefully, we won't take any more."

NASCAR's spring short-track season continues this weekend at 0.526-mile Martinsville Speedway, a venue where Vickers has had mixed results, including 23rd in this race a year ago, and eleventh last fall.

"The important thing about Martinsville is to not overdrive it, and to take care of your equipment," he reflected, "The thing about Martinsville is that it has all three the biggest components that these types of cars hate - accelerating 3500 pounds, stopping 3500 pounds and turning 3500 pounds in a tight radius. These cars aren't built to do anything well, especially those three things. These cars don't like that environment."

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