Brian Vickers will continue to drive the #83 Red Bull Racing Toyota next season - and beyond - after belatedly signing a multi-year extension with the team overnight.
The Red Bull announcement comes two days after Vickers won from the pole at Michigan International Speedway, giving the Toyota team its first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory and the Japanese marque its first at the two-mile racetrack. Specific terms of the deal were not released, but confirmation comes after a protracted wait that Vickers recently admitted was concerning him.
The American currently leads the Cup Series with six poles this season and sits 13th in the point standings, twelve points behind Mark Martin in the race for the last position eligible for the post-season Chase shoot-out, with three races left before the field is set. He now has two career victories in the Cup Series, the first having come with Hendrick Motorsports at Talladega in 2006.
Vickers had agreed in principle to an extension last year, but the process of getting him resigned dragged on into August 2009, with team vice-president and general manager Jay Frye affirming Red Bull's commitment to signing Vickers immediately after Sunday's race.
“We have every intention of getting this done and getting it done very quickly,” Frye said at the time, “Today, things are complicated. Sometimes, we overcomplicate things, but every intention has always been to redo this. We're working hard to get it done. We certainly don't want him to go anywhere, except right where he's at.”
Two days later, Vickers has his extension - on paper.
“I'm thrilled,” he said in a statement released by the team, “This has been a long time coming, and there is nowhere else I would rather be. I am looking forward to building on what we have started the last couple of years. It is an interesting experience being with a team from the ground up - going through the growing pains, then successes, together. I am so proud to have been able to bring this team their first win.”
by Reid Spencer / Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service