Plate Race Serves Up a Top Five
Brian Vickers spun all by lonesome leaving pit road early in the Aaron’s 499. When he tested the high line in the closing laps, nobody followed. And he finished with a naked rear end!
But in typical Talladega fashion, it all added up to Red Bull Racing Team’s first top-five finish of the season. Brian, whose No. 83 Red Bull Toyota led four laps Sunday, climbed three spots to 16th in the driver standings. He’s 35 points out of the top 12.
On a lap 62 pit stop, Brian looped the No. 83 “trying to dodge an official and not hit the 20 (Tony Stewart).” He restarted deep in the pack, and during his ascent the car lost its rear-end cover in a close encounter.
“As soon as a caution finally fell and the field tightened up again, we immediately got after it,” Brian said. “The caution at the end of the race hurt us. I really think we would have had a chance at the win.”
Teammate AJ Allmendinger, showing off the silver No. 84 in his return race, played it safe in the back after a career-best starting position of fourth. He cracked the top 15 midway through the race and led a lap before a last-lap tractor beam of spinning cars sucked AJ in and sent the No. 84 home in 30th.