To Make a Bad Day Even Worse …
… Red Bull Racing Team had to strap on its hip waders just to leave New Hampshire Motor Speedway, because the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 was a tough one to swallow — and there was no shortage of water to wash it down.
Pit strategy propelled Brian Vickers to the top five, but it was also the team’s undoing. During a caution period on lap 274, the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, running close to empty, pitted for right-side tires and fuel with several other front-runners. But seven cars stayed out, and the skies that had been threatening finally opened up eight laps later.
Brian was stuck back in 16th, and he stayed there when NASCAR cut the race 17 laps short. Now 16th in points, he lost little ground on the Chase. He’s 113 points from the top 12.
“We had a top-five car — at least a top-10 car — and the car was finally handling the way I wanted,” Brian said. “I think we really would have had something for the cars in front of us. We were about 8-9 laps short on fuel so they decided to bring me in for right-side tires and fuel when the last caution came out. Unfortunately for us, the rain started. It’s frustrating because today was a great opportunity to make up some ground on the top 12.”
AJ Allmendinger’s day went up in flames on lap 202 when an oil line broke on the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota. Oil leaked onto the engine headers and caught fire. AJ stopped, bailed out and made a trip to the care center.
After starting 10th and maintaining that status in the early going, he ended up 43rd. The No. 84 sits 38th in the owner standings — 161 points from the top 35.
“We started off the race good, and we just kept screwing the car up with each change we made,” AJ said. “It’s just frustrating. We’re better than this as a team and we just need to have some good results.”