Monday, August 25, 2008

Bouncing Around Bristol


Brian Vickers started 26th and finished 20th in a relatively uneventful Sprint Cup race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. He lost one position in points and sits 16th entering Sunday’s race at California Speedway, where his past three finishes are 10th, eighth and 11th.

“We didn’t really know what we would have until the start of the race,” Vickers said. “The car turned out to be pretty good in the center and under throttle, and it turned a lot better. As we predicted, after changes were made to the car after practice, the front of the car was better. We just needed to get the rear of the car hooked up a bit more because we fought a loose condition all night. The attrition rate definitely helped us. This race always takes patience because it is so long. I knew if we could be there at the end we would come away with a decent finish.”

Teammate AJ Allmendinger and Martin Truex Jr. got together and hit the wall on lap 97 to bring out the first yellow flag. He returned to action on lap 208 and went on to finish 34th, with the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota now 14 points from the top 35.

27 Comments:

Anonymous theonlynick said...

What you won't read here is just how good AJ and the 84 team did on Saturday night. For the first 100 laps (until the wreck), he raced in the top 10 the whole entire time. He raced hard and was very competitive.

After the wreck, team 84 did a heck on a job repairing the car. The car was faster than 3/4 of the field AFTER the repairs. What does that tell ya? He started dead last on a restart, and he raced his way up to the 12th place car. That, my friend, is talent.

AJ and the 84 bunch didn't get what they truly deserved at Bristol, but their efforts didn't go unnoticed. I applaud every single one of you guys. You all deserve more credit than two sentences at the bottom of a blog.

RBRT - RE-SIGN THIS GUY ALREADY!

And by the way, I met both AJ and Brian this weekend. It was awesome. Especially since I'm a big 'Dinger fan!

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Jason from PA said...

The 84 team is definately coming...
I too am a huge AJ fan also noticed that the silver 84 was better after the wreck than before it. AJ has some miserable luck, and I def would not want to stand beside him in a thunderstorm I tell ya that. However with that said, with 11 races to go- I know from the "eye test" that the 84 is a lot better than the cars he is racing for the top 35. An should be able to get up around 30th before it is all said and done. Aj's team is performning as a top 25 team (not exactly what you are looking for, but progress is progress)

I also hope RBRT re-signs the 'dinger after all of the percervierence him and his team has made this season. The reports that I have been reading lead me to believe (see Jayski's story on RBRT considering a 3rd team) he will get one more year to show real progress, and be re-evaluated. I think he has earned that much. I wish they would just just sign him to a 3 yr extension and be done.

With that said, the way Red Bull has handled this "option" on his contract leaves alot to be desired. Waiting to September is too late. The bigwigs at Red Bull Austria should put the decision in Jay Frye's hands as he is the day to day "boss" of the operation. If he does get the shaft at the end of the season-he will have little or no shot at a Sprint Cup ride going forward -
(exceptions being at Ganassi, 1 opening at MWR, possibly 1 opening at Bill Davis, Maybe Morgan-McClure should they come back...) But none of those are appealing in the least. I could also see him ending up in the 96 should he be released also, but again... not very appealing at all...

In the end I truly believe AJ's contract gets picked up for 1 season- With a sink or swim kinda mentality. Red Bull will buy Scott Speed into one of the Braun cars (the #32 or the #10) for the beginning of next season and if AJ struggles at all, he will be replaced by Speed. I still think he will be a relatively hot commodity and will land on his feet.

I pray that he will get into the top 35, lock his way into the Daytona 500 and become a top 20 contender every week from now going forward, I want him to be a winner at RBRT and show that patience is a virtue. The kid is talented as all get out. Just neeeds to break through. You can feel how close they are...

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the wreck, AJ came back on track 100 laps down...and that is where he finished....100 laps down. Considering there were only 16 cars on the lead lap, that is pretty solid. AJ easily had another top 10 in the making here...but that is Bristol. Considering how awful they have been in the race at Bristol in the past...this is definitely a huge step forward.

Hopefully Fontana will be better for the 84 team than Michigan was......

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only do you have the talent aspect of AJ coming thru now that he has a real feal for these cars -but he has finally been given the final pieces to put this all together. A new crew chief and many others new members on this team. They havent even had the chance yet to show what they are capable of accomplishing as team because they havent been a team long enough. It would be a real shame that when you get tools you need to do your job - you dont have the time to do it.

I am an AJ fan, and by default that makes me a RedBull fan. But I will be an AJ fan no matter where he goes. We all know AJs nascar career was totally mishandled by the former RedBull management, and only since Jaye has come in have things gone in a positive direction. I hope they do the right thing and give him at least one more year. If they do I am sure he will prove to them he is worth keeping longer than that.

(And yes - the 84 team did an incredible job getting AJ back out there. He had a top 10 car and drove the doors off of it even though he wasnt in contention to place there!)

2:48 PM  
Anonymous theonlynick said...

Here's the thing with Scott Speed. A lot of people see him as "RBRT Guy" when, in fact, he is anything but RBRT right now. Scott has it made. He is in an Eddie Sharp ARCA car (the JGR/Hendrick of ARCA), and a Bill Davis truck (again, the JGR/Hendrick of the Truck Series).

That is why Scott has had so much success this year. It's not like he's driving crappy equipment, not like AJ did last year.

AJ has made great strides in 2008. The struggles he had in 2007 never has been and never will be his fault. It's RBRT's fault for not making changes like they did with BV. BV had what?..three different CC's before AJ had one change? Come on, guys.. off with the rose-colored glasses.

In my opinion, AJ deserves more. And AJ will get more in the Cup series.

I just wish some people would look at the REAL deal here. I like Scott, but his success has nothing to do with RBRT. They just sticker the car.

3:33 PM  
Blogger ncsuredbull said...

Way to go Aj....way to fight back.

Lots of people are cheering for you.

3:50 PM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

Amen, friend.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

What I thought really made AJ shine this weekend was his attitude after coming back on the track. I'm sure the last thing he wanted to do was drive around that track 100 laps down.

But what did he do? Did he sulk and complain? No, he laughed and made jokes and made anyone who was listening to him smile. I'm sure it was partly for himself, because at that point, all you can do is laugh. But I think he mostly did it for his crew guys. To keep their spirits up.

The 84 crew worked their butts off to get that car back out there, and did an awesome job with the repairs, which showed in the speed on the track. They did it for themselves, but they also did it for AJ. They love that guy, because he gives his whole heart into it.

I would follow AJ anywhere, to any other team, to any other style of racing - but it would be a hell of a shame to break up that 84 team. I don't think it'll happen, but if it does, any owner would be lucky to have AJ.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Frank from NH said...

I have been reading this board for awhile, but this is my first posting.

I became an AJ fan when he was one of the few U.S. drivers left in CART. I was really impressed by his car control and ability to pass without "punting" the guy in front of him.

I think "Dinger" has the talent to be a contender in Cup racing and would be shocked if RBRT released him.

I became a Red Bull fan when he moved to Cup. But I have a slightly different ability to support RBRT than most. I own a convenience store, and since I'm an AJ fan, Red Bull gets premium spots in our cooler shelves!

I too, thought the 84 team did great to repair their car and get it out on the track and not lose another lap the rest of the event.

6:13 PM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

"I became an AJ fan when he was one of the few U.S. drivers left in CART. I was really impressed by his car control and ability to pass without "punting" the guy in front of him."

That's how I became a fan. AJ has a ton of talent, and I hope RBRT gives him a chance to show it.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you think of a better person for the product of Red Bull? AJ gets as much media attention as anyone out there. Did you see him on Trackside? It was hilarious. I dont think if I was a sponsor you could ask for anything more.

The crew did an awesome job getting AJ back out there saturday night. Everyone worked so hard to get that car back on the track. Not only did AJ thank the crew guys but complimented his pit crew on how good there stops were all night - not that it gained them anything. He was upbeat and joked with him team all night. Thanked him for the work by driving like he was on the lead lap, regardless of their position. Even in Michigan when both the car and track were far from perfect they never gave up.

When you hear the name AJ - you think of RedBull - isnt that the idea of being a sponsor? I find this whole idea him not being with this team next year so upsetting.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Jason from PA said...

Is there a way to hear scanner traffic at my house? Like online or something. I'd love to hear AJ during the races and listen in...

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sign up at Nascar.com - you can pay just to hear the scanners during the race without paying for all the other stuff.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Jason from PA said...

OK-
Can I listen to AJ's scanner the whole race, or do they skip it around? Do I get the whole package or can you be driver specific?

10:37 AM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe you pay for the scanner option and are able to listen to any driver. They have them all listed.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Awesome BV will be in the Bud Shootout even though they switch the rules! It is now the top 6 drivers from each manufacturer.

http://www.jayski.com/cupnews.htm#bud

11:34 AM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

I really like the new format. It makes more sense. And the good news? AJ can make the shootout. All he needs to do is get around the 55 and keep it there. And I believe he is no more than 60 points behind the 55.

GOOOOOO AJ!

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scanner is driver specific - but you can listen and change to any driver you want.

12:23 PM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

Does NASCAR edit the scans? Say if BV goes on a rant and says every word in the book, do they edit it out? Ya know, for virgin ears?

Personally, I hope it's not edited.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Jason from PA said...

Love the idea that AJ can race his way into the shootout next season, but the new format is horrid...

No new teams will ever be able to participate with championship drivers (Stewart, Newman next year)

My idea was to take the 12 chasers from the year before (drivers not teams)
then take the drivers from 13-43 in owner points and have a "Busch Clash" style heat race (20 laps)
13th in owner points gets the pole for the heat race 14th outside pole, so on and so forth- BRAND NEW teams start shotgun...

Top 8 transfer and you have 20 of the very best of the best getting after it for the bud shootout...

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Jason from PA said...

I meant you lock in the top 12...

12:34 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I like the new format. New teams do not deserve to be in it as it is an award to teams that did well in the previous year.

The heat race format is real similar to the All-Star race. Just more cars transfer.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No editing - you get to hear it all!!!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

I like the new format too. The #84 is only 42 points behind the #55 team at the moment. I believe the #84 team will pull it off :)

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah - there's no editing on NASCAR.com's Trackpass Scanner. I can't tell you the number of times I have heard BV cuss. Just a head's up though: the audio can be as much as several seconds behind. For instance, this past weekend at Bristol, the scanner was upto 2 laps behind the TV. If you have the patience and one of the many varieties of DVR (as I do when I'm at home instead of in my dorm), you can sync up the two so it's right in sync with the TV.

KCMO

7:59 PM  
Anonymous aquaguy83 said...

Not trying to start anything, but why is the 84 talked about so much more than the 83 on this site? I mean I have nothing against the 84 and I hope they do well just as the 83, but everyone seems partial. ..and on a side note, the new shootout format sucks ass. The format was fine the way it was back a lifetime ago. You won a pole last year, you're in, if not, you can watch it on tv with the rest of us. No free passes for previous winners, how many fans love you, or what brand of car you drive.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are way late becoming AJ fans....

I became an AJ fan at a IKF Region 11 race at the old kart track in Davis. He was 15..and already racing Sr classes.

We checked out on the field, and I really was in no position to make a move on AJ...so I just followed him around for the entire main. If I even got close...he just stepped it up. It looked close from the bleachers...but it was not at all...he was in another league.

His natural style was so astounding to watch.

I was a very smooth driver with slow hands...but AJ would pitch the car into every turn. To turn right...the first thing he did was turn left.... Not a smart style (he was only 15 mind you), but the talent it takes to drive like that and go VERY FAST in a kart and not cook your tires is unusual.

The owner of the shop I drove for was at the race helping me. After the race I was just sitting in my kart shaking my head. He walked over to me and said "pretty cool eh"....

He knew exactly why I was shaking my head.

I said 'that kid can drive.'.

'Yep...he can. He's the real deal. Not many can make it to the top level on talent alone...he just might'.

Keep in mind this was 1994 or 1995.

From 95-99 I ran quite a few races with AJ...and he was always super cool. Great sense of humour. He always took his racing seriously... but never himself. All the other young guns in Region 11 and 7 turned into pompous primadonnas... but never AJ. It's so cool to see him still turning fast laps, and he is still the same great guy.

2:01 AM  

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