Already Chase Material
Looks like Scott Speed’s well on his way to the Chase (note the above statistics).
Speed finished 30th in his Sprint Cup debut Sunday, learning early on the value of brakes in a Martinsville race. He kept the car off the wall and out of the way, and the No. 84 moved to 34th in the car owner standings. So Speed’s safe in qualifying at Atlanta.
“We really struggled today — we had brake issues all day long," Speed said. "This is a really long day when you have 500 laps to complete. The good thing is that we picked up a spot in the points and we completed all 500 laps.”
Teammate Brian Vickers, for the record, finished 33rd when he debuted in October 2003 at Charlotte. On Sunday, he finished 11th, running as high as fourth with 125 laps to go before the No. 83 failed to react to late-race adjustments. Vickers, 15th in points, is chasing a career-best finish in the driver standings. He’s 244 points behind 14th-place Kasey Kahne with four races remaining.
“We lost it there at the end. It just didn’t seem to be as strong in those last two runs," Vickers said. "We made some adjustments on that second-to-last stop, and it really hurt the car. We didn’t have a really good short-run car anyway, but I’m really proud of the Red Bull guys. This was probably our best short track car that we’ve ever had. That has been our weakest link at Red Bull since we started and just really proud of the effort. We probably had a top-five car if the race played out the right way.”