Raw Deal for Red Bull
Brian Vickers has 225 days to think about another one that got away at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. This time, the culprit was a blown right-front tire that came with the No. 83 riding in the top 10. The last time, in May, a left-rear wheel worked its way loose with Vickers leading.
Lately, the North Carolina driver’s hometown track has been anything but warm and friendly. He was scored a lap down in 18th in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500, this after working to the front to lead a 64-lap stretch.
“I can’t believe it. We just can’t catch a break at this track,” said Vickers, who’s led 201 laps in his past three Charlotte starts. “We always have a dominant car here — usually the dominant car — and we have never been able to capitalize on it for a win. It’s very frustrating.”
Inside 100 laps to go, Vickers, running ninth, slowed on the high side as the tire gave way, eventually scraping the wall as traffic roared by below.
“A caution didn’t come out,” he said. “We ended up going down two laps trying to get down across the track to the pits. The last thing I wanted to do was turn across traffic where I could have caused a big wreck. Everyone on this team works their butts off, and we have been close to a win so many times this year. Our time will come.”
Teammate Mike Skinner took the No. 84 to the garage on lap 64 after this incident: “The guys told me that it looked like the 55 (Michael Waltrip) went down in the grass, got loose and came up and hit us. I guess (Ken) Schrader thought it was a green-white-checkered, I don’t know.”
An accurate take by Skinner, who finished 39th but kept the No. 84 in the top 35 in car owner points. Scott Speed will take over the car for the final five races, beginning Sunday at Martinsville.