38 Weeks Later
Red Bull Racing Team storylines as the grind comes to a close today at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
+ After a driver swap, Brian Vickers (above) starts 20th as the team attempts to move the No. 84 in the top 35. Vickers is a veteran of five Sprint Cup races at the 1.5-mile track, with a best finish of 18th in November 2004. The No. 84 sits 36th — 17 points from being locked into the first five races of 2009.
“I spent the whole year (2007) outside of the top 35, going through that. There’s a lot of positives that can come from this,” said Vickers, who was seventh fastest in Saturday’s final practice. “It’s really important for the whole team, for all of Red Bull, to have both these cars in the top 35 next year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help those guys with that.”
+ Scott Speed, in the No. 83, starts on the front row after an impressive effort in Friday’s qualifying. He logged only seven laps in opening practice, but later turned a lap at 171.461 mph to qualify second. He’ll roll off just ahead of Chase contender Carl Edwards.
“My job is going to be a lot more difficult keeping it up there on Sunday,” Speed said. “It’s going to make our job more pressured by starting up front, but we’re taking our time. There’s a lot still to learn and we’re getting closer everyday.”
The green flag drops just before 4 p.m. ET.