Sunday, February 08, 2009

Shot Down in the Shootout

Brian Vickers was on target for the best Shootout finish of his career Saturday night when a chaotic final lap left his Red Bull Toyota limping home with an 11th-place finish.

Driver No. 83 drafted at the front all night — even leading two laps —after starting seventh. He mentioned the track was “loosening up,” and the team opted to give up track position in favor of one last stop for four tires on lap 67.

He held the ninth position during the eighth caution that set up a green-white-checkered finish. “We have a good car,” he said, “but no one is as good as us so it is hard to find help.”

On the final lap, Vickers became a victim of circumstance in a four-wide pack that crashed entering turn three. He crept to the start-finish line as one of only 13 drivers to complete all 78 laps in the wild race.

“We were making a run back up to the front and the 18 (Kyle Busch) went low,” Vickers said. “He came back up on the race track and everybody just kind of got jammed up four wide and started beating on each other and then in turn three the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) wrecked. I don’t know how — if he got spun or what happened and I tried to avoid him but there was really nowhere to go.”

Teammate Scott Speed started fourth in his first Sprint Cup race at Daytona. And like Vickers, the rookie had nowhere to go when a multi-car accident erupted on lap four. Speed drove his No. 82 Red Bull Toyota back to the garage, but the front-end damage was too severe to return to the track. His night lasted a little more than three minutes as he finished 25th.

“Wrong place, wrong time," Speed said. "The thing is, with these things when someone wrecks in front of you, you’re pretty much committed. If you’re on the top these cars are so heavy they’re going so fast you can’t exactly just say, ‘Okay, I want to be on the bottom now.’ You’re pretty committed.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope these aren't the types of bad calls we have to look forward to from the new crew chief all year. But he did it to the 44 car too so I doubt it will change.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea bad call to come to pit road when hardly no one else did, that cost Vickers the race because he would of been able to stay up front the rest of the way I believe like he had been doing the whole night.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree. Bad call. There weer what, 6 or 7 laps to go when the green flew? That's a lap to get up to speed, a few more laps for anything to get set up behind him. He would have only had to block for a few laps.


8:23 AM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

The car that won the race pitted at the same time as the #83 and came out 3 cars behind the #83!! That is restrictor plate racin' If you don't realize tires are important at Daytona now, you are not watching.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Suzie said...

The one thing that makes me really optimistic this year is that the TRB cars don't look so dominant in qualifying. Last year it seemed like they could blister the track in single car runs, but they didn't run that well in the race. I hope it's evened out a little this year.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you 83fanatic for pointing out what we all need to recognize and remember. People don't need to be jumping on the crew chief or team before we even get started. Truly appreciate your comment.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, it was the right call, the 48 and 24 also came in with Brian and were able to make their way up to the front, the 7 car which I think is Mears was slowing Vickers up, other than that he would have been right up there as well, and still almost made it anyway.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous savannah david said...

I didn't think it was a bad call to bring Brain in for tires. He handled so much better than those with 12 lap old tires...but, as Brian said, his car was so much better that he couldn't find the help he needed. It was great to see some racin'. Can't wait to get going for real. Go get 'em boys!

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree also that it was the right call. Usually you cant go wrong when the 24 and 48 make the same call. Mears slowed up vickers and cost him the race. It was not for points if was for the win. GOOD CALL

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 wide into turn 1 was insane. I couldn't believe my eyes when they made it through.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What has happened w/Kevin Hamlin, is he still with the team, has he changed positions?

7:17 PM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

He is still with the it in an article on last week...working at the shop

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck today to Red Bull Racing!

7:08 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Awesome drive today Vickers and the 83 team. Almost pulled it out. Good luck on Sunday!

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

with 10 laps to go anyone can win at Daytona, and tires matter. Although I wish he would of stayed out..Overall, It's hard for me to stay a Red Bull fan after what happend with AJ. BV is a good race car driver and I really hope he makes the chase and wins some races this year.that said, he needs to really think about changing race teams. SHR would be a great place.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

anon your a dumbass. Go to petty motorsports blog. Oh ya they don't have one.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brian should join the 82 team it seems you have the same IQ as the driver

11:12 PM  

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