Boring Day at Bristol
Scott Speed started Sunday’s Sprint Cup race in 11th, but an early speeding penalty on pit road sent Speed’s No. 82 Red Bull Toyota to the tail end in 39th. And in typical Bristol fashion, the leaders came on strong — again, again and again. Speed finished three laps down in 28th, and the No. 82 sits tied for 36th in the car owner standings.
“We definitely got our car handling a lot better after the first two pit stops,” Speed said, “and then at that point it’s a little bit too late but we were all right there at the end. Once we got the car the way I wanted it we were much better, and that’s important. So we just need to start there next time.”
Teammate Brian Vickers endured much of the same fate. Running 24th, he felt a right-rear tire going down and pitted just past lap 300. The sixth yellow flag waved as Vickers was entering the pits, so the team opted for right-side tires only. Vickers came around again for left sides, but NASCAR ruled that Vickers pitted too early and sent the No. 83 to the tail end. Vickers restarted four laps down and went on to finish 29th. He fell to 14th in points.
“This team proved again we never give up,” Vickers said. “We had a better car than the finish shows. I tried not to wear down the right-rear tire like that. I was hoping a caution would fall before it did. The top seemed to wear down tires faster, and we ran better up top. It’s disappointing to lose a couple spots in the points. We’ll rally in Martinsville.”