Points Matter Most
Red Bull Racing Team rebounded from two engine changes to earn the so-called “good points day” after Sunday’s Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Brian Vickers, in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, qualified 21st on Friday, but rolled off from the back on race day after the primary engine was deemed unraceable. The No. 83 team also battled through alternator problems and a battery change to finish eighth.
It was the No. 83’s second consecutive top-10 finish, as Vickers, who ran as high as third with 30 laps to go, gained nine spots in points. He sits 17th entering this weekend’s visit to another intermediate track in Atlanta.
“I’m so proud of this team,” Vickers said. “We lost our batteries and had to come in to change batteries and go to the back again and fight back from that. I’m just really proud of the effort from the guys. I think we had a car that could win, but to have all of those problems and get a top 10 — that’s how you win championships.”
Teammate and No. 82 driver Scott Speed had the best finish of his rookie Sprint Cup season, this despite an engine change late Friday afternoon. He came home 21st after going a lap down early, getting it back and then losing it again.
“When we were a lap down, we still had a really good car,” Speed said. “We came a long way from how bad our car was at the beginning of the weekend, to how good it was during the race. I’m still learning how to figure out what the car needs and wants, but I’m getting better at it each time we race.”
Speed’s No. 82 Red Bull Toyota ranks 37th in the car owner standings — a mere eight points from getting out of the red and into the top 35.