PERSEVERANCE PAYS IN THE FORM OF 12 Brian Vickers doled out an unforgettable Valentine's Day gift to the Red Bull Racing Team last Thursday when he raced his way into the Daytona 500 during a 150-mile qualifying race, and earned a 23rd starting...
PERSEVERANCE PAYS IN THE FORM OF 12
Brian Vickers doled out an unforgettable Valentine's Day gift to the Red Bull Racing Team last Thursday when he raced his way into the Daytona 500 during a 150-mile qualifying race, and earned a 23rd starting spot on the grid. But when the green flag fell on Sunday's Daytona 500, the Red Bull Racing Team was thrown a series of setbacks including a blown tire and a lost lap. Perseverance paid off and the No. 83 crew overcame adversity to charge to a 12th- place finish in the 2008 season opener.
At the start of the race, Vickers drafted for more than 60 laps in the 43-car field improving his position and reporting back to Crew Chief Kevin Hamlin that his car was great and wouldn't need any changes in the pits. Shortly after, Vickers felt a left rear tire going down, forcing him to make an unplanned pit stop. The pit stop saved the No. 83 from being a victim of wreckage, but forced the Red Bull Toyota to go a lap down. Vickers remained calm, assuring his crew they'd get their lap back and that's just what he did by earning the "Lucky Dog" on lap 150.
When the green flag fell again, Vickers knew the real battle was on and told his spotter, "It's the end of the race and these guys behind me are coming to bust my ass, not help me on a run. So, just tell me who's coming and I'll be ready." For the duration of the race, Vickers held position towards the front of the pack, and under the watchful eye of his spotter avoided a series of wrecks. The 200-lap race ended with a green-white-checkered finish and the No. 83 Red Bull Camry holding strong in the 12th position - a solid finish that builds momentum heading to next Sunday's race at California Speedway.
Brian Vickers, No. 83 Red Bull Camry: "No one was giving away that 12th-place finish tonight - we had to earn it, and earn it we did. After having a tire go down and losing a lap, we raced others that were a lap down for so long that it didn't seem like a Lucky Dog was even in sight. It eventually came and we were right where we needed to be to get it. That saved us and gave us the opportunity to race our way back up to the front. What a great way to start the season and build some momentum. We really needed this."