SOON TO BE NOT ON THE ROAD AGAIN This week: Dover. The next two weeks: Charlotte, which means a nice long stay in the comfy confines of home. 82. SCOTT SPEED THAT DAMN DARLINGTON: Saturday night at Darlington, Speed wheeled a loose No. 82...
SOON TO BE NOT ON THE ROAD AGAIN
This week: Dover. The next two weeks: Charlotte, which means a nice long stay in the comfy confines of home.
82. SCOTT SPEED
THAT DAMN DARLINGTON: Saturday night at Darlington, Speed wheeled a loose No. 82 Red Bull Toyota from the start, saying he could "barely keep the car off the wall" before the team hit on some adjustments. He led two laps during green-flag pit stops, and when things cycled through Speed lost that valuable track position. He finished 28th.
THE NAME'S SPEED, SCOTT SPEED: Dover's where NASCAR met the "real" Scott Speed. (Remember the whole blue-toenail-polish thing?). That day, in May 2008, Speed won a Camping World Truck Series race in impressive fashion, dominating the final 51 laps against the likes of veterans Jack Sprague and Ron Hornaday Jr. A year later, he rounded out racing at Dover in NASCAR's two other national divisions. He finished seventh and eighth in two Nationwide Series races, with two top-five starts. Those performances never translated to the Sprint Cup events, however, as a broken valve spring ruined one afternoon only a quarter of the way through. And he finished 25th in the fall.
ALL ABOUT SURFACE: "Dover has a lot of grip and ranks among my favorite tracks on the schedule. It's where I got my first truck win, so it's always cool to return there. I seem to have more success on concrete tracks, so maybe I like those better than asphalt." - Speed
VITAL SIGNS: 26th in points - 67 out of 20th.
STAT THAT MATTERS: Speed's lone NASCAR victory is an impressive feat considering it was only his sixth - say it again, SIXTH - NASCAR start and came at one of the sport's most demanding tracks.
83 . BRIAN VICKERS
WELCOME BACK, 83: Vickers started third at Darlington, led nine laps and finished 10th as he hung on to a tight No. 83 Red Bull Toyota early in each run. Though BV was a regular at the front, he never could maintain the track position it took to fight for the win. Regardless, 10th was his best finish in eight Darlington starts and his best 2010 showing since a sixth March 29 at Martinsville.
ATTA BOY: "I feel like we're back on track and headed in the right direction. For the first time in a while I felt like we had a really competitive car to drive to the lead and take it." - Vickers on his date night with the Lady in Black
THIS WEEK: Vickers' last trip to 1-mile Dover International Speedway was memorable and forgettable at the same time. Last September, he became the youngest Sprint Cup driver to reach 200 starts. At the same time, he finished 18th - and it took the team four more weeks to reach the top 20. Vickers' only top-10 finish at Dover (sixth) came in June 2005, but he's qualified in the top 15 in half of his 12 tries.
VITAL SIGNS: 20th in points - 122 points behind 15th and 160 from 12th.
STAT THAT MATTERS: Don't count out Vickers and the No. 83 team. After 11 races last season - their Chase-clinching campaign - they had four top 10s. Currently they have three, and on the horizon is Charlotte, where BV has two top fives in his past three 600s.
THE RED BULL DRIVER HAS THE FLOOR
Brian Vickers has been behind the scenes of Kennedy Space Center and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. He's snowmobiled the mountains of Austria and soared in the skies above Arizona, California and Florida. He and his street- legal race car even took on four tires and fuel in Times Square. Next on his to-do list? "I've always been interested in politics and fascinated with the history of the United States," he said.
On Thursday, before making his way to Dover, Del., less than 100 miles away, Vickers will visit Washington, D.C., for a tour of the United States Capitol. His guide will be Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.). Later on, he'll visit with rehabilitating soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Military Advanced Training Center.
"The Capitol is one of the cornerstones of this country. I'm very excited for this opportunity," Vickers said. "I appreciate what the soldiers have done for this country and for the people who live here. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice. I want to thank the soldiers at Walter Reed for their service and just spend some time with them. They are truly inspiring."