Neither of Red Bull Racing Team's drivers was particularly pleased with their finishing positions Sunday night at Auto Club Speedway. After the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota charged to the front, Brian Vickers spent most of the first 180 laps in...
Neither of Red Bull Racing Team's drivers was particularly pleased with their finishing positions Sunday night at Auto Club Speedway.
After the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota charged to the front, Brian Vickers spent most of the first 180 laps in the top five as the backstretch glare went away and day turned to night. But during a pit stop on lap 182, an errant tire and ensuing penalty sent Brian to the tail end of the longest line. He restarted 23rd and could climb no higher than 12th over the remaining 68 laps.
"The penalty absolutely killed us," Brian said. "It was at the end of the race. No matter how good of a car you have, when you get in traffic like that it's just hard. You can only do so much."
Brian climbed one spot in driver points to 15th; 190 points out of the top 12.
Late-race pit stops also frustrated teammate AJ Allmendinger, who qualified his No. 84 Red Bull Toyota on the front row.
AJ was running as high as fourth with 70 laps to go, but a slow stop on lap 182 and then another 37 laps later left him 19th on the final restart. He made up five spots at the checkered flag and found himself battling for 13th. The No. 84 finished 14th and moved up five positions to 31st in car owner points.
"With this competitive field, you just can't have setbacks that put you that far back in the field," AJ said. "You're basically restarting 38th at that point. The lapped cars have just as much right to race as we do. You're in so much dirty air, and that's killing the tires and there's just a lot going on."
Brian Vickers, driver, No. 83: We had a good car - we just gave up too many spots on pit road. I don't think anyone out here had anything for the #48 car -- they were unbelievable -- but I think we could have finished 2nd or 3rd had everything gone our way tonight. The penalty towards the end of the race killed us. Once I was stuck back in traffic, it made it impossible to gain the ground, even though we had a fast car."
AJ Allmendinger, driver, No. 84: "I think we made up five spots on the final restart, and had a good run at the end there. Could of, would of, should of,but 14th, we're OK with it. We would have liked to have been better, but we're in the top 35 in points and that's what matters."