Life’s A Brick!
Rule No. 1 at Indianapolis: Don’t run out of fuel along the 10th fairway at Brickyard Crossing, because it’s a long way back. Rule No. 2: Gain and maintain track position at all times during the Brickyard 400.
Red Bull Racing Team’s number crunchers covered the first. As for the second, Brian Vickers gained a lot of it; Kasey Kahne couldn’t keep it.
After starting 31st, Vickers clawed his way to a 15th-place finish in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But Kahne, driving a dominant car that led a race-high 48 laps, ended up a disappointing 18th.
“We started off really good,” Kahne said.
“The Red Bull Toyota was really fast. We made some adjustments there early and stayed fast. The first time we got four tires … slow stop and gave up a bunch of spots there. Battled from there on. Just had a hard time betting back up there.”
Under the second yellow flag that waved on lap 50, Kahne entered the pits in first and left in 10th, with Vickers on his tail in 11th after taking two tires. That restart position was Kahne’s first taste of traffic at a track where clean air pretty much means everything, but the No. 4 still was its stout self and climbed back into the top five.
The race’s fourth yellow flag wave for debris on lap 114, and tire strategies started to unfold. Kahne and Vickers restarted 16th and 18th, respectively. Two laps later, Landon Cassill’s No. 51 went spinning in turn three, forcing Kahne and Vickers to take evasive maneuvers through the grass.
After cleaning up the No. 4’s nose, Kahne returned to the race in 24th. Stuck in traffic, the best he could do was 18th at the checkered flag.
“I knew I was going to go through the grass, thought the 51 was coming (down),” Kahne said. “I went through the grass and kind of spun and ended up further back. It ended up being a tough Brickyard 400 for us. But we were definitely one of the best cars. Out in clean air, we were definitely one of the best.”
Vickers held his own after taking two tires early for track position and moved into the top 10. He, too, went through the grass when the No. 51 spun — “Sorry guys, there was nowhere to go. I had to swerve through the grass to miss him.” — and pitted for tires and fuel. “We are planning to go long and gas only,” crew chief Ryan Pemberton told Vickers. “We have to do something different than everyone else.”
He cycled to as high as second, but knowing they’d be eight laps short Vickers pitted for two tires and a splash with 17 laps to go. He restarted 23rd and moved to 15th at the finish for his third top 15 at Indianapolis.
Kahne slid to 15th in the driver standings. He’s 55 points behind 10th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. and still needs a win or two to enter the Chase wild-card race. Vickers also dropped a spot. He’s 27th — 83 points out of 20th.
By: red bull racing team