WELCOME BACK, BRIAN. FOR REAL THIS TIME
LAS VEGAS — The NASCAR Sprint Cup season began Feb. 20. Brian Vickers’ season began Sunday.
After being collected in two accidents in the season’s first two races, Vickers and the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota finally made it to the finish unscathed. Vickers’ 10th-place finish in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway helped erase the memory of a 31st and 30th to start the season — both high numbers because (1) people crashed around him at Daytona and (2) he had a little help in crashing at Phoenix.
“Today was finally the good start to our season we have needed,” he said.
Vickers moved up nine spots in points to 24th. His teammate, Kasey Kahne, picked up two positions himself. He ranks 13th in the standings after a 14th-place showing in Sin City.
“We have to keep it up and chip away at the points inch by inch each week,” said Vickers, who earned his first top 10 since his final race of 2010 (Darlington). “We made the most of everything today and got every drop we could out of the car — the guys did a great job in the pits and with adjustments. Everyone gave 100 percent and that’s all you can ask for.”
Kahne’s day went for a spin just past the 100-lap mark. Coming off turn four, the No. 22 spun, and Kahne absorbed a tap from the No. 6. So it was Kahne who became part of the race’s fourth yellow flag, and he was left with wheeling a loose car to the finish. Still, it was a decent day coming off a sixth-place finish at Phoenix.
“It was a good points day for us,” Kahne said. “We struggled all weekend to get the car where we wanted it to be. We never really got it there, but managed to get ourselves a top-15 finish, which is good for the overall picture."