Fontana II: Vickers post race interview

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 32 ABF Freight Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Finished: 3rd How were you able to overcome the pit road penalty early on and earn a top-three finish this evening? "We had a really good car. It was the fastest car on the race ...

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 32 ABF Freight Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 3rd

How were you able to overcome the pit road penalty early on and earn a top-three finish this evening?

"We had a really good car. It was the fastest car on the race track at the start of the run, especially at the start of the race on the long run. Qualifying hurt us a little bit and we kind of fell behind to start with. We were running Kyle (Busch) down and then made a big mistake on pit road and it cost us a lot of time on the green flag stop having to come back in like that. Luckily we didn't go a lap down and were good enough before we had to pit again. We battled the results of that all night trying to come back from that. We had the car good in traffic by the time we would get to the front it was too loose and by the time we readjusted it we ran out of time."

Did you make contact with the wall during the race?

"Down in turn three we were running really high and I just got in there really loose - really sideways. I think I got the right rear just a little bit and they said it wasn't that bad. Honestly I thought NASCAR threw the caution for me thinking I was getting ready to spin out."

What happened on pit road?

"It was a good run, not a great run. Obviously we're still chasing that elusive victory. The first run of the race starting 11th hurt us a little bit. By the time we got to the front and started running Kyle (Busch) down he was quite a bit ahead of us but we got fairly close as the car was really quick. Then we had a big mess-up, mistake in the pits. It wasn't a big mistake, it was one loose lug nut which probably happens 100 times on pit road it's just never called. Unfortunately we got called and it cost us quite a bit and we had to come down pit road to replace it under green flag which was pretty damaging to the run, especially under green. We lost all of our track position but fortunately didn't go a lap down. The rest of the night we just had been racing back from that mistake."

If you had not had the problem in the pits, do you think the car would have been a threat for the win?

"The first run we were a little tight and we were the fastest car on the track but we were still a little tight. I knew other guys were going to get better so we needed a little bit of an adjustment and we made that adjustment and we're pretty happy with the car. After we lost all of our track position we had to free it up again because we were back in traffic. Once we got back to the front we had to undo some of those things. Had we not been back in traffic we wouldn't have gone this far in that direction and had to come back. We had to do what we had to do to get back to the front."

What's your reaction to see Toyota and JGR in victory lane again?

"It would be a lot better for us if we were in victory lane. That team - the Gibbs teams are strong right now and this is their season. Two years ago it was the Hendrick teams and now it's the Gibbs teams whether it's Nationwide or in the Cup Series and their really strong with whoever gets in the car - their fast cars. Obviously what happened in Michigan I'm sure wasn't something they wanted to see happen but it's still a strong team - it's not one individual. Just like we've seen on the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) team when Chad (Knaus) gets suspended, that's happened a lot and they continue to run strong because Chad along with a lot of people on that team have built a strong team around Jimmie. I personally see the same thing at Gibbs right now. You can put a plate on them, you can take people in and out here and there but inevitably they have the whole package. The Toyotas, for us we had a good run tonight and unfortunately the pit stop killed us. It was good to run good but we didn't want to lose 13 stops on a green flag stop and be able to challenge for the win. We just ran out of time."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jimmie Johnson