+ THERE'S NO ESCAPING UNSCATHED Scott Speed, disgusted with a 31st-place finish Sunday at Bristol, can at least breathe a sigh of relief. For the first time in a full year, he'll walk into a race track carrying the luxury of a guaranteed...
+ THERE'S NO ESCAPING UNSCATHED
Scott Speed, disgusted with a 31st-place finish Sunday at Bristol, can at least breathe a sigh of relief. For the first time in a full year, he'll walk into a race track carrying the luxury of a guaranteed starting spot.
After the first five races last season, the No. 82 Red Bull Toyota ranked 36th in car owner points and never recovered. This season, Speed and Co. is 18th, making qualifying at Martinsville and beyond a little less stressful.
A top 10 at Bristol still eludes No. 83 driver Brian Vickers. He finished 15th, this after the No. 83 crew came through in the clutch when BV sustained rear end damage in a multi-car wreck during the final third of the race.
"The guys did a series of pit stops and fixed the car," Vickers said, "and after that it was best it had been all day. All in all it was a decent day."
82 . SCOTT SPEED
DEFINING MOMENT: With 25 laps to go and on target for his fourth top 20 in five races, Speed's No. 82 cut a right-front tire. Speed tagged the wall - hard - and took the car to the garage where the team repaired a brake rotor. He returned to the track and finished 20 laps down in 31st, easily his worst showing of the season. The team's hard work, however, helped Speed pick up a position in the final three laps.
RADIO CHATTER: "It's go time." - Spotter Tim Fedewa to Speed with 50 laps to go.
POINTS PICTURE: Fell from an 11th-place tie to 18th in points, but the No. 82 has a comfortable 197-point cushion on the top 35 entering Martinsville. Speed's first Sprint Cup start came at Martinsville in October 2008.
STAT THAT MATTERS: Prior to Bristol, Speed had failed to complete only one lap this season (266 of 267 at Las Vegas).
83 . BRIAN VICKERS
DEFINING MOMENT: Four consecutive pit stops from laps 344-352. Three laps earlier, Vickers was part of a 13-car accident in turn three. Mark Martin and Greg Biffle got together, the field checked up and Vickers was rear-ended by David Ragan, leaving parts and pieces dragging on the concrete. The No. 83 team pitted four times under caution, fixed the damage and restarted 23rd. Vickers rallied to finish 15th.
RADIO CHATTER: "We've got a good car. We definitely have something to work with when we come back (in August)." - Vickers.
POINTS PICTURE: A 2009 Chase participant, Vickers climbed from 16th to 14th in the standings - only 17 points from the top 12.
STAT THAT MATTERS: Bristol remained as one of five tracks on the current Cup schedule where Vickers has failed to record a top 10 (Texas, Darlington, Infineon and Homestead).
-source: red bull racing team