FROM WILD TO WINDY (CITY) Whew! That's all we can say about what we saw and ours cars felt Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. But the Red Bull Toyota teams persevered through a wild weekend to earn two top-10 finishes - Reed ...
FROM WILD TO WINDY (CITY)
That's all we can say about what we saw and ours cars felt Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. But the Red Bull Toyota teams persevered through a wild weekend to earn two top-10 finishes - Reed Sorenson's No. 83 in eighth and Scott Speed's No. 82 in 10th.
Needless to say, this weekend's two-day show at Chicagoland Speedway is much needed.
82. SCOTT SPEED
ESCAPE FROM DAYTONA: Speed took his usual approach at a restrictor-plate race - stay out of trouble and make the move at end. He did that Saturday night at Daytona ... well, sort of. The No. 82 Red Bull Toyota was one of 20 cars involved in the Mega One on lap 148, but the car was able to continue. Speed restarted 14th after the red flag and was 10th at the checkered.
WE'LL GET 'EM NEXT YEAR: Speed's lone Chicago start came during his rookie season of 2009. He qualified second alongside teammate Brian Vickers, but fell to 30th by lap 60 with minimal rear-end grip. Speed, however, earned most of it back and was up to 21st by lap 225. One lap later, his night ended. He was one of three cars collected in an accident when Paul Menard's car blew a tire entering turn one. He finished 36th.
VITAL SIGNS: The top 10 at Daytona - Speed's second of the season - moved him to 24th in driver points. He's 82 points behind 23rd place.
BLUE & SILVER MAKE GREEN: Speed's second-place qualifying run last season at Chicago - coupled with Brian Vickers' pole - made it an all-Red Bull front row. It was the first time two Toyotas from the same team occupied the front row in a Sprint Cup race.
83. REED SORENSON
HOLY HARD WORK, BATMAN: What didn't happen to the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota on its way to an eighth-place at Daytona? First, during Thursday practice, the car bulldozed through the infield grass after being taken out during a dicey final session. But, "we rolled out the backup car, and we were prepared like we always are," crew chief Jimmy Elledge said. Then, during Saturday night's race, Sorenson again became a victim of circumstance, getting collected in a late 20-car accident. The No. 83 team sent an army of crewmen over the wall for cosmetic repairs, and car never lost a beat. Sorenson restarted 19th and drafted to eighth at the finish.
NICE MATCH FOR CHI-TOWN: In 2006, Sorenson debuted at 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway and finished seventh. A year later, he finished 12th, and he's completed all but three laps in four starts. So Sorenson has a knack for getting around Chicago, as does the No. 83. The car, with Brian Vickers at the wheel, took the pole last season and owns finishes of sixth and seventh.
VITAL SIGNS: The No. 83 ranks 24th in the car owner standings. The top 10 at Daytona moved the team to within 112 points of the top 20.
STAT THAT MATTERS: The No. 83 hadn't finished in the top 10 since Vickers finished 10th May 8 at Darlington. Ironically, the 2009 July Daytona race was the event where the No. 83 began its charge to the Chase. From Daytona to Richmond - a span of nine races - the No. 83 finished 12th or better.