One streak stayed intact and another started, as Red Bull Racing Team tossed the tired (but certainly fitting) phrase "good points day" from hauler to hauler Saturday night. Brian Vickers finished sixth in Saturday night's race, and AJ ...
One streak stayed intact and another started, as Red Bull Racing Team tossed the tired (but certainly fitting) phrase "good points day" from hauler to hauler Saturday night.
Brian Vickers finished sixth in Saturday night's race, and AJ Allmendinger wasn't far behind in 13th.
Pit strategy again propelled Brian into the top five, as the team opted not to pit during an early caution. Brian stayed there or close to it for the rest of the race.
"This is the best the car has felt all night." Brian told his crew with just 40 laps to go. "All we need is track position right now and we could be going for the win!"
He never got the track position and settled for sixth, marking his fourth top 15 finish in his last four visits to Chicago. Brian moved up to 14th in the driver standings, gaining 17 points - still chasing a Chase spot with just seven races to go. It was the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota's fifth top 10 of the year.
Rain wiped out qualifying, so AJ started 39th. He shaved off 10 spots in 10 laps, and through a series of stops, adjustments to loosen up the car and a brush with the wall, AJ held top-10 status with 100 laps to go.
"Starting that far back we knew we were going to have to work some strategy," AJ said. "The car was tight all night, but Jimmy kept making small adjustments on it and it kept getting better. We were an eighth- to 12th-place car and if we could have gotten the tightness out, we could have been a top five."
The No. 84 Red Bull Toyota gained 78 points on the top 35 in new crew chief Jimmy Elledge's first race since joining the team Wednesday.
Brian Vickers, driver, No. 83: "We were really good on long runs but not on restarts. The car was good and we could have competed for the win if we'd had a little track position. Unfortunately, we were down a cylinder on the last restart, so the other guys got a jump on us. Then the engine blew coming out of turn four on the last lap, and we coasted across the finish line. We ended up sixth, so it could have been worse."
AJ Allmendinger, driver, No. 84: "With these cars it seems like track position is everything. So, you take a 25th-place car that is OK and you're running fifth and it seems pretty good. The pit stops were pretty good, we just missed a little bit on the last stop that probably cost us a top 10. Overall it was a good day, good points and good way to start."