Daytona II: Red Bull Racing Team preview

Good thing Daytona comes a day early - all the more reason to sweep Sunday's race at New Hampshire under the rug and get on with it. Brian Vickers finished a disheartening 16th in the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 after pit strategy turned sour...

Good thing Daytona comes a day early - all the more reason to sweep Sunday's race at New Hampshire under the rug and get on with it.

Brian Vickers finished a disheartening 16th in the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 after pit strategy turned sour when the downpour came. AJ Allmendinger's afternoon had been done for quite some time when an oil line broke on the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota, which caught fire and ended AJ's run in 43rd.

But the July heat of central Florida should help dry things out.

Brian, who's 113 points out of the top 12 in 16th , has a knack for restrictor-plate racing. His lone Sprint Cup victory came at Daytona's sister track, Talladega, in October 2006. In the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, he finished 12th in the season-opening Daytona 500 and owns two top-10 finishes there.

AJ's No. 84 is 38th in the owner standings — 161 points from the top 35.

After treating all of Red Bull Racing Team to lunch Tuesday, members of the No. 83 and 84 pit crews caught I-85 north to Randleman, N.C. The destination? The NASCARnival at Victory Junction Gang Camp.

They took a tour of the sprawling facility that, through fun activities and experiences, empowers the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Along with No. 84 driver AJ Allmendinger, the Bull Crews sat down for dinner with campers, then performed pit stops and taught them how to tear through lug nuts. And all were more than happy to offer an autograph or two.

Brian Vickers returns to the No. 32 Braun Racing Toyota for Friday night's Nationwide race. In five starts with Braun this season, the 2003 series champion has two poles and three finishes in the top six. He ran 13th in this race last year and finished fourth in the season- opening Nationwide race at Daytona.

By no means does it sniff Bill Elliott making up two laps under green to win the 1985 Winston 500 at Talladega, but when Scott Speed came from five laps down to finish eighth at Cayuga Motor Speedway, he called the feat "remarkable."

"In some way it was still successful," he said. "Even something that was so bad, we managed not to lose too many points on the lead. Coming back from five laps down, that was kind of lucky. But it's cool that I can say that."

Sunday's ARCA race north of the border started in the mud — literally — for Eddie Sharp Racing's No. 2 Red Bull Toyota. Scott spun off the backstretch early, and only a tow truck could yank the car out of the muck. But he hung tough and made up the lost ground over the next 207 laps. The eighth-place finish, his eighth top 10 in 10 starts, kept Scott second in the championship standings. He's 130 points behind leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series doesn't return to action until July 18 at Kentucky, and Scott's next scheduled NASCAR Craftsman Truck race isn't until August at Bristol.

The No. 83 Bull Crew's victory in the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge is still paying off.

The charity portion of the hefty purse earned in May comes out to $23,793.25. On Friday, crew members will present a check, through the NASCAR Foundation, in that amount to the Speediatrics unit of Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

Over-the-wallers Jake Brzozowski, Brian Haaland, Danny Kincaid, Shaun Peet and Aaron Schields will take a tour of the unit and hand out Speediatrics teddy bears.

Red Bull Racing Team's two crew chiefs on NASCAR's discussion of the no-limits testing policy:

Kevin Hamlin, crew chief, No. 83: "In the end, maybe we wouldn't do as much testing. We'd be doing more that actually means something. We'd be going to tracks we're racing at now instead of going to places that we don't race and try to figure out things that don't mean anything. We've been going to all these places to do this testing anyway, now you might settle down and do possibly less. There's only so much you can do with these cars, and you can't get over inventive with them. You're not going to go to all the tracks — some are cookie-cutters — so if you got it figured out at one track you can make it work for the others."

Rick Viers, crew chief, No. 84: "It's open conversation more than open testing. John Darby (series director) wanted us to go back and talk to our owners and general managers and let them know what the conversation was about. We'll be coming back with our thoughts and comments. If you can test at the real race tracks on the real tires … hopefully this will help us."

-credit: rbrt

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Scott Speed , Brian Vickers , Kevin Hamlin , Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Teams Red Bull Racing