Michigan II: Pole winner interview

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 1st (First NSCS pole for Red Bull Racing Team/Brian Vickers) How was your qualifying lap? "I'm really proud of everybody at Red Bull and Toyota. Obviously, ...

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Starting Position: 1st (First NSCS pole for Red Bull Racing Team/Brian Vickers)

How was your qualifying lap?

"I'm really proud of everybody at Red Bull and Toyota. Obviously, we've come a long way since last year, but even with how far we've come we still have to continue to work hard to keep going and getting better. And even when you get to the front you still have to work even harder to stay there. That's how fast this sport evolves. I'm really proud of everybody. Today when we unloaded the car was just awesome -- just really happy with it right out of the gate. It just handled well. It had good grip. Sometimes you just hit it. You don't really know why. You wish you knew exactly what caused that because you'd do it every week. Today we just hit it. We tried some stuff in practice that didn't work and went back to where we started. We made a few minor adjustments for qualifying and man that thing was just awesome."

Are you surprised at the margin over Jimmie Johnson when you looked at the times?

"Yeah, absolutely. That's a great team. That is the team to beat in our sport for the past several years. To be able to lay that lap down in practice with that much of a difference between first and second and to be able to back it up in qualifying -- I knew that we had a good car but still I was thinking it was going to be tough to get back to a 40, a 48 or whatever we ran in practice. Then to go out there and run an 18 was just really unbelievable. It just says a lot about the whole team -- the whole package. It's not just one component or one piece or one person. Today, the Red Bull 83 team was just on. You wish you could take that and apply it to every week, but it's just not that easy. If it was that easy everybody would do it."

Is it easier to be patient when you can see the progress this team is making?

"Yeah, anytime that you can see progress and you can feel progress patience comes a lot easier. When you're going the wrong direction patience is hard to come by. Out of everything I've done in motorsports or really in life in general I would say that patience is probably the most important aspect. It's funny, I think as you get older and you go through experiences in life you learn to be more patient. Sitting here at 24 I desire to be more patient and I think, ‘Well, why can't I just do it. I don't know. I wish I could just be more patient.' And then five years later you are more patient and you don't really know why, but you just are. A lot of it just comes with time. It's definitely something that I feel like as a person if you continually strive for it you will become more patient but it's not a switch. Sometimes things just take time no matter how bad you want them."

How happy are you to see both Red Bull cars having success at this point in the season?

"We're getting there. It takes time. Obviously with a new team and a new manufacturer takes a lot of time. We went through a lot of growing pains. Don't let anybody say we didn't work our butt off and earn it because we went through some really tough times. Last year was one of the hardest years I went through in my racing career but we're getting better. I'm really proud of the 84 (AJ Allmendinger) guys for getting into the top-35 after last week. That's a big accomplishment. I know looking back at my career at Red Bull that was probably the biggest thing that we've accomplished to date."

How much will you change before Sunday's race to get the car race ready?

"Obviously just because you qualified first doesn't mean you're going to finish first at the end of the race. A lot of changes go into the setup of the car -- how you approach the race track. We're going to have to make some changes. We've found with this car that you don't have to make quite as many changes maybe as you're used to in the old car, but we'll have to make some adjustments to make the car run well and run well on a long run and do it for an entire race. The track goes through changes so you'll make changes in the race no matter how good you start out. You try to be just the best you can at the end of the race on the last lap because today's over and the pole is great but it's the end of the day on Sunday that matters the most."

Are you surprised with how well your car handled?

"Anytime you lay a lap down like that I think there's a little bit of surprise. We knew we had a good car the moment we unloaded. The first lap on the race track it really even surprised us. We tried some things that didn't work in practice and went back on those and made a few minor adjustments for qualifying. Obviously, I'm really happy. The car was probably one of the best cars I've ever had. Just because you're first in practice doesn't mean you're going to be first in qualifying. Today it just happened to work out that way. I wish you could say it was some magic pill we put in the car or some magic setup that we had but it wasn't. It was just right when we unloaded and it was right for qualifying."

Did the cloud cover help during your qualifying run?

"It helped. Absolutely, we'll take everything we could get and clouds do help. Going out first this morning in practice being the second car on the race track this morning helps. We knew that in practice. You've got to keep all of those in the back of your mind. Without the cloud could we have still beat everyone, I believe maybe, but I'm sure the cloud helped."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Brian Vickers
Teams Red Bull Racing