Phoenix II: Vickers post-qualifying interview

BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 3rd: "It's obviously been two good weeks for the GMAC team. We've had good cars in qualifying. We were still a little bit loose today. We were fighting that a little bit in practice. We made...

BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 3rd:

"It's obviously been two good weeks for the GMAC team. We've had good cars in qualifying. We were still a little bit loose today. We were fighting that a little bit in practice. We made some changes. I got kind of aggressive on the first lap to see if they worked. We didn't get quite as fixed as we wanted to coming off the corner. That's why we were so slow the first lap. I just took it a little bit easier the second lap. I felt it was a good lap. I didn't feel it was a perfect lap. Usually in the Cup series, if it's not a perfect lap, you're not going to go to the pole."

AS TONY STEWART HAS PROVEN, WINNING RACES ALMOST BENEFITS THE GUY WHO IS NOT IN THE CHASE AT THIS TIME IN THE SEASON. DO YOU FEEL THAT WAY?

"Yeah, that's a good point. I think when you're in a race for a championship, sometimes you get more defensive than offensive. And you've got to be careful of that. That can be a good thing. It can keep you out of trouble, but it can also keep you from getting really good finishes. There's got to be a happy medium there. Tony is not running for points so they're hanging it all out and going for it and making aggressive pit calls during the race along with a lot of other things that they probably wouldn't if they were in the Chase. Hopefully we'll be able to capitalize on the same thing."

WITH TWO RACES LEFT IN THE SEASON AND WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS, IS IT GETTING EMOTIONAL OR YOU?

"Like anybody who is moving from one job to another; and we've all been in that position, at times it is bittersweet because of the personal and emotional connections I have with Hendrick Motorsports. But at the same time, I'm kind of excited about a fresh new start and a new opportunity."

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING LINED UP FOR OWNER POINTS NEXT YEAR?

"As of right now, not that I'm aware of. In your terms, I guess we're just going to wing it. I don't know what they have in store. I don't even know what the possibilities of getting owner points are before the Daytona 500. Obviously that would be nice, but right now we're focusing on putting the best car on the race track and on qualifying the first five races. After that, we'll go back to the normal deal and just start racing."

MOST RACES HERE HAVE BEEN WON BY DRIVERS OUTSIDE THE TOP 10. DOES THAT WORRY YOU AT ALL?

"I don't really know why that is. Sometimes you see that by qualifying poorly, you'll be more aggressive in the pits and on pit calls and take more chances. You're usually in a pitting war if you're toward the tail end of the lap have nothing to lose as far as track position and you have an opportunity to make your car better that way.

But it doesn't mean that all 43 or 53 of us or whatever it was today, aren't going to qualify the best we can. The better you qualify, the better the pit stall and the closer you are to the front. But qualifying, especially since we don't impound anymore, is not necessarily an indication of how the race is going to play out."

WHAT IS THE PROGRESS AT RED BULL OR ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOURSELF ON WHAT THEY'RE DOING RIGHT NOW?

"What I've seen is pretty much what you'll have seen. I haven't been involved with those guys yet. I'm focused more on the No. 25 car. I think that they've definitely had their ups and downs and have missed some races - some because of rain - for AJ Almendinger at Texas, it was disappointing. But it was a tough situation. It was his first attempt at a Cup start on one of probably the hardest tracks to qualify - and obviously with a brand new team. So I don't think it's any indication of what's to come, I just think it was an accumulation of a lot of different scenarios piled on top of each other that just kind of caught them off guard. But all in all, it looks like things are moving along well over there. Everybody is pumped and excited."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Teams Hendrick Motorsports