BUSCH: Phoenix: Chase for driver title takes another turn

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 28, 2003) -- The Boston Red Sox have the curse of the Bambino. The NASCAR Busch Series, evidently, has the curse of the driver points leader. If Brian Vickers (No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet) isn't a believer...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 28, 2003) -- The Boston Red Sox have the curse of the Bambino. The NASCAR Busch Series, evidently, has the curse of the driver points leader.

If Brian Vickers (No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet) isn't a believer in the curse, maybe he should be. Twice this year, the now 20-year-old Vickers has taken the top spot in the driver standings, only to endure a disappointing race the very next time out of the box. Case in point: The Oct. 25 Aaron's 312 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Going into the event, Vickers held a slim 23-point lead over David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac). On only the second lap of the race, however, Vickers got together with another car, damaging his fender, and then later, spun en route to a 31st-place finish. Vickers dropped from first all the way to fifth in the driver standings, 49 points behind new leader Green, who finished eighth at Atlanta.

Scott Riggs (No. 10 Nestle Nesquik Ford) jumped from fifth to second in the standings with a sixth-place effort. He trails Green by only 13 points. Jason Keller (No. 57 Albertsons Ford) maintains third, 35 points down, after finishing 15th at Atlanta. Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) is fourth in the standings, also 35 points behind Green, but with three fewer top-five finishes than Keller, breaking the tie.

Text Box: Only one other first-to-second margin has been closer in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series with three races remaining in the season. Larry Pearson led Brett Bodine by six points with three events to go in 1986 before capturing the first of two consecutive championships.

The 49-point spread between first-place Green and fifth-place Vickers is easily the closest at this point in the season.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Brett Bodine , Jason Keller , Ron Hornaday Jr. , David Green , Scott Riggs , Brian Vickers