CLERMONT, Ind. - Brian Vickers passed pole-sitter Shane Hmiel on lap 181 and held on to win the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It is the first career victory for the 19-year-old Thomasville, N.C. native in his 47 starts in the ...
CLERMONT, Ind. - Brian Vickers passed pole-sitter Shane Hmiel on lap 181 and held on to win the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It is the first career victory for the 19-year-old Thomasville, N.C. native in his 47 starts in the series.
"Shane's a good racer. We raced hard," the young winner recalled. "He was cutting me off, doing what he had to do. I was rubbing him. I was trying to push him up.
"It was an awesome race," Vickers continued. "I had a lot of fun. And sitting here in Victory Lane is not that bad!"
Vickers, who started third, spent the majority of the night chasing the tail of Hmiel's car. He was finally able to beat Hmiel out of the pits on lap 108 to assume the lead, but Hmiel stole it back on lap 134.
That set up a door-to-door, thirty-lap shoot out between Vickers and Hmiel. The duo traded paint and strategies as both drivers tried to outsmart each other for the win. In the end, it was a Vickers night.
Hmiel, on the other hand, was bumped by Scott Wimmer on the last lap and finished in fourth place.
It was a sweet victory for Vickers, who has finished second twice this year and was robbed of a victory at Texas earlier in the season after a controversial call by NASCAR. Vickers was black-flagged in that race for passing to left on the restart while leading, and sent to the back of the pack, where he was later involved in an accident, relegating him to a 25th place finish.
Jason Keller was second, scoring his eighth top five of the season.
"I was hoping those young guys would make a mistake and I'd drive right by," Keller said. "We just didn't stay consistent."
Stacy Compton was third. Championship contenders Scott Riggs and David Green finished fifth and sixth.
Scott Riggs retains his lead in the championship, seven points ahead of David Green. Jason Keller, Ron Hornaday and Brian Vickers round out the top five, with just 99 points separating the top five.