On this website; rates start at $30/month; reach thousands of brand-loyal customers.|
Call 902.444.0703 for info.
Establish your online identity; starting at $295.|
Call 902.444.0703 for info.
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images for NASCAR
Vickers Pulls Off Big Win At Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 16, 2009) — Polesitter Brian Vickers ran out of gas at the end of Sunday’s Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
It’s a good thing it was on the way to Victory Lane.
Jimmie Johnson wasn’t so lucky. Despite a concerted effort to save gas, the reigning and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Johnson ran out of fuel with just over two laps left in the race. When Johnson ducked onto pit road, he handed the lead to Vickers, who had been riding in Johnson’s wake.
“That’s what I’m talking about!” Vickers exulted after crossing the finish line ahead of Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Great call, guys. Great job.”
Vickers’ win was the second of his career, the first for Red Bull Racing and the first for Toyota at Michigan.
Vickers, Johnson and Gordon last came to the pits on Lap 149. Earnhardt, on the other hand, stopped under caution on Lap 159 and rocketed toward the front after a restart on Lap 162.
Vickers pressured Johnson over the closing laps, and Johnson, who led 165 of 200 laps, ran out of fuel less than five miles short of the finish for the second time this year at the 2-mile speedway.
With Vickers just outside the top 12 in the standings — with the top 12 drivers after 26 races qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup — crew chief Ryan Pemberton’s call to keep Vickers on the track in fuel conservation mode was a risky one.
In this case, however, the risk paid an enormous reward, moving Vickers to 13th in the standings, 12 points behind 12th-place Mark Martin, who lost his fuel-mileage gamble, running out of gas on the final lap and finishing 31st.
“I’ve got to say that, at the moment, it wasn’t what I expected (Pemberton) to do, knowing where we’re at in the Chase — but it was the right call,” Vickers said. “The minute he made it, I had complete faith in it. He hasn’t run me out of fuel yet.
“Usually when he tells me that we’re going to be two laps short, if I get him two, we’re good. If he tells me we’re four short, and I get him four, we’re good. I have complete confidence in that, and that takes time to build. We’ve gone through this fuel thing I don’t know how many times for me to prove to him what I can save and for him to prove to me how good he is with his math.
“We’ve hit our mark every time. I didn’t suspect it would be any different this time, but I’ve got to tell you, when you’re coming to two-to-go, I’m still sweating bullets.”
Despite his third-place run, Earnhardt sounded a cautionary note.
“Well, I don’t want to get too excited,” said Earnhardt, who won his last NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan in June 2008. “You want to be up front every week like this. You want to be there the whole race. You don’t want to just come up there through the last 50 laps and surprise everybody.
“But we’re getting better as a team. It’s just really, really hard to be patient and be mindful and respectful of everybody and hold your tongue every once in a while.
“But we’re working really hard. I’ve never worked so hard to run third. I’ve won races working a whole lot easier than this. But it’s competitive with this car, and there’s not really a real edge for anyone right now.”
Gordon saved fuel by turning the engine off and on as he circled the track.
“I really felt confident we were going to make it, even though (crew chief) Steve (Letarte) told me we were four (laps) short when we left pit road that last pit stop,” said Gordon, who passed Johnson (33rd Sunday) for second in the standings. “I shut the engine off so much. I felt like I got us six laps. At least with the caution, I felt like I did. Felt pretty confident I didn't have to conserve a whole lot. Junior was pressuring me a lot at the end. I was waiting, to see if the 48 (Johnson) and 83 (Vickers) ran out. One did, one didn't.”
Notes: Kyle Busch finished 23rd and dropped to 15th in the standings, 70 points behind Martin. … Juan Pablo Montoya lost a lap while his crew repaired a cut tire resulting from contact with Kasey Kahne’s Dodge. Montoya got his lap back under NASCAR’s “lucky dog” rule and salvaged a 19th-place finish, which kept him seventh in the Cup standings, 108 points ahead of Vickers.
Unofficial Race Results click here
Unofficial Point Standings click here
Race Recap, Video Clip click here
Green Flag Fast Facts
The Race: CARFAX 400
The Place: Michigan International Speedway (2-mile oval)
The Date: Sunday, Aug. 16
The Time: 3 p.m. AT
Race Distance: 400 miles/200 laps
TV: ESPN & TSN, 2 p.m. AT
Radio: MRN and Sirius Satellite
2008 Polesitter: Brian Vickers
2008 Winner: Carl Edwards
Schedule: (Times local ET) Friday—Practice, 12-1:30 p.m., Qualifying, 3:40 p.m. Saturday—Practice, 12:30-1:15 p.m., 1:50-2:50 p.m.
Year-To-Date Results & Point Standings click here
Practice, Qualifying, Starting Lineup & More...
Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images
Brian Vickers won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Michigan 400 with a lap of 38.453 seconds,
Complete Starting Lineup click here
- This is his 11th pole in 195 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
- This is his sixth pole and 11th top-10 start in 2009.
- This is his third pole in 12 races at Michigan International Speedway.
- Mark Martin (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2009 and his 24th in 48 races at Michigan
- Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his second top-10 start at Michigan International Speedway. It is
his 10th in 23 races this season.
- Joey Logano (eighth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
- Drivers that failed to qualify include: Tony Raines.
*Does not reflect adjustments that may be made prior to the race start because of the cars that need to go
to the rear of the field due to engine and/or transmission changes or practice wrecks...
- Stewart’s Almost In Chase; Bubble Drivers Want Win...Fresh off a win at what he considers his “house,” Watkins Glen International, Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet) merely needs to start Sunday’s CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway to become the first owner-driver to earn a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berth.
But that doesn’t mean Stewart will ease up any when he runs this weekend at MIS, the sixth event in the “Race to the Chase.”
“We keep the eye on the prize at the end of the year,” Stewart said. “And those 10 bonus points (for winning at Watkins Glen) could be a big factor at the end.”
Another factor is likeability – and Stewart likes MIS.
“We look forward to going there obviously because the manufacturers are there and it’s a driver’s track,” Stewart said. “You can help yourself out as a driver by moving around on the race track. It does give you that flexibility as a driver to not be just stuck with whatever your balance is. You can search around and try to find a spot that’s better for it.”
Stewart’s not the only one who can clinch a spot in the 12-driver Chase for this weekend at Michigan. Any driver 586 points ahead of 13th place leaving Michigan clinches a spot.
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet), 496 points ahead of 13th-place Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota), needs at least a 90-point gain on 13th to secure a place in the Chase. Johnson – who is second in points – has made every Chase since its inception in 2004. Only one other driver has qualified for every Chase: Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford), currently 12th in points.
The battle to make the Chase is heating up just behind Kenseth.
A few drivers just outside the top 12 not only want to make the Chase, but are looking for their first trip to Victory Lane this season.
Those just below the “Chase bubble” include: Kyle Busch, 13th in points. Busch has one second-place finish (August 2008) at MIS;
Brian Vickers (No. 83 Red Bull Toyota), 14th in points. Vickers earned his first pole of the season at Michigan last summer and
followed with a pole at Michigan in June. On the other hand, he has only had one top-five finish at the track, a fourth in June 2008;
Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet), 15th in points. Bowyer’s best finish at Michigan in seven NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series races is his solo top-10 finish (10th in June 2009).
- Michigan Sweep Should Help Carl Edwards Find Victory Lane...A third-place finish this past Monday at Watkins Glen International. …
A sixth-place spot in the series standings, as the Race to the Chase winds down. …
Now, as Carl Edwards (No. 99 AFLAC Ford) returns to Michigan International Speedway, there’s a good chance he could finally nab his first win of the 2009 season.
After all, he’s earned two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at the track, in June 2007 and August 2008. He swept the August 2009 weekend with a win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in addition to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win.
This time last year, Edwards was on a tear – Michigan marked his fifth win of the season and the beginning of a three-win streak.
And this past June at MIS, Edwards finished fourth.
“It’s a real special track,” Edwards said. “That will be the five-year anniversary of my first Cup start – which blows my mind. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for five years. I’m very fortunate.”
- Mark Martin Aims for Back-To-Back Wins At ‘Comfortable’ Michigan...Returning to Michigan International Speedway, Mark Martin (No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet) is going for back-to-back wins and what would be his fifth trip to Victory Lane at the track he calls “comfortable.”
“I think about Michigan and I think: ‘Ahhhhh, that will be fun’,” Martin said. “It’s always been a great race track, and our car ran really well up there for the first race.”
Fuel mileage was Martin’s best friend this past June when NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers took to the two-mile oval.
In the final two miles of the 400-mile race, Martin clinched his third win of the season as LifeLock 400 race leader Jimmie Johnson and second-place runner Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M/Scotch Tough Ford) ran out of gas.
“I can’t believe we won this thing,” Martin said at the time.
Martin now sits in 11th place in points with four poles, four wins, six top-5 finishes and 11 top-10 finishes.
Looking ahead one week, Mark Martin will make his 1,000th NASCAR national series start at Bristol Motor Speedway, joining only Richard Petty and Michael Waltrip as the only drivers with 1,000 national series starts.
IMPORTANT: All information, schedules and/or scheduled events is/are subject to change without notice. Please
check local listings or host before making plans.
© Copyright - CheckersToWreckers.com - All Rights Reserved.
Best viewed with Internet Explorer - 800x600 resolution.