By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter & NASCAR Contributor
A frustrating night went from bad to worse in Brian Vickers’ prospective final start of the season for Stewart Haas Racing.
Vickers started in 13th place and moved up to eighth place until the competition caution flew on lap 28.
A quick pitstop by his pitcrew briefly lifted Vickers up to fourth place. It ended up being almost all for naught as he spun his tires and lost a handful of positions almost immediately.He eventually fell back to 14th place over the course of the run as he battled an ill handling car. It all went wrong on lap 111 when he nearly ran into Clint Bowyer as they were both coming onto pit road and spun his car.
The caution didn’t come out and he was subsequently assessed a pass through penalty for violating the commitment line, which made him lose even more track position.He fell as low as 30th and was never in position to make up any laps to gain back any track position as he continued to fight his ill handling racecar.
A frustrating night came to an end when he was collected in a multi-car crash on lap 295 when Austin Dillon was spun by Denny Hamlin which collected several drivers, including Vickers who ended his night in 37th place.
“It was a long day,” he said. “That wreck just finally ended it for us. We fought the handling. We thought we were good the first run. We kind of lost it after that. On that green flag stop coming in I got to pit road speed and then the No. 15 (Clint Bowyer) just stopped. I had them locked up, but I had nowhere to go. He went to like half pit road speed and I just got into the back of him and locked it up. I just didn’t see that coming. That put us behind the rest of the night.
“Honestly, if we had the fastest car on the race track I would probably be more frustrated about that incident than I already am. We just didn’t have it tonight. We worked hard on it. The guys kept making it a little better we just couldn’t get what we needed.”
Image Credit: Josh Farmer/Tribute Racing