Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers
Texas was just not kind to Brian Vickers and team 14 on Saturday night. It’s unfortunate because I know several of my Facebook friends were there to support the team and endured damp conditions for a portion of the day. I know they had fun despite but I hate it for them and I hate it for Team 14 because that team has been working it’s guts out on getting that car better and it seems to be working for the most part.
Brian started off the race in 13th place when the green-yellow flag flew on Saturday night. Yep you read that right it started with a green-yellow. It doesn’t happen that often but it’s not completely unheard of. NASCAR tends to want to start the race- but keep the cars under a caution to help dry the track but keep speeds down while it might still be a tad damp. Personally I think in situations like that NASCAR should just extend the warm-up laps, let all the cars come down pit road to add fuel only and then go green-green-green not green- yellow, but like I said it’s not unheard of it just doesn’t happen often so I guess it doesn’t really matter.
As has been the case every time Brian has been behind the wheel of the 14 car- once the car is in motion Brian provides the team with ample feedback about the car’s handling (he seemed to be fighting a fairly tight handling car the majority of the race). The handling seemed to be something they struggled with in the early goings of the race but worked on when they could. Unfortunately at about the one-third mark of the race under green flag pit stops, Brian Vickers got into the back of a much slower car (Clint Bowyer) and spun at the entrance to pit road, hitting the commitment cone in the process. While he didn’t really damage the car too much best I could tell- between the fact that the spin caused him to lose track position coming into the pits, and then of course he was penalized for the commitment cone violation Brian ended up two laps down, which later turned to three laps after Martin Truex Jr hit a blistering pace on the track for awhile.
They never really gave up trying to win, trying to better the car but they were stymied laps down the rest of the race. Of course until the huge lap at the end of the race. Much of the field sustained at least sum damage but unfortunately the 14 sustained major damage and that wreck just put them out of their misery so to speak. It was sad to see the car mangled at the end of the race and not just because I will be the first to admit that I really liked the TaxAct Military Files Free paint scheme (and how apropos since the deadline to file taxes looms ever closer) but because they were still working it- trying to make the car better despite being several laps down.
Brian ended up scored 37th for this race. Teammate Kurt Busch finishes 9th, Kevin Harvick 10th, and Danica Patrick 21st at Texas.
Race winner was Kyle Busch who completed his second consecutive weekend sweep this weekend. He also joins Jimmie Johnson in being a multiple Cup Series winner this season.
Next race will be with Ty Dillon behind the wheel of the 14 car at Bristol.
The Gratuitous Tony Stewart Pictures:
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