Vickers still hopeful of Chase spot

Brian Vickers believes he can still be one of the championship contenders for the Sprint Cup title this year

Vickers still hopeful of Chase spot

The 25-year-old, who has yet to renew his contract with Red Bull for next year, is currently 14th in the standings, 96 points short of the Chase.

Vickers has six poles this season but has yet to win a race, his best results being fifth places at Atlanta, Charlotte and Indianapolis. He says mistakes and bad luck have prevented him being higher up in the standings.

"I know we can get in the Chase, but that doesn't mean we will," says Vickers. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us, we can't make any mistakes and we can't afford for anybody around us to make any mistakes.

"We've made our fair share this year on pit road, or with engines or on the track or whatever. That's the reason we're in the position we're in. I feel like we've run better than 14th in the points, but we've had a lot of things go wrong.

"A lot of them weren't anyone on our team's fault. We've been taken out of many races through incidents involving other people where they've crashed in front of us, beside us or have collected us."

The former Nationwide champion points at pitstops as being one area where he believes his hopes of a win have been dashed this year, although he admits to seeing progress in recent weeks.

"We've had fast cars," he said. "Unfortunately, I know the guys are working really hard and they've gotten a lot better, but one area that has hurt us a lot this year is pitstops. There's been a lot of races that we've been leading or contending for the win at the very end of the race, and come in the pits and then lost seven spots.

"That's difficult and it's a challenge. I'm not trying to beat up on those guys because they work hard and I know they're giving 100 per cent and they've gotten a lot better. The facts are the facts."

The Red Bull driver has been on pole for the past two races at Michigan and he will start from the top spot again on Sunday. Despite that, he doesn't see this race as one that could be make or break for his Chase hopes.

"We know this is a good track for us and we want to capitalise on that," Vickers said. "We've got several other good tracks for us. Bristol is not one of my best tracks, but I have run well there.

"Atlanta has been a great track for us. Richmond has been a good track for us as well - I've sat on two poles there and run really well there also. If we don't have a good day on Sunday, it doesn't mean we're out of it. We've still got three more opportunities."

shares
comments
Keselowski working on Cup drive

Previous article

Keselowski working on Cup drive

Next article

Gordon seeking safety improvements

Gordon seeking safety improvements
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021