NASCAR

Brian Vickers comeback impressive

VICKERS VINDICATED
Brian Vickers grins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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The different storylines surrounding the amazing win by Brian Vickers and the No. 55 Aaron's Toyota really are endless. If you go back about a year and a half ago, Brian was like a man without a country. Let’s face it, his future was clearly up in the air as he didn’t have any Camping World Truck, Nationwide or Sprint Cup Series rides available to him.

What impressed me about him during that period of time were the comments he made. He said he simply wasn’t going to go race something to just be racing in it. He felt that he was at a point in his career that if he was going to race in it, it was going to have to be something competitive. Lo and behold, it was a perfect scenario for Michael Waltrip Racing and Brian Vickers when they came together.

Brian basically added the missing leg of the triangle. Car owner Michael Waltrip only wanted to drive the No. 55 car at Daytona and Talladega. They had veteran Mark Martin, who came over to MWR last year but was very vocal that he had zero desire to race full-time any longer. So when Brian came on the scene, he was able to fill the gaps in the schedule where neither Michael nor Mark was racing.

It became a perfect world for all parties involved. You really have to tip your hat to that team and especially crew chief Rodney Childers. They show speed no matter what track they are at. Plus, don’t overlook the fact that Rodney is consistently making this happen with three different drivers, each with their respective personalities and styles of driving.

Just working with two different drivers is a tall challenge. To work with three has to be tough. Not only are they doing it, but they are doing it very successfully. Now here they set as race winners from Sunday’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was Brian’s third career win and his first victory in 75 races.

Think back to 2010 when Vickers had to be pulled out of that Red Bull car for health reasons. He didn’t know then if he was ever going to drive a race car again in his life. I am also very happy for Aaron’s. They have been in our sport a really long time so this has to be huge for those folks based in Atlanta as well.

If you look at the races that Brian ran last year in this car and the races he ran this season up until last Sunday, he has been bad-fast every time he took to the track. It doesn’t matter the type of track either. It could be a road course, a short track or like Loudon on Sunday, a one-mile flat track. He’s been competitive no matter where they unload at.

So Sunday was a huge win across the board for Brian, Michael Waltrip Racing and Aaron’s.
 

Tagged: Michael Waltrip, Brian Vickers

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