Brian Vickers has made a good living driving race cars on a national level for more than a decade.
Just don’t bother trying to hitch a ride in the street car of the three-time Sprint Cup Series race winner and former Nationwide Series champion.
Turns out he doesn’t own one.
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"I actually don’t have a car right now — a bicycle," Vickers said on Friday during his media availability at Michigan International Speedway. "I just don’t find that I need one in Miami or New York. It’s just easier that way. If I need a car, I just rent one. I also don’t particularly enjoy driving in traffic, so my lovely wife does that and she seems to like driving. I let her handle that. I just try to avoid the topic at all costs."
Vickers, who was responding to a question about how road-course racing compares to driving a street car in traffic, went on to express his total disdain for traffic jams.
"As far as road rage and driving in traffic, there is nothing more painful, I think, for most of us, but especially race car drivers used to going as fast as he wants in the lane he wants and how he wants, than sitting in a traffic jam and being cut off by people and having someone in the left lane riding at 45 mph in a 70 mph zone next to a tractor trailer," said Vickers, a native of Thomasville, N.C. "There is just nothing more frustrating than that. You obviously would like to inform them of their transgressions by using the chrome bumper, but that is not legal on the road, so you restrain yourself from doing those things."
Interestingly, Vickers is actually a self-proclaimed fan of the Sprint Cup Series’ two annual road-course races, and even wouldn’t mind seeing another road course added to the schedule.
That’s not altogether surprising, though, considering that Vickers has in just the last few years dabbled in the FIA World Endurance Championship — a European-based sports car series that competes on road courses.
"There’s a lot of great road racing out there — Le Mans is going on this weekend, and I had the opportunity to race there," Vickers said. "That is an awesome event, but unquestionably I think our cars put on a better show on a road race. I would love to see our sport expand. Everybody talks about adding more road races and I’m all for it, but just don’t add another Watkins Glen. I love Watkins Glen, but let’s go somewhere else. Let’s go international, let’s go to other continents. If we’re going to add road racing, let’s go to new markets.
"I think NASCAR will put on the best road race that any road-race track we’ve gone to has ever seen," Vickers continued. "I love those tracks and I always kind of enjoyed them. I think the time I spent in sports cars made me like them even more."
But perhaps it’s good for everyone that the Michael Waltrip Racing driver doesn’t spend much time navigating public roads.
"As far as street driving, I’m not a fan of it — especially traffic — and I try to avoid it all together," Vickers concluded.