Kansas – Post Race Report
Vickers Preserves 31st for FedEx Racing Team in Kansas
Brian Vickers finished 31st in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, soldiering on after contact with the wall damaged the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry enough to require two extra pit stops for repairs but still running when the checkered flag was waved. Like every other driver, Vickers was racing on a newly-resurfaced Kansas Speedway mile-and-a-half track for the first time in the Gen 6 car. His practice and qualifying sessions had shown consistency and stability so Vickers, again substituting for Denny Hamlin, was optimistic after qualifying in 16th position, with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch starting from pole and fifth on the grid respectively. The first half of the race saw a flurry of cautions providing crew chief Darian Grubb plenty of opportunities to try and loosen up a tight handling car. However, following a green flag pit stop on lap 165 for four tires and a left rear track bar adjustment, Vickers returned to the track for 10 laps, only to bring out a caution after hitting the wall hard coming off turn two with significant harm to the right side of his FedEx Freight Toyota. "I just lost it off of turn two," Vickers said. "I hit the right side pretty hard and something broke in the steering. We had to pit to take a look because the car wasn't holding straight, not even down the straightaway." There was another caution on lap 181 and the #11 FedEx team pitted to continue working on the damage. With 80 laps to go Vickers was scored two laps down in 31st but couldn't drive the car fast enough to maintain minimum speed so they pitted again to try and fix the steering problem. Vickers returned to the track and reported the steering was better, his only consolation the fact that teammate Matt Kenseth took the win as the FedEx Freight car came home 31st, 10 laps down. "The FedEx Freight team worked hard all day to try and get the car better during pit stops, but it seemed like we never could get a good handle of the track," said Vickers. "After the third or fourth pit stop, the car got really loose and I hit the wall, all but ending our day. But the guys did their jobs and got me back out on the track." NASCAR returns to action at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 27.