The No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Brian Vickers finished 26th in Saturday night’s 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 14th and appeared ready to claim another top-10 finish after a stellar run that saw the Aaron’s Dream Machine lead 30 laps. But, a cut tire coming to pit lane with 50 laps remaining sent the No. 55 into a spin. Vickers avoided wall contact but the tire issue combined with a pit lane penalty for missing the commitment cone dropped the No. 55 down two laps. Another cut tire with 35 laps remaining dropped him further down the field and he crossed the finish line 26th. The No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine team will enjoy an off weekend before returning to action April 26 at Richmond International Raceway.
Some high (and low) lights of the Southern 500:
· Started 14th and finished 26th
· Led 30 laps
· Spun on pit lane when he cut a tire with 50 laps remaining
· Commitment cone violation because of the spin dropped him down a lap.
· A cut tire with 30 laps to go forced an extra stop.
VICKERS: “We had a decent car. On one run we took two tires and the thing drove better than it did when we had four tires and I don’t know why. We were okay out front and I’m sure a lot of it is just the handle. We struggled a little more in traffic than a lot of the guys just kind of up on top of the track. The guys did a really good job making the car better all night. I think we had at least a top-10 car, maybe a top-five and if the cards would have been played right maybe even a win. Obviously, that one time we took two and stayed there. When we got four we couldn’t stay there. I don’t know why that is, but I think we’re making progress. We weren’t as good tonight as we’ve been, but we were decent. I think we learned a lot it’s just very frustrating. Everyone on this team did a great job with the car and made the car better all weekend. Billy (Scott, crew chief) called a really good race. The pit guys did a great job in the pits. Really proud of the whole Aaron’s Toyota team -- they did a good job.”
(Credit to MWR PR for the post race recap)