The yellow flag made several appearances at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday during the 2013 Camping World RV Sales 301, and it was Brian Vickers who managed to navigate through those multiple cautions to capture the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.
Fox Sports: NASCAR had the tweet as Vickers crossed the finish line:
Vickers made it back to victory lane for Michael Waltrip Racing for the first time in 75 races, taking over the lead on Lap 287 and withstanding the green-white-checkered finish to take home the victory in New Hampshire.
NASCAR's official account had this tweet for the winner as he outlasted a strong field to capture a huge win for driver and crew:
As noted by ESPN's Matt Willis, Vickers had struggled to consistently be toward the top of the final race leaderboards before his win on Sunday:
Vickers pulled away from Tony Stewart around the second turn on the late restart, and Stewart looked to run out of gas before he could give Vickers a run for his money on the final two laps. The winner increased his lead and crossed the line a little more than a half-second faster than Kyle Busch, who finished second.
Jeff Burton, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola rounded out the top five. Jimmie Johnson, who started in the 43rd position, would finish sixth.
Full 2013 New Hampshire 300 Results
|14||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|16||Martin Truex Jr.|
|24||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|34||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
*Visit NASCAR.com for results and race times.
We should have known early on that there would be plenty of chances for the field to regroup if a mistake was made.
As noted by NASCAR on ESPN, the drivers had barely been given the green flag to start the race when the yellow flag came out:
Cautions dominated the action for the majority of the early laps, as the drivers had a hard time keeping their cars tight in turns where another car was in close proximity.
The turns gave the field all kinds of trouble on Sunday, as you can see with this tweet from NASCAR's official account:
Danica Patrick, who finished 37th, was visibly upset when AJ Allmendinger caused her to spin out and lose some valuable ground. As you can see in this tweet from Motor Racing Network, Patrick had some choice words about getting bumped.
Patrick misread the break coming around a turn later in the race, dinging boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Travis Kvapil. NASCAR's account had this tweet with footage of Patrick's miscue.
The cautions allowed those who might have lost a step to regain it when the pace car came out, and that includes Johnson, who worked and weaved his way from dead last to sixth by the end of the race.
Tony Stewart was the man to beat through the final two-thirds of the race, but it was Vickers who made the most of the caution to get the jump on Stewart at the line. NASCAR Stats had the tweet as Vickers took control:
A late caution threatened to turn the tables back on the late leader, but Vickers navigated his car on the high side during a three-wide trip on the restart and pulled away when Stewart ran out of gas just before he could make a legitimate push at the win.
Updated 2013 Sprint Cup Standings
Driver and Team
Jimmy Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports
Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip Racing
Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing
Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing
|Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing|
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing
Brad Keselowski, Penske Racing
|Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports|
Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports
*Complete standings found at ESPN.com.
After a one-week hiatus, NASCAR will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard, otherwise known as the Brickyard 400.
Johnson is a four-time winner of the event and the defending champion, so you can bet all eyes will be on Hendrick Motorsports when the action picks up again in Indiana on July 28.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.