Good news and bad news for the Mooresville, N.C.-based Red Bull Racing Friday in Sonoma CA.
Scott Speed returned home to try in qualify for the Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Speed was third from last to go out and his long wait to quality got even longer when the No. 36 Tommy Baldwin entry blew its engine coming out of Turn 10.
Speed started out of hte pits, but NASCAR stopped him. After getting the green light from NASCAR, Speed took to the 1.99-mile track.
Speed had a qualifying run that would have put him solidly in the top-10, possibly the top-five, until he came out of Turn Nine and went off course in Turn 10.
He did a great job of saving the car, but it wasn't enough. The next car out, the No. 02 of Brandon Ash, put up a better time than Speed and pushed Speed out of the field.
Speed has missed his third race of 2009. Earlier this season at Darlington, Speed failed to quality his No. 82 Toyota, but still raced in Joe Nemechek's No. 87.
Now, that leaves those options once again. A man with a loaded background in road racing is not racing in the race.
There are a few options: Nemechek's No. 87 is locked in the race, also the No. 66 of Dave Blaney is also in the field and both are unsponsored rides that could easily pick up sponsorship with Speed behind the wheel.
There is also Brandon Ash and his self owned No. 02 team, which is a Chevy, but is starting last anyway.
If the team opted to go to a back-up car and use the No. 82 Toyota that Speed tried to qualify for the race—which looked very fast in practice and qualifying until the mis-hap—it wouldn't affect their starting position.
It could be a win-win situation. I personally hope Speed picks up something, I would hate to see him not at the track.
Vickers grabs the pole
Speed must have gave his teammate Brian Vickers pointers before qualifying—Vickers best qualifying at a road course before Friday was 18th.
This is Vickers fourth pole of the year, eighth top 10 qualifying run of the year, and ninth career pole.
Vickers sits in 16th in points and could use a great day in Sonoma to push towards the top 12 in points. With a few solid runs, in two or three weeks, Vickers could be sitting in Chase contention.
Vickers is showing why Red Bull giving him a new contract was no fluke with back-to-back poles.
From a pit stop in Times Square in New York City, to the Coors Light Pole Award in Sonoma CA, to the Chase come Richmond?
This season it has been a tale of two Bulls. Vickers sits 16th in points and Speed sits 36th and doesn't look to be getting better yet as it showed in qualifying.
Here's to a good Sunday for Brian Vickers.