Can Brian Vickers Pull a Fast One at Richmond?

Tom ThomasonCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2009

BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 16:  Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2009 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

If you went back to the beginning of the season you would think that Brian Vickers didn't have a prayer in Hell to make the chase. After getting involved in a wreck with Dale Jr and finishing 39th,the future looked bleak.

Now, with just one week left before the Chase, he looks unstopabble. He has 12 top ten's, 4 top five's and one win. He also has an outstanding six poles. He's been consistent and patient. He is only 20 points outside of the chase,17 points ahead of Kyle Busch.
The bad news is that Richmond is not one of his better tracks. In ten races he has only one top 10 with one pole. He has an average finish of 27th, while leading only  53 laps of 3,895 laps completed.

On the other hand, the man who is right there with him trying to get the last spot in the chase? Kyle Busch.Who just happens to be great at Richmond. With an average finish of 6.1, seven top 10's and seven top 5's, Kyle Busch is the favorite to win this weekends race. To make things worse for Vickers, Busch won the last race at Richmond in may.

Vickers also has to hope one of the drivers in front of him stumbles. But, which one? Matt Kenseth? Maybe. Kenseth has an average finish of 16.8 with one win. He also has 9 top ten's and three top five's. The good news is that Kenseth is only 20 points ahead. A small enough number to seem surmountable.

Next in line. Greg Biffle and mark martin. Both are about 50 points ahead of the vickster. After that it gets a little more complicated. Vickers pretty much knows that there is only one way to guarantee entry to the chase. Win.

Vickers said; "Pretty much go there and win the race. That's not necessarily the only way to get in the Chase, but that's really how we're going to gain the most amount of points."

Regardless of whether Vickers makes it or not, he and his team have made great progress.They have been white hot in the last eight races scoring the most points with 1,205.

 Not only are they running great, they are working together to overcome adversity with great team work. After it looked like they were out of contention Sunday night with rear axle problems, the team worked together and go the car back on the lead lap.

So even though Richmond isn't Vickers best  track,there is no denying his momentum. And in Nascar, momentum can be just the edge you need.