Full Of Bull: Brian Vickers and Scott Speed Run Well In Coca-Cola 600

Ben BombergerSenior Writer IMay 26, 2009

FONTANA, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, races teammate Scott Speed, driver of the #82 Red Bull Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on February 22, 2009 in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

It was the weekend of opportunity for both Team Red Bull Toyotas, as the manufacture has fared well at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

One team (the No. 83) is competing for a Chase spot, while the other (the No. 82) is trying to claw its way back into the top 35 and a guaranteed starting spot each week.

Here is a look at how the two Red Bull teams did this weekend, as well as a look at what the next five weeks mean for each.


Brian Vickers—No. 83 Red Bull Toyota

A look back:
Vickers is definitely one of the 43 drivers on the track Monday afternoon that was hoping the sky would clear up and the Coca-Cola 600 lasted just a little bit longer.

Sitting fifth when the sky opened and the rain began to fall, Vickers and his team knew they had the equipment the compete for a win. However, once the red flag fell at Lap 227, their chances were over.

Vickers managed his second top-five of the season and fifth top-10. He moved back into 16th place in the points standings, gaining a little ground on 12th-place Mark Martin, who came home 17th.

Currently, the No. 83 Toyota is 80 points away from a Chase berth, and the rebound from the 31st-place finish at Darlington should get him back on track.

Before being tamed by the Lady in Black, Vickers had finished in the top-19 in four straight races.

If Vickers can manage to make up the gap, it would become the first time a Red Bull Toyota has done so, as well as his first trip to NASCAR's playoffs.


A look ahead:
The next five tracks for Vickers have been up and down. Vickers has a combined 43 starts between Dover, Pocono, Michigan, Infineon, and Loudon, with no Cup wins and six top-fives (14 percent).

Four of those top-fives came at Pocono, and the other two came at Michigan and Loudon.

Vickers also has 11 top-10s at the five tracks in his Cup career, with one of those coming at this week's track, Dover.


This week:
Vickers finished 13th in the May race at Dover last year, and has an average finish of 21.2 at the one-mile track.

Vickers has won at the track in Delaware in the Nationwide Series and has two top-fives and three top-10s in four Nationwide starts.

Entering Sunday's event, Vickers has led only seven laps (.002 percent) of the 3,611 laps he has run at the one-mile track, and looks to continue his charge towards Chase contention this weekend.



Scott Speed—No. 82 Red Bull Toyota


A look back: Speed is another driver that would have liked to have seen the race go a little longer. After bringing home an 18th-place finish, Speed has his No. 82 Toyota within 40 points of 35th-place and a guaranteed starting spot.

Speed, like Vickers, was glad to get past Darlington, where he first missed the race and then finished 32nd in Joe Nemechek's No. 87 Toyota. Prior to the race in South Carolina, Speed had back-to-back finishes of eighth-place at Richmond and Talladega.


A look ahead:
Although Speed has never visited the upcoming five tracks in a Cup car, he has spent some time on two of them in the Camping World Truck Series, with success.

Pocono, Infineon, and Loudon will be new places for Speed, while Dover and Michigan will provide some comfort.

Speed ran the Truck Series race last year at Michigan, finishing third and leading 17 laps.

While the Truck Series is completely different than the Cup Series, at least the rookie has spent some time turning laps.


This week:
Dover could be the place that Speed turns some heads and fights his way back into the top-35.

Last time Speed took to the banks of Dover, he took home his first checkered flag in NASCAR with a win in the Camping World Truck Series.

Speed started fourth that day and led 51 of the 200 (26 percent) laps, en route to a win in the No. 22 Truck.

If Speed can translate the "speed" he found that day in the truck into his Cup car, he could be guaranteed a starting spot the next weekend a Pocono.


Up Next:


Autism Speaks 400 — Sunday at 1:30 PM
Site: Dover, Del.
Track Length: 1-mile
Laps: 400
Race Length: 400-miles
'08 Pole Winner: Greg Biffle
'08 Race Winner: Kyle Busch

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