NASCAR’s 2009 Top 12

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Welcome race fans to my NASCAR racing blog. Last year I did a review of the top 12, and I thought I’d do the same this year. One driver a day, hopefully. I’ll start today with twelfth place, Brian Vickers.  I’m armed with NASCAR Scene’s supplement, my Complete Guide to The Chase For The Sprint Cup.

Brian entered The Chase in eighth. He was rated as the biggest underdog in The Chase. When Toyota came into Sprint Cup racing in 2007, Brian was there with his brand new team, the #83 Red Bull Racing team. He struggled, as did most Toyota teams.  But this year, he makes his first appearance in the Chase.

Brian shares the series lead in poles with Mark Martin, with six poles this year. He won the race at Michigan in August, to seed him ahead of those with no wins to start the Chase in eighth.

However, 2009 was not the year to win for Brian. His best finish in The Chase was eleventh, which he did three times.  First in the Chase opener at New Hampshire and not again until Martinsville, followed by Talladega. Next highest was the second race at Dover, where he finished eighteenth.

At Kansas he finished 37th, putting him in last place. Auto Club Speedway was next, and Brian is good at 1.5 and 2 mile tracks. But the best he could do in Fontana was 29th. And 34th at Lowes, 26th at Texas, and 20th at the last race at Homestead-Miami. At the one mile track in Phoenix, he finished 38th.

Brian was a surprise, getting into the Chase. And was a long-shot to win the Championship. His team improves each year. He has to get better in the last ten races to have a shot at the Title. Something Jimmy Johnson has down pat. He did get into the Chase, however, so he has some momentum for 2010.

Tomorrow, I’ll look at 11th place finisher, Carl Edwards.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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