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GMAC Racing Earns Another Top-10 Finish at Darlington

  • Mar 18, 2003

DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 18, 2003) – The GMAC Racing team picked up where they left off two weeks ago.  A one-day delay in the running of the Darlingtonraceway.com 200 at Darlington Raceway yielded another top-10 finish for Brian Vickers and the team as they finished seventh.

It didn’t take long for Vickers to guide his No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet toward the front, moving into third by Lap 25.  Just 17 laps later, the No. 20 entry of Mike Bliss spun and hit the wall in Turn 3 just in front of Vickers, but he managed to escaped the incident without any damage.

During the caution period, the team elected to pit for four fresh Goodyear Eagles and restarted the race on in the seventh position.

The GMAC team, who started the event on the outside of Row 3, provided a good setup and the 19-yeard-old driver did the rest, managing his tires and keeping his nose clean.  By Lap 74, the No. 5 Chevy had moved into fourth and was keeping pace with the leaders.

As the last round of green-flag pit stops began to cycle through, Vickers was able to earn five extra bonus points for leading Lap 122. 

The next lap, Vickers came to pit road for the final time as the team put together another strong pit stop, sending the No. 5 back to the track in sixth with less than 25 laps remaining.

While running in fifth with nine laps to go, Vickers radioed to his crew that he thought something was wrong with the engine.  He switched to a backup ignition box with hopes of repairing the problem to no avail.

Vickers spent the last eight laps nursing his Monte Carlo to the finish, earning seventh place in the process—the team’s second top-10 result of the season.  The performance vaulted GMAC Racing three positions to 14th in the championship standings, just seven points behind 10th-place Kevin Grubb and 157 back of Busch Series leader Todd Bodine.

The Busch Series will return to action on Saturday, March 22 at the world’s fastest half-mile track—Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway—for the running of the Channellock 250.

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