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GMAC Racing Catches Piece of ‘Big One’ at Talladega

  • Apr 07, 2003

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 7, 2003) – At Talladega Superspeedway it’s not a question of if the big accident happens, but rather when. Unfortunately, Brian Vickers and the GMAC Racing team were caught up in the “Big One,” which involved 20 cars on Lap 9 of Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series event.

While running in seventh-place, the No. 21 entry of Johnny Sauter cut a tire and spun to the inside of the speedway. Driving the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevy, Vickers was two cars behind Sauter, and when the car in front of him slowed to avoid the accident, Vickers had nowhere to go and ran into the back of Lyndon Amick’s No. 32.

With the race under the caution, the team spent several laps trying to assess the damage as Vickers rode around the 2.66-mile track. The No. 5 Chevy sustained significant damage to the nose and came to pit road on Lap 15.

In the pits, the team placed tape on the nose to help with the aerodynamics of the car. One lap later, Vickers pitted again and the team attached a piece of sheet metal to the front-end to help remedy the problem.

The race restarted on Lap 19 with Vickers in 23rd and, despite the damage, he moved into 13th on Lap 28. As he picked off positions, the team had concerns about the oil and water temperatures that continued to climb.

On Lap 38, Vickers came to pit road to allow the team to put water into the car with hopes of dropping the temperatures, but one of the hoses from the radiator came loose causing hot water to shower the crew. Vickers immediately shut down the car and the team pushed him back into the garage to change the radiator on Lap 45.

With the work complete, the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevy re-entered the race on Lap 59 in 24th, 17 laps behind the leader. Vickers completed the race and finished 23rd. Despite the result, the team was able to hold steady in the championship standings and currently sit in 12th.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who also drives the No. 8 Chevy in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, grabbed the Busch Series win at Talladega Superspeedway.


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