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GMAC Racing Captures Another Top-10 Finish

  • Jun 16, 2003

SPARTA, Ky. (June 16, 2003) – The GMAC Racing team has started to develop a habit—albeit a good habit. Neither the team, nor the driver ever gives up, no matter what challenges they may be faced with, and recently they’ve been rewarded for their hard work.

Brian Vickers started 19th in Saturday night’s NASCAR Busch Series Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway and quickly advanced into 12th place by Lap 20, despite the handling of car being just a little loose entering the turns. By Lap 58 Vickers had moved into 10th and was consistently running lap times as fast or faster than the leader.

Race leader Bobby Hamilton, Jr. set a torrid pace during the opening laps of the race, lapping half the field by Lap 60. Green-flag pit stops began to cycle through on Lap 63 and, three laps later on Lap 66, Vickers brought the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to help the car’s handling getting into the corners.

The first caution flag of the night did not wave until Lap 85 and, on Lap 87, GMAC Racing elected to pit again whereby the team pulled a spring rubber from the right-rear, changed four tires, added fuel and made a track-bar adjustment. Racing resumed on Lap 90 with Vickers in 10th.

No matter what the team and Vickers tried to do, they just could not seem to get the car tightened up entering the corners. By Lap 139, Vickers had slid back into 12th and was running as the last car on the lead lap. When the caution flag waved on Lap 144, he pitted again and the team took their time making changes, knowing they had nothing to lose. Still under the caution on Lap 149, the GMAC Chevy pitted once more to re-adjust the steering wheel—something rarely seen during the course of a race.

On the Lap 153 restart there was an accident involving several lapped cars, one of which ran into the side of the No. 5 Chevy. Vickers pitted on Lap 157 to allow the team to survey the right-side door damage, and fortunately, the damage was cosmetic and the team repaired it by placing tape on the door.

Still running as the last car on the lead lap, Vickers pitted on Lap 160 whereby the team proceeded to unhook the left-rear “Limiter Chain,” with hopes of curing the car’s handling problem.

Another restart and quick caution-flag sequence occurred on Laps 164 and 165. With nothing to lose, the team pitted under the caution flag on Lap 169 for four fresh tires and fuel. Vickers restarted the race on Lap 171 in ninth and, once he cleared the pesky lapped traffic, he took off.

One by one, Vickers continued to pass cars and seemed destined for another top-five finish, but ran out of laps despite tracking down fifth-place finisher Scott Wimmer by almost four-tenths of a second per lap.

Vickers sixth-place finish dropped him one position in the Busch Series standings (now sixth), however, he moved 26 points closer to leader David Green. GMAC Racing trails by just 149 points in the championship race.

The GMAC team will get a well-deserved break this weekend when the Busch Series schedule takes a break before returning to action on Sunday, June 29 at The Milwaukee Mile. Live coverage of the GNC 250 can be seen on FX and heard on MRN Radio beginning at 2 p.m. ET.