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GMAC Racing Finishes Fourth at New Hampshire

  • Jul 20, 2003

LOUDON, N.H. (July 20, 2003) – The train known as the GMAC Racing team keeps rolling along without delay.

Based upon Saturday’s result at New Hampshire International Speedway, you would never know that Brian Vickers had never competed at the 1.058-mile oval in his career. After rain washed out Friday’s qualifying session, Vickers started the New England 200 from the sixth position, but that would not last long.

Once the green flag dropped, it took Vickers only 20 laps to steer the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet into the third position, and by Lap 50 Vickers moved into second place before a caution flag slowed the race on Lap 62.

The caution period was the first opportunity for teams to visit the pits for adjustments, allowing the GMAC team to take four fresh tires, fuel, a wedge adjustment and an air-pressure change to help loosen the handling of the No. 5 Chevrolet.

Racing resumed on Lap 68 with Vickers in third, where he would remain for the next 50 laps until he once again moved into second on Lap 120. As the front three cars pulled away from the rest of the field, Vickers continued to run lap times as fast as the leader until the fourth caution flag waved on Lap 145 when all of the lead-lap cars pitted.

With Vickers still fighting a tight race car, crew chief Lance McGrew called for a four-tire change and track bar adjustment. Unfortunately, several of the other lead lap cars opted for track position and took just two fresh tires, which relegated Vickers to sixth on the Lap 150 restart.

It was apparent that the GMAC Chevrolet was faster than the most of the cars in front of Vickers, but as a result of two caution flags on Laps 151 and 162, he could not get into a rhythm. But, on the Lap 166 restart, the 19-year-old quickly turned up the heat and began running the fastest lap times on the track before capturing the fourth-place position on Lap 183.

During the remaining 17 laps, Vickers made a valiant effort to catch the third-place car of Matt Kenseth before the checkered flag waved. However, those efforts did not pay off as GMAC Racing settled for fourth—their seventh consecutive top-10 finish.

David Green, driver of the No. 37 entry, earned the victory at New Hampshire, his second in the Busch Series this season.

Saturday’s finish bumped Vickers and the GMAC team one position higher in the championship chase, where they now rest in third, just 66 points behind Green, who regained the lead with his performance at NHIS.

Vickers and company will look to extend their hot streak on Saturday, July 26 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Live coverage of the 250-lap event will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC and MRN Radio.

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