Hendrick Motorsports

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Vickers Finding Rhythm with GMAC Racing

JOLIET, Ill. (July 8, 2004) – During the last seven NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races dating back to May 15 at Richmond, Va., driver Brian Vickers and the GMAC Racing team have recorded five top-15 results, including top-10 showings in two of the last three events (Brooklyn, Mich., and Daytona Beach, Fla.).

The performance of the No. 25 Chevrolets during that stretch has garnered an average finish of 14.14.  In the seven events prior to Richmond, the team’s average result was 22.85.

After departing the season-opener at Daytona ranked 39th in the NEXTEL Cup standings, Vickers and GMAC Racing closed out the first half of the 2004 schedule with a ninth-place finish there Saturday night, vaulting the team to 19th in points—a gain of 20 positions over the past 16 races.

“I like the direction we’re headed and feel good with the momentum we’ve built over the last couple months,” Vickers said.  “The qualifying efforts lately have been good and the race finishes are starting to reflect the progress we’ve made.

“We’ve met a few of our goals so far—the pole at Richmond being one.  It’s been somewhat of a slow process getting to the level we’re at now and it’s still going to take time to get where we know we can be.”

Sunday’s 267-lap scramble at Chicagoland Speedway will mark the fifth event of the NEXTEL Cup season at a 1.5-mile track.  In the four previous races—Las Vegas; Atlanta; Fort Worth, Texas; and Concord, N.C.—the No. 25 team has recorded qualifying efforts of third, second, 13th, and fifth, respectively.

This season, the best finish for GMAC Racing at a 1.5-mile circuit came in April at Texas Motor Speedway, where Vickers placed 12th.

The 20-year-old driver says the team will go into the second half of the 36-race schedule with familiar objectives in mind—building consistency and momentum.

“Personally, my goals haven’t changed and probably won’t,” he said.  “Right now, we’re working toward being more consistent.  We’ll take the top-15 finishes and move on to top-10s and so on down the line.

“Everything will fall into place if we continue to work on our consistency.  I know it.”

GMAC Racing will field Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 2547 this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.  The car was last used to compete June 13 at Pocono Raceway, where Vickers qualified second and finished 13th.

Following Sunday’s Tropicana 400, GMAC Racing will spend Monday and Tuesday (July 12-13) testing Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for next month’s Brickyard 400.  The session will mark Vickers’ first-ever laps around the famed 2.5-mile oval.

GMAC Racing crew member Chris Spaulding will visit his home state when NASCAR rolls into Joliet this weekend.

Spaulding, who provides engineering support at the shop and handles catch-can duties on race days, hails from nearby Gurnee.