Hendrick Motorsports

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Restrictor Plate Momentum for Vickers

Momentum.  If you manage to catch a wave, it can carry you to one success after another – but it can also drag you down.  Momentum is fickle, just like NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing.  One day you’re up, the next you’re struggling.

Luckily for Hendrick Motorsports driver Brian Vickers, his GMAC Racing team is carrying plenty of momentum – the good kind – into Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

You see, only four NEXTEL Cup drivers have posted top-10 results in each of the last two restrictor-place races.  And yes, Vickers is one of them.

“Momentum is very important in racing, or in any sport for that matter,” said Vickers, driver of the No. 25 GMAC Chevrolets.  “There are so many variables and people involved that it takes time to get everyone in sync.

“There’s just something about the role momentum plays. Logically, you think it wouldn’t matter, but it does. Either way, it’s hard work. When you have negative momentum, it takes a ton of effort to turn it around. When you have positive momentum, you have to work hard to maintain it.”

Vickers, who posted NEXTEL Cup finishes of seventh in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February and sixth in last fall’s Talladega event, will look to keep his “positive momentum” going by also running Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race.  The extra seat time should give him a nice warm-up for Sunday’s Cup event.

The 22-year-old driver is also excited after his team rallied to a solid 13th-place finish Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.  The effort showed the never-quit attitude of the No. 25 team.

“What I really liked was the fact that no one ever gave up, everyone remained upbeat and worked hard despite us having some brake issues and being involved in an accident,” Vickers said. “To finish 13th under the conditions we did provides a lot of encouragement going to Talladega.”