Vickers Bounces Back, Tops Busch Testing
Driving a back-up No. 5 GMAC/CARQUEST Auto Parts Chevrolet after crashing his primary car on the first night of testing, Vickers was caught on the unofficial stopwatches with a lap of 181.537 mph around the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
¿Testing obviously has its ups and downs,¿ said the 19-year-old Vickers. ¿The ups would be that we¿re running pretty good and we¿re happy with this car. The downs would be that I stuck a new car in the fence.
A native of Thomasville, N.C., Vickers considers Lowe¿s Motor Speedway his home track.
¿I used to come here as a kid and chase the drivers around the garage area to get autographs. I even used to race go-karts on the little track behind the speedway,¿ Vickers noted. ¿I¿m really looking forward to racing here at night. The lights add a little bit of excitement and speed. I think it makes the cars look faster and it makes them feel faster.¿
Two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, who was fastest on the unofficial stopwatches Monday evening, was second fastest at 180.168 mph in the No. 2 Chevrolet. 1992 NASCAR Busch Series champion Joe Nemechek was third fastest at 180.168 mph with David Stremme next at 180.132 mph in the No. 1 Dodge.
¿We all like night racing,¿ said Mike Wallace who was fifth fastest at 179. 736 mph in the No. 4 Chevrolet. ¿The race track has more grip at night and I think you¿ll see a better race.¿
Casey Atwood echoed Wallace¿s sentiments about night racing and even went one step further.
¿I¿ve always enjoyed night racing,¿ said Atwood, who cut his racing teeth under the lights at the fairgrounds track in Nashville, Tenn. ¿It¿s more exciting for everyone. The fans like it better and it¿s cooler for the drivers, so hopefully one day everybody will race at night.¿
The caution flag was never unfurled as the six-hour testing session was run without incident. The 10 p.m. checkered flag brought an end to on-track activity prior to the start of UAW-GM Quality 500 Week on Wednesday, Oct. 8.
Good seats are still available for the ¿Little Trees¿ 300 starting at just $17. Call 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
The top-10 unofficial speeds:
1. Brian Vickers, 181.537; 2. Ron Hornaday, 180.409; 3. Joe Nemechek, 180.168; 4. David Stremme, 180.132; 5. Mike Wallace, 179.736; 6. Jason Keller, 179.718; 7. Scott Wimmer, 178.442; 8. Tim Fedewa, 176.754; 9. Casey Atwood, 176.638; 10. Kasey Kahne, 176.442.