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DATE News (chronologically)
02/21/09
nassprint
Q&A with Brian Vickers  
Brian Vickers celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway
Jason Smith/Getty Images
Do you feel good about starting on the pole for Sunday's race?

"It always feels good to be on the pole and take the trophy home.  Most importantly we start at the front of the field on Sunday and probably more important than that is the pit selection, that's probably the biggest advantage - that's really what you're fighting for in my mind on Friday." 

Where did your car seem to work better on the track?  Can you take us for a lap around the track?

"It stuck the best all the way around.  There's times when you have a car that works better on entry, middle or exit.  During practice we really fought tight on entry to middle and were okay on exit, maybe a little loose.  We made some adjustments at the end of practice and we weren't sure how they were going to turn out to try to make it turn better in through the center and still keep or improve the drive off on exit.  I'd say we fixed all three because the car was fantastic in qualifying pretty much every turn all the way around the complete lap even coming down to the green.  It got down to the corner good, to the white line, stayed there and when I got back on the gas I never had to check up.  It was just a perfect lap and the car handled amazing all the way around.  In this sport - in the Sprint Cup Series - you have to just about have a perfect car and a perfect lap to sit on the pole.  I've had some really good cars and some really good laps and been fifth, much less second.  That's why it's a nail bitter.  Even when you lay down what you think is an amazing lap, I don't count it until the last car crosses the line because the competition is so strong from a driver perspective and from a team perspective.  It really takes everything to sit on the pole in this series."

Can you win a battle with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the forum of public opinion?

"I didn't wreck (Dale Earnhardt) Jr., I wrecked Jimmie (Johnson) and Jimmie hit Junior.  Yes I did call both of those guys.  I called them right after the race.  I don't feel that I'm in a battle with Junior.  I feel like maybe the fans see that and the media create that but there is not media battle that I am partaking in with Junior.  What has happened so far and I've been pleasantly surprised by - and in a way I have to be honest with you I almost have to apologize to the fans - I just assumed that obviously with Junior being the most popular person by far and away that this was going to be my fault no matter what happened.

Everyone was going to side with him.  The fans as a whole have been very supportive and really judged the situation based on the actions and not on anyone's popularity.  I don't really read a lot of racing news but there's been a lot of it sent to me this week.  I saw polls where 90 percent of the fans said it was his fault and 60 percent of them claim to be his fans which has really been a shift in popular opinion from what I've seen in the past.  It's really changed a lot.  I think the media handled the situation a lot different than I suspected and I have to thank everyone for that.  I've been pleasantly surprised.  There's been no battle between Junior and myself.  It was just one incident at one race.  It was last week and as far as I'm concerned we're at California now and we're going to move on.  If I were to let every incident that happened on the race track bother me I would be living one miserable life, that's for sure.  There's 43 drivers out there with a lot of different agendas."

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