Red Bull Toyotas 1-2 in Cup qualifying

Brian Vickers

With rumors the team may switch to Chevy next year, and needing to give Toyota some good PR, Brian Vickers led a Team Red Bull Racing sweep of the front row when he took the pole for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 at Chicagoland Speedway with a lap of 184.162 mph (according to the NASCAR T&S display) with his teammate Scott Speed outside the front row.

Vickers captured his fifth pole of the 2009 season and 10th of his Sprint Cup career with the run Thursday night around the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway.

"It was an amazing lap, I didn’t expect it to be that quick," Vickers said. "I knew that we had a really good car and it was just up to me to mess up or finish the job. The Red Bull guys back at the shop did a tremendous job building and putting together a great car right out of the gate. From the time we unloaded, we were really good."

Speed, the final car out during the session and who had to qualify on time, did so in impressive fashion with a lap of 182.958 mph.

“Both of our cars obviously ran well…going into qualifying, I knew we had a chance for a top-five qualifying spot, but you also have to be cognizant of making the race," Speed said.

Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five.

Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott, David Reutimann and Marcos Ambrose completed the first ten qualifiers.

Top-2 Quotes

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 1st
How was your qualifying lap?
"It was an amazing lap, I didn't expect it to be that quick. I knew that we had a really good car and it was just up to me to mess up or finish the job. The Red Bull guys back at the shop did a tremendous job building and putting together a great car right out of the gate. From the time we unloaded, we were really good."

How were you able to get your car to hold that well for your lap?
"We started out with a really good car this morning. Ryan (Pemberton, crew chief) and all the guys at Red Bull, I think we unloaded a great package but we were lacking a component and that was drive off. We almost went one direction and that red flag that lasted so long — Ryan (Pemberton) got in the truck with engineers and really worked some stuff out on the simulator. So, we decided to go a different direction to help the drive off and man they nailed it. From that moment forward I knew we had a great car and a great drive off which is about the only component we were lacking when we unloaded. Everybody has done their part and maintained it since."

Are you getting frustrated with winning so many poles but not getting to victory lane?
"Absolutely, I'm very frustrated to not be in victory lane. Obviously, sitting on a pole this year, or poles , was one of our goals — winning races was the other. If I had to pick between the two, I'd pick wins over poles but we'll take whatever we can get and we're really proud of the poles that we've sat on this year. We've had the cars during the race to win, we just haven't had
all the pieces come together. I think everyone knows to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race is very difficult, it takes a lot of talent, almost zero mistakes through 400, 500 or 600 miles, and also some luck. There have been races this year that we've lost with a car to win due to our own merit and our own mistakes, whether it be on pit road, the driver or engine-related. Most of them we've lost due to someone else's mistakes or bad luck. We had a car to win at Charlotte and a couple guys gambled that didn't run well all day, they stayed out, the rain came and they won. It's not much you can do about that. We've made the best decisions we could with the knowledge we had at the time and we ended up fifth."

Are you glad to see your teammate starting alongside you on the front row?
"I'm really proud of the efforts by the entire Red Bull Racing Team. I knew that (Scott Speed) draw — going out last with the sun going down — the time qualifying was going to be that was going to help tremendously. We knew they had a good car in practice. They made some changes throughout practice that seemed to really help them and they seemed fast. Given those two factors, Scott (Speed) tends to — if he does have a strength it's qualifying and that's where you see it most. Knowing that he's going out last on a really fast race track — to be honest we were concerned because we knew he was going to be quick. We wanted him to do well, just not better than us."

SCOTT SPEED, No. 82 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 2nd

How was your qualifying lap?
"Both of our cars obviously ran well since we unloaded, so going into qualifying I knew we had a shot certainly for a top -five spot. But, you also have to be a little cognizant of making the race. Honestly, after the lap Brian (Vickers) threw up there it was really no point to try to push it to the absolute edge. It was a solid lap. The car has been great all weekend. It's honestly easier to drive the car on the front row than it is sometimes than when you qualify 30th."

How do you balance going for the pole knowing you have to get into the race?
"If Brian (Vickers) would have posted a .60 or .70, I think we would have tried to push it a little bit harder. After that lap there's no need to try to get the pole, you just want to make the race. It's always in the back of your mind but sometimes those laps that you take a little easier are a little faster anyways. It's probably not that big of a deal."

Did you make any race runs in practice?
"Towards the end we made a solid eight lap run and it was really competitive. If we do happen to get rained out tomorrow and we have to start the race with what we ended practice with I feel pretty reasonably confident that we'll be alright."


1 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 184.162 29.322 Leader
2 82 Scott Speed* Toyota Red Bull 182.958 29.515 -0.193
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 182.217 29.635 -0.313
4 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 182.162 29.644 -0.322
5 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios 182.100 29.654 -0.332
6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 181.873 29.691 -0.369
7 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet National Guard Patriot Academy / DuPont 181.653 29.727 -0.405
8 21 Bill Elliott Ford Motorcraft 181.476 29.756 -0.434
9 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 181.385 29.771 -0.449
10 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota Kingsford / Clorox / Bush's Beans 181.378 29.772 -0.450
11 43 Reed Sorenson Dodge McDonald's McCafe 181.275 29.789 -0.467
12 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army 181.220 29.798 -0.476
13 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 181.220 29.798 -0.476
14 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Carquest / Kellogg's 181.050 29.826 -0.504
15 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 181.020 29.831 -0.509
16 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy 180.977 29.838 -0.516
17 6 David Ragan Ford UPS 180.959 29.841 -0.519
18 66 Dave Blaney Toyota Prism Motorsports 180.723 29.880 -0.558
19 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 180.687 29.886 -0.564
20 44 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Hunt Brothers Pizza 180.566 29.906 -0.584
21 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 180.548 29.909 -0.587
22 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 180.433 29.928 -0.606
23 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 180.367 29.939 -0.617
24 20 Joey Logano* Toyota The Home Depot 180.343 29.943 -0.621
25 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 180.312 29.948 -0.626
26 09 Mike Bliss Dodge Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 180.132 29.978 -0.656
27 98 Paul Menard Ford Sylvania / Menards 179.856 30.024 -0.702
28 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 179.790 30.035 -0.713
29 25 Brad Keselowski Chevrolet 179.635 30.061 -0.739
30 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Sears Auto Center / Valvoline 179.629 30.062 -0.740
31 187 Joe Nemechek Toyota New York City Bagel Deli 179.473 30.088 -0.766
32 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot "Back to School" 179.348 30.109 -0.787
33 17 Matt Kenseth Ford USG Sheetrock 179.348 30.109 -0.787
34 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Insignia 179.253 30.125 -0.803
35 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 179.217 30.131 -0.809
36 12 David Stremme Dodge Penske Racing 179.098 30.151 -0.829
37 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 179.033 30.162 -0.840
38 07 Casey Mears Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 179.027 30.163 -0.841
39 36 Mike Skinner Toyota Palermo's Pizza 178.838 30.195 -0.873
40 34 John Andretti Chevrolet Long John Silver's Baja Fish Tacos 178.731 30.213 -0.891
41 7 Robby Gordon Toyota Red Stag by Jim Beam / Kid Rock 178.341 30.279 -0.957
42 96 Bobby Labonte+ Ford DLP HDTV 177.276 30.461 -1.139
43 171 David Gilliland Chevrolet TRG Motorsports 177.942 30.347 -1.025
Did Not Qualify
44 64 Mike Wallace Toyota Dunham Cellars 177.643 30.398 -1.076
45 51 Dexter Bean* Dodge LiveWire Energy 177.119 30.488 -1.166
46 37 Tony Raines Dodge Long John Silver's Baja Fish Tacos 177.026 30.504 -1.182

+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie

Leave a Reply