Monday, August 15, 2011

Red Bull Rundown: Kahne, Vickers Unable to Tackle the Lefts and Rights of The Glen

Kasey Kahne makes time to sign for a fan at WGI.
Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

After Sunday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen was rescheduled for Monday morning due to rain, the Red Bull Racing Team was either glad to have more time to strategize or disappointed that they couldn't just get it over with. Most likely it was the latter.

After all, neither Kasey Kahne nor Brian Vickers has had the best luck at the 2.3-mile road course. Kahne’s best career-finish at the track was 14th and Vickers 8th.

Going into Sunday’s race, Kahne seemed unsure of the team’s performance. “I felt like we made a decent lap, just not a lot of speed,” said Kahne following his qualifying run. “I didn’t really go that fast, but the lap seemed alright. It just feels like we have a pretty decent car, but I’m not really that quick so I guess we’ve just got to pick it up for tomorrow’s race.”

Not seeming to struggle with speed, Kahne’s No. 4 Red Bull Toyota had moved into 6th position by lap 30 with teammate Vickers’s No. 83 Red Bull Toyota right in front of him in 5th. Kahne started the race from 18th and Vickers from 20th.

Both Red Bull drivers were running within the top-10 multiple times throughout the day, but at a track where pit strategy is a determining factor in success, neither driver was able to hold on to their top-10 position until the end. Kahne finished 26th and Vickers was able to finish ahead of his teammate in 18th.

Although there’s not much to discuss in terms of the race itself, it was definitely a significant day for at least half of the Red Bull Team in terms of the point standings. While Vickers remained in 28th, Kahne lost a devastating four spots, falling from 15th to 19th and moving even further away from a spot in the Chase.

With perhaps one of their most difficult tracks behind them, the Red Bull Racing Team now looks ahead to Michigan, a track where both drivers have had success. Kahne and Vickers have both visited victory lane at the track.

Kahne has nabbed one victory, two poles and six top-5 and top-10 finishes in 15 races. In his 13 starts at Michigan, Vickers has one win, three poles, two top-5 and eight top-10 finishes.

Vickers’s last career win came at Michigan in August 2009, the same race where teammate Kahne started from the pole.

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