Vickers To Start On Pole In Richmond Cup Race
Brian Vickers on Friday won the pole for Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.
Vickers won the pole for the Russ Friendman 400 by turning a lap at 127.131 mph. That kept him ahead of Jeff Gordon, who will start the race from the second position.
“It was a great lap,” Vickers said. “The car was unbelievable. I told the guys when I came across the line that it was a pretty good one. Whether or not it was going to be able to hold up, I wasn’t sure. I knew that myself and Jeff (Gordon) and Jimmie (Johnson) were all very close in practice — all three had really good cars. The sun popped out pretty bright when we ran our lap and I wasn’t sure if that was going to make the difference but I knew that I couldn’t ask anymore out of my car.
“The Red Bull team did a tremendous job. We didn’t unload where we wanted to be. We struggled through a lot of bad changes throughout practice, but the guys really turned it around which is difficult to do. Once that momentum starts heading in the wrong direction, it’s very difficult sometimes to turn it around. We did turn it around and we had a really good car by the end of practice and made it even better for qualifying and the lap held.”
The pole is the second of the year for Vickers – his first came at Auto Club Speedway in California in the second race of the season. He finished that race 10th.
Vickers arrived in Richmond 17th in points. He has four top-10 finishes in nine starts in 2009.
Gordon, too, was happy with his lap. Heck, he was happy with his entire day at Richmond.
“Well, today was like a different type of practice session for us,” Gordon said. “Today was unloading for the race and doing a lot in race trim. And then when you have a long practice like that you can experiment a little bit you want to be close. We actually started pretty far off, but what makes me so proud and what’s making this team so good this year is that we never gave up on them, we stuck together and by the end of practice, I felt like we really brought the car to life for the race tomorrow. And then we put it in qualifying trim and it seemed to be good right away. So the car is there, the engine, the body and the team certainly is doing just an awesome job.”
Denny Hamlin will start the race third and Martin Truex Jr. fourth.
Points-leader Jimmie Johnson will start the race 15th.
Qualifying results for Saturday night’s Russ Friedman 400 Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway:
- Brian Vickers, No. 83 Toyota
- Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Chevrolet
- Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota
- Martin Truex Jr., No. 1 Chervolet
- Jeff Burton, No. 31 Chevrolet
- Mike Bliss, No. 09 Chevrolet
- Mark Martin, No. 5 Chevrolet
- Scott Speed, No. 82 Toyota
- David Reutimann, No. 00 Toyota
- Ryan Newman, No. 39 Chevrolet
- David Stremme, No. 12 Dodge
- Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Chevrolet
- Joey Logano, No. 20 Toyota
- Kyle Busch, No.18 Toyota
- Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet
- Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevrolet
- Kurt Busch, No. 2 Dodge
- Kasey Kahne, No. 18 Dodge
- Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Chevrolet
- Greg Biffle, No. 16 Ford
- Marcos Ambrose, No. 47 Toyota
- David Ragan, No. 6 Chevrolet
- Reed Sorenson, No. 43 Dodge
- Joe Nemechek, No. 87 Toyota
- Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Chevrolet
- Dave Blaney, No. 66 Toyota
- Jamie McMurray, No. 26 Ford
- Sam Hornish Jr., No. 77 Dodge
- Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Chevrolet
- Michael Waltrip, No. 55 Toyota
- A.J. Allmendinger, No. 44 Dodge
- Elliott Sadler, No. 19 Dodge
- Paul Menard, No. 98 Ford
- David Gilliland, No. 71 Chevrolet
- Matt Kenseth, No. 17 Ford
- Robby Gordon, No. 7 Toyota
- Carl Edwards No. 99 Ford
- Jeremy Mayfield, No. 41 Toyota
- Scott Riggs, No. 36 Toyota
- Tony Raines, No. 37 Chevrolet
- Bobby Labonte, No. 96 Ford
- Casey Mears, No. 07 Chevrolet
- Todd Bodine, No. 64 Toyota
- John Andretti, No. 34 Chevrolet
- Trevor Boys, No. 106 Dodge