Brian Vickers Sonoma Preview
CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 55 RK Motors Charlotte Toyota driver Brian Vickers has a busy weekend of road course racing planned.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver will spend Friday and Saturday driving his Nationwide Series car for Joe Gibbs Racing at Road America in Wisconsin. Saturday night he’ll fly a private plane over 2,200 miles to Sonoma Raceway where he’ll drive for MWR in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race. Vickers finished fourth at Sonoma last year behind MWR teammate Clint Bowyer who won the race.
While Vickers is in Wisconsin, 2009 K&N Pro Series West Champion, Jason Bowles will practice and qualify the No. 55 Toyota. The 30-year-old, Ontario, Calif. native owns nine K&N Pro Series West victories including two at the ultra-fast road course in Sonoma, Calif. He won the 2011 Toyota Showdown at Irwindale Speedway and raced in 39 NASCAR Nationwide and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
JASON BOWLES: “I could not be more excited about an opportunity like this. They don't come along often and I’m fortunate that both Rodney Childers and (MWR Ex. Vice Pres. of Competition) Scott Miller wanted to give me this chance. I have a few laps at Sonoma, so that will help get me comfortable. I can't wait to get on the track and drive for a team the caliber of MWR. My dad is going to come up on Friday, he is the one who got me started in racing so it will be special to have him there as well. I don't think we ever dreamed 20 years ago I would end up with this kind of opportunity. But I look forward to getting the car as good as possible for Brian on Sunday and can't thank the whole MWR team enough.”
BRIAN VICKERS: “Going from one track to the other is going to be a challenge for sure, and not being able to practice at all in Sonoma. We’ve got a good base setup from last year though. We’ve done some testing and I think we will be good. Road racing the day prior will help. Being able to practice and qualify would definitely be better, though. I’ve been racing at Sonoma for nine years and it’s a great track. I’ve had some good runs there.”
• VICKERS AT SONOMA: In seven starts he has one pole, one top-five (June 2012) and has led 16 laps.
• VICKERS 2013: Five Sprint Cup starts: two with MWR (8th at Bristol & 11th at Martinsville) and three starts for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 11.
• MWR/VICKERS 2012: In eight Sprint Cup starts he scored three top-five and five top-10 finishes. He led 158 laps and had and average finish of 13.2.
• CAREER: Vickers owns 264 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. He has two wins (Talladega– 2006 and Michigan– 2009), 11 poles, 24 top-five and 63 top-10 finishes.
• THIS TIME LAST YEAR: Vickers joined MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman at the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans where the pair finished sixth in the GTE-AM class.
• BOWLES: When he isn’t racing, Bowles is an Oakley merchandise and equipment representative in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage.
NAME: Brian Vickers
HOMETOWN: Thomasville, NC
RESIDENCE: Miami & NYC