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Sep 04, 2013 - 05:34 PM
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2013 Richmond II: Brian Vickers NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Sep 04, 2013 - 05:31 PM
2013 Richmond II: Brian Vickers NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Brian Vickers would love to win Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. The No. 55 is 18th in owner points, but a win coupled with the July 14 victory in New Hampshire would likely earn the Michael Waltrip Racing team one of the two wildcard berths in the 2013 owner’s championship.


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But, Vickers is working on more than just Saturday night’s race.

He is using these final 2013 races as a jump start to the 2014 season that will see him drive the Aaron’s Toyota in every race.

VICKERS ON 2014 PREPARATION: “We go out there and do our best and we never give up. We can’t thank Aaron’s enough for coming on board and having me in the car the rest of the season and next year. That’s what this year is about, preparing for next year and that’s what we’re doing. Obviously Scott Miller (MWR executive vice president of competition) has been helping on the pit box, but we have Billy Scott (MWR engineer) who has been a phenomenal race engineer. As you know this sport has changed, there’s not one man at the top anymore and those two guys have to play an integral role in these cars. ”

WHAT INPUT WILL YOU HAVE ON SELECTING THE No. 55’s CREW CHIEF? “I certainly have a say, and I have a voice in it. They’re most definitely going to want my opinion, but my experience with most companies, the guy writing the check is the guy with the final say. And, that’s not me. I’m going to defer to them on that one. I think within the organization, as a whole, obviously in the team structure, the drivers are always going to have some input.”

POTENTIAL CREW CHIEFS: “From our standpoint, everybody is an option. MWR is a phenomenal organization with a great culture. They have a lot of depth and we want to grow that depth. You always want to try to promote from within, but no decision has been made. Right now Billy is filling his roles that he’s always fulfilled and doing an excellent job of it. He’s a great race engineer. Whether or not we change his title going into next year, we don’t know yet. Scott’s (Miller) helping – the reality is one person can’t do that job anymore. It's a combo deal. You have to have a crew chief and a race engineer and I don’t know that one job is any more important than the other, they’re just different. We have Scott and Billy doing both of those roles. What we do next is really a factor of what the group and team want, what’s best for the team and what each individual wants moving forward.”


· CHASSIS: 746 has not raced but tested by AJ Allmendinger at RIR on Aug. 20 & 21.

· PARTNER OF THE YEAR: The No. 55 will carry a special paint scheme this weekend honoring LG as its 2012 partner of the year.

· VICKERS AT RICHMOND: Vickers owns three top-10 finishes in 15 starts. He has led 53 laps on the .75-mile oval. He started second and finished 35th driving the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing this year.

· VICKERS AT MWR: In 16 races Vickers owns a victory, five top-fives, and nine top-10s driving MWR’s No. 55 Toyota.

· CAREER STATS: Vickers owns three Sprint Cup, three Nationwide and a Sprint Open victory. He’s led 1,189 laps in Sprint Cup competition. He’s won 11 Sprint Cup poles. Vickers has started 274 Sprint Cup races and 142 Nationwide. He is the 2003 Nationwide Series Champion.

· MWR in 2013: MWR cars have combined for two wins (Truex Jr. – Sonoma; Vickers – Loudon-1), 19 top-five and 32 top-10 finishes. The three-car team has led 589 laps and won one pole award (M. Martin – Phoenix-1). Bowyer is second in points trailing Jimmie Johnson by 28 and clinched a spot in the Chase at Bristol. Truex with one win, holds the second wild card position with one race remaining. The No. 55 is battling for a spot in the owner’s championship.

· NO. 55 in 2014: Aaron’s, Inc. announced Aug. 13 it had reached a multi-year agreement to sponsor Vickers in the No. 55. Vickers has raced the No. 55 on a part-time basis the last two seasons for MWR posting several impressive performances including his third career victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14. Beginning in 2014, he'll pilot the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine with a fresh new paint scheme. Aaron’s will sponsor each race during the length of the agreement.

· No. 55 CREW

Acting Crew Chief & Ex. VP of Competition - Scott Miller
Engineer - Billy Scott
Car Chief/7thman - Steve Channing
Front Changer - Ryan Langley
Rear Changer - Shannon Myers
Front Carrier - Chris Hall
Rear Carrier - Mark Kennerly
Jackman - Tony Cardamone
Gas man - Brian Dheel
2nd Gas Man - Kelly Johnson
Spotter – Ty Norris
2nd Engineer - Scott McDougall
Tires - Kevin White
Eng.Tuner - Denny Chandler (TRD)
Shocks - Mike (Nook) McCarville
Front Mechanic - Jacen Johns
Interior Mech. - David Cropps
Truck Driver - Glenn Shano
2nd Truck Driver - John Murphy
Pit Coach - Greg Miller
Dir. Race Eng. - Chad Walter
Ex. VP Engineering - Tom German

· SOCIAL STOP: Make MWR’s “Social Stop” your second screen to follow all the racing and social media action when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this weekend. MWR’s “Social Stop” goes live race morning allowing fans to view information from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube all on one page. Twitter feeds from MWR drivers, media members and NASCAR fans will populate the page. Visitors can also interact with fellow race fans and answer poll questions on the page. Visit www.facebook.com/michaelwaltripracing or www.MichaelWaltripRacing.com/social.

· AARON’S: Aaron's carries only the best brand names in furniture electronics appliances and computers. It's really easy to get started owning at Aaron's - you are preapproved for up to $2000 in merchandise without needing credit. Aaron's is having a great promotion - you get 50% off any mattress set when you lease or purchase any bedroom group.

· INSIDER PROGRAM: MWR launched its Insider Program in 2013 that offers all race fans sponsor discounts, specials on merchandise, exclusive pictures and video content plus fan giveaways throughout the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Fans can access the MWR Insider Program through the CardStar application available on most smartphones. MWR will work on behalf of the fans to expand the offerings beyond just its current sponsor line-up, aggregating industry-wide deals and discounts. Fans can text MWR to 42828 to get the card for free. Offers include free headset with rental of a FanVision unit ($19.99 value) and 25% off Toyota Racing merchandise at ToyotaRacing.com.

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