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Oct 02, 2013 - 10:32 AM
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2013 Kansas II (Chase 4): Brian Vickers NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Oct 02, 2013 - 10:23 AM
2013 Kansas II (Chase 4): Brian Vickers NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

The Friday night before driving his No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine to a 12th-place finish in Dover, Brian Vickers visited a local cinema to watch director Ron Howard’s new racing movie Rush. The screenplay chronicles the 1976 Formula One championship battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The movie touches some personal feelings for Vickers who spent time with Lauda in Europe. A near fatal injury in the 1976 season forced Lauda to watch races from a hospital bed, much like blood clots forced Vickers to do in 2010.


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Below is his review of the movie:

“Rush was a great movie. Even if you aren’t into Formula One or NASCAR I think you’ll find it an interesting story. James Hunt and Niki Lauda were the fiercest of rivals in racing and – I won’t ruin the ending for anyone who doesn’t know the story - there’s a lot of twists and turns as they battled for the championship throughout the 1976 season.

“Every professional race car driver relates to a rival – we’ve all had our rivals during our careers. I think the movie shows what we all might not want to admit that your rival pushes you past limits that you didn’t realize you had. There’s a great scene in the movie. Niki Lauda admits to Hunt that - as he was recovering in the hospital after getting badly burned and nearly dying - watching Hunt win races on television motivated him to get better faster. Man, that hit home. I don’t think I’m anything like Niki Lauda but I can definitely relate to that scene. I remember watching races in the hospital after I had the blood clots. That’s mental torture for a race car driver and the desire to get back to racing overrides even your health issues.

“Rush is one of the few movies that kind of portrayed drivers as how we really are. We’re all different. I think a lot of times there are stereotypes for race car drivers, but this movie shows successful drivers with very different personalities. Niki had a single-minded approach to racing where that’s all he thought about and didn’t care if he was liked by anyone. James Hunt was a guy that enjoyed life partying and having a lot of fun. They were completely different but both were successful. That’s true in whatever form of racing you’re in. Heck, that’s true in life. I’ve got a different personality than Jimmie Johnson who is different than Clint Bowyer who is different than someone else. We’re drivers but we are people and people are all different. There’s no formula for success other than talent and hard work.

“One thing I admire Niki for is there are two people that this movie is about and only one of them is alive. You can see how he could easily spin the story in his favor but he didn’t. I felt like it was a very balanced, genuine story. He had his positives and his negatives, and he didn’t try to hide them. I admire that. Many times history favors the victors and I felt for him being honest about who he was and who James was, for better or worse. I got to spend time around Niki when I drove for Red Bull and the movie actor got him perfect. I can also relate to James Hunt’s perspective, which is feeling that you should enjoy life. For me, I think the ultimate answer is a balance between James Hunt’s and Niki Lauda’s mentalities. But that’s just me, other guys will answer differently.

“NASCAR fans will find similarities between Rush and Days of Thunder. I don’t know where I would rank Rush on my list of all-time great racing but I hope it’s a success. Good racing movies take the sport to new audiences and hopefully will win us new fans no matter what form of motorsport we’re in.”


· CHASSIS: Primary 780— raced at Atlanta and Michigan

· VICKERS AT KANSAS: Vickers owns one top-10 finish in eight starts. He has an average start of 13th and average finish of 20th. His highest finish came in Oct. 2006 when he started fourth and finished eighth.

· VICKERS AT MWR: In 20 races Vickers owns a victory, five top-fives, and 10 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 278 Sprint Cup races and 146 Nationwide. He is the 2003 Nation-wide Series Champion.


Ex. VP Comp. - Scott Miller
Car Chief/7th man - 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 - Curtis Markham
Engineer - Billy Scott
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

· 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.

· 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: All October, Aaron’s is helping you score big on all the best brands! Spin our in-store wheel and you could win up to $100 off your first month’s lease. Register in-store or online at Aarons.com/bigscore to win a $5,000 shopping spree. As always, you’re pre-approved for up to $2,000 in merchandise. Score big and own easier at Aaron’s today!

· 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 Toyota Racing.com.

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