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Jun 04, 2014 - 06:13 AM
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2014 Pocono: Brian Vickers NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 04, 2014 - 06:11 AM
2014 Pocono: Brian Vickers NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Brian Vickers races at Pocono Raceway’s “tricky triangle” Sunday for the first time since 2011.


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The 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track has been one of the Michael Waltrip Racing driver’s favorites on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. Vickers owns four top-five finishes and has led 159 laps in 14 starts at Pocono. He’s qualified in the top 10 in eight of those races.

Michael Waltrip Racing tested with Vickers and teammates Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton at Pocono on May 27-28 in preparation for Sunday’s race. Despite a 43rd-place finish due to mechanical failure at Dover on Sunday, Vickers is 13th in points this season. He’s also in position (14th) to secure one of the 16 spots in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

VICKERS ON POCONO: “It was great to get up there and get a team test in with Clint and Jeff. It’s been a few years since I have been to Pocono. I have never raced on the new surface. I had to really take a few laps just to feel the track out. The repave is great, really smooth but a few of the tricky bumps are still there. The bumps make you have to work harder as a team to set the car up then drive through them.”

CONFIDENCE: “I’ve always loved Pocono. I’ve come so close to winning there. I’d love to finally get a win there. It’s cool going to tracks where you know you’ve had success. Confidence always helps not just for the driver but as a team. You go to every race knowing you will give it your best but having confidence helps.”

NEW EMPHASIS ON WINNING TO GET IN CHASE: “As a driver you always go as hard as you can. Maybe you take a few more risks at the end of the race. All I have ever wanted to do when I get behind the wheel of a race car is win. That’s true for every driver out here no matter what the rules. So, most of the racing I don’t think has changed much from the driver perspective. If there has been a strategy change it’s more from the team perspective. Are crew chiefs willing to take more chances with tire or fuel strategy on the last restart now? Of course. We want to win, but we also still think about points. If you get a win you don’t have to worry about getting in. It’s also likely that someone will get in on points.”


· CHASSIS: 799 finished 25th at Richmond and 12th at Phoenix. Backup chassis 779 has not raced.

· CREW CHIEF BILLY SCOTT: The 2014 Daytona 500 marked the first race for No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Crew Chief Billy Scott. The 36-year-old began racing motorcycles as a 5-year-old and stock cars when he turned 15. He worked in the truck series as a mechanic before he returned to college to obtain an engineering degree. After graduating in 2005 Scott worked at Robert Yates Racing and began as an engineer at MWR in 2008. He served exclusively as the No. 55 team’s lead engineer the last two seasons.

· AARON’S: Aaron’s joined MWR in 2000 serving as a primary sponsor in Sprint Cup and Nationwide races. The Atlanta-based company, with more than 2,130 stores across the country, helps customers own the life they want. Aaron's carries only the best brand names in furniture, electronics, and appliances with a variety of flexible payment options. It's really easy to “Own it” at Aaron’s with customers who are now pre-approved for up to $2,500 in merchandise without needing credit. Visit Aarons.com to find a store near you.

· FANTERN: Each week MWR offers fans a chance to become an official MWR Fantern. This person will get the opportunity to be an “intern” on race day helping the pit crews with set-up activities, attending driver appearances and getting full access to the pit and garage areas. Fans can write in a submission to webmaster@michaelwaltrip.com or share a video on our social channels explaining why they should be the Fantern at the race of their choosing during the 2014 season.

· #ASKMWR: Throughout race weekends in 2014 MWR will collect questions hash-tagged #AskMWR on its @MWRteam Twitter handle. No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Jackman Wes Evans will host a 3-minute video each Wednesday on www.michaelwaltripracing.com featuring MWR experts answering the best fan questions from the weekend.

· MWR SPEED ROUND: Watch Brian Vickers and Crew Chief Billy Scott answer some off-beat questions during MWR’s Video Speed Round at www.michaelwaltrip.com. Click here to watch.

· AARON’S NEW COMMERCIAL: Watch Aaron’s new “Own It” commercial featuring Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip that began airing nationally in April: . Click here to watch.

· No. 55 CREW:

Billy Scott Crew Chief
Ryan Langley Front Tire Changer
Chris Hall Front Tire Carrier
Shannon Myers Rear Tire Changer
Blake Haugland Rear Tire Carrier
Wes Evans Jack Man
Jeff Kerr Gas Man
Steve Channing Car Chief
David Cropps Interior Mechanic
Roman Pemberton Spotter
Brandon Pope Race Engineer
Joe Bisson 2nd Engineer
Jeremy Sharpley Shock Specialist
Jacen Johns Front Mechanic
Joe Zanolini Rear Mechanic
Kevin White Tire Specialist
Denny Chandler Engine Tuner
Tim Bruce Engine Engineer
Glenn Shano Truck Driver
Al Nelson 2nd Truck Driver




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