CORNELIUS, N.C. —If driving a race car at 200 mph each weekend wasn’t enjoyable enough, there are some really great perks that come with being a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.
No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Brian Vickers never misses an opportunity to enjoy new experiences. The 29 year-old, Thomasville, N.C. native has enjoyed everything from skydiving and kayaking to mountain biking and golf along with trips to countless stick and ball games. He’s even a world traveler, joining Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman to race the AF Waltrip Ferrari 458 Italia in the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.
This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Vickers will be all business. He’ll drive his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Nationwide Series on Saturday then pilot the Aaron’s Dream Machine for MWR in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race. Vickers has recorded three top-15 finishes in just four races with MWR in 2013. In September, Vickers qualified fourth and finished ninth on the mile oval despite starting from the rear of the field due to a pre-race engine change.
VICKERS ON PERKS: “The opportunities and the ability to go skydiving and play tennis and do all these other sports have been incredible opportunities for me. It’s something I enjoy and something that the luxury of my sport has created with various sponsors through the years. I love trying the other things, and I love learning to adapt. We’ve all gotten to do some pretty cool stuff, whether it’s going on the skydive trips, learning to play another sport with some of the best of the best or going on a hunting trip or who knows what it is. And I think there’s a lot of diversity within our sport among the drivers and athletes that people don’t always get to see just watching the race coverage. But obviously if you follow them in their social media atmospheres, whether it’s Twitter or Facebook, you get to see a lot more of that. I loved going to Europe and the Middle East with Rob. You come to realize how many people around the world appreciate racing, especially NASCAR.”
VICKERS ON NHMS: “Last year I was really proud of the guys on the No. 55. New Hampshire is all about track position. We qualified great but had to start at the back. We had to come a long way to the front and once we got there on two tires we held our spot pretty well. If a few cautions had gone different it could have been a lot better finish. I think we’ll probably see something similar on Sunday. It all boils down to track position.”
· VICKERS AT LOUDON: In 15 starts he has two top-five finishes (2006 and 2011), three top-10 finishes (2006, 2011, 2012) and has led 62 laps.
· VICKERS 2013: Seven Sprint Cup starts: four 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 270 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. He has two wins
· NO. 55 CREW
Crew Chief – Rodney Childers
Car Chief – 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 – Jeremy Brickhouse
Engineer – Billy Scott
2nd Engineer – Scott McDougall
Tires – Kevin White
Eng.Tuner- Denny Chandler (TRD)
Shocks – Mike (Nook) McCarville
Interior/7th man- Jacen Johns
Truck Driver – Glenn Shano
2nd Truck Driver – John Murphy
Pit Coach – Greg Miller
Dir. Race Engineering—Chad Walter
Ex. VP Engineering- Nick Hughes
Ex. VP Comp.—Scott Miller