Vickers to back after engine change

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Vickers to back after engine change

Post  The Wicked One on Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:38 am

What goes around comes around, and in Brian Vickers' case, it came around at pole-winning speed Friday at Auto Club Speedway.

With a lap at 183.439 mph (39.250 seconds) Vickers claimed the top spot for Sunday's Auto Club 500 Sprint Cup race, the second event on the 2009 schedule for NASCAR's foremost series.


Jamie McMurray (182.653 mph) qualified third, followed by Kurt Busch (182.556 mph) and Greg Biffle (182.302 mph). Jeff Gordon, David Reutimann, A.J. Allmendinger, Scott Speed and Kyle Busch will start from positions six through 10, respectively.

"I couldn't ask for much more out of the car," said Vickers, who claimed the sixth pole of his career and his second since joining Red Bull Racing in 2007. "We fought 'tight' [an understeer] in practice quite a bit and we found something there in that last [practice] run that helped us."

Vickers was especially pleased at securing one of the perks that goes to the pole winner: first choice of pit stall.

"Any pole is special," Vickers said, "and it's great here to get that first pit stall."

However, Vickers' team discovered a problem with the engine in the car after qualifying and opted to change power plants, NASCAR officials confirmed Friday night. As a result, Vickers will start from the rear of the field in Sunday's race.

Vickers is still credited with the pole, the sixth of his career, and retains the first choice of pit stalls. NASCAR requires any car that undergoes an engine change between qualifying and the race to start from the back. Vickers will have a chance to shake down the new engine during final Cup practice, scheduled for 5:15 p.m. ET Saturday.

When Vickers drops to the rear on Sunday, each of the cars on the inside row each will move forward, putting McMurray in the pole position for the start of the race.

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