The Red Bull Racing team of Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne need to be recognized for their effort on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Kahne started 26th, Vickers 30th, and used the two-car tandem to push their way into the top-five within 10 laps. They had troubles with the two-car tandem on Lap 159, when Kahne spun across the nose of Vickers race car to bring out the caution.
[media-credit name=”Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]However, with 50 laps to go, the pair had already hooked back up and was heading to the front. Unfortunately they just couldn’t catch the RCR duo of Clint Bowyer and RCR, but still came home with fifth (Vickers) and sixth (Kahne) place finishes.
Red Bull will be leaving the team at season’s end, with no word yet on if the team will continue on. Kahne will be taking his business over to Hendrick Motorsports where he will drive the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet. Vickers has yet to announce what his plans are for the 2012 season.
Dave Blaney’s third place finish at Talladega became Tommy Baldwin’s Racing’s best finish yet at the Cup level. This isn’t the first time Blaney has run well at restrictor plate tracks. He also was a front-runner in the Daytona 500 and the spring race at Talladega this year, but didn’t get the finishes he deserved. This is a big step for a small organization, with a short history in the sport. Team owner Tommy Baldwin hopes this is just the beginning for improvement in preparation of the 2012 season.
Underdogs Landon Cassill and Casey Mears had strong race cars at Talladega and were front-runners all race long. Before the first lap of the race was even complete, Mear’s No. 13 GEICO Camry had moved from its 42nd starting position into 26th. On Lap 3, Mears paired up with Cassill, who qualified 38th, to race to the front. They spent most of the race in the Top 10 and eyed the lead on multiple occasions. This continued until Lap 174 when Cassill was collected in a turn two crash involving Bobby Labonte and Kurt Busch. This separated the pair and forced Mears to find another dancing partner. They eventually found each other at the end of the race to finish in 16th (Cassill) and 17th (Mears)position.