The return to racing wasn’t too pleasant for Brian Vickers.
The substitute driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet suffered a cut right-rear tire, t-boned the right side of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car, ripped its side off, slid back up the track, slammed the wall hard on the driver’s side, collected Kevin Harvick, slid back down the track and clipped the No. 15 HScott Motorsports Chevrolet of Clint Bowyer. Kurt Busch also got a piece of the wreck as he just got clipped by the 14 car.
Vickers was treated and released from the infield care center.
“I don’t know how I cut it yet,” he said. “I felt it going down the straightaway, and at that point, I started to roll out. But at that point, you’re going 200 mph and there’s nothing you can do.”
Asked if this wreck could have an effect on his health, he said, “Not really. Every wreck sucks, especially the hard ones. I don’t think it was so much scary. If you’re thinking about whether or not it’s scary, you’re fine. For me, as soon as you hit the wall, it’s really more of a process of, like, why did I hit the wall.”
He’ll continue on driving the No. 14 car for the rest of Speedweeks.
Teammate Harvick said that if one was “going to wreck, tonight is the night to wreck. Just the wrong place at the wrong time.”
If you missed the wreck, here’s the video of it.
Vickers will use what he learned from the Sprint Unlimited next week for the Daytona 500.
“We learned a lot,” he said. “It’s the first time back and we worked on the spotter-driver relationship, talked about what we want and what we need.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get to pit road, that was the part I was most disappointed in, I needed to make sure I hit the marks. But we’ve got plenty of time, the Duels, practice and then the Daytona 500.”
Vickers went on to say, “I think the most frustrating part of it for me was not to finish this first race back. But these guys have done so much and worked hard and gave me a great car. Not gonna get ’em tonight. We’ll have to get ’em in the Daytona 500.”