NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2010 NASCAR Driver Review: Brian Vickers

Brian Vickers

2010 Ride: No. 83 Red Bull Toyota
2010 Primary Sponsor: Red Bull Energy Drink
2010 Owner: Dietrich Mateschitz
2010 Crew Chief: Ryan Pemberton
2010 Stats: 11 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 3 top 10s, 2 DNFs, 0 poles, 40th in points

High Point: Vickers’s limited schedule didn’t offer many opportunities for a high point in 2010, but his final race in the seat of the No. 83 ride was certainly his best. Vickers started the race at Darlington in the third position and finished in 10th, taming the Lady in Black while remaining a solid contender all night long. While he had better finishes during his 11-race run this past season, he led nine laps and looked like he and his Red Bull Racing team were really starting to hit their stride after a sluggish start.

Low Point: Unquestionably, the week following the Darlington race was the low point for Vickers on the year. While in Washington, D.C., during the week leading up to the Dover race, Vickers began having breathing difficulties. He finally went to the doctor, got admitted to the emergency room and was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs. In a shocking development, Vickers was forced to get out of his car for the rest of the season as he began treatment for the clots, which included blood thinners.

Vickers met with the media during the Charlotte race weekend the end of May, confirming he’d be headed to the sidelines until the Daytona 500 in February 2011.

Summary: Vickers and his Red Bull team seemed to be making strides as the 2010 season began to take shape and he looked as though he’d make another run at qualifying for the Chase when his career was sidelined by the aforementioned medical issue. Vickers has maintained an extensive training regimen throughout the year, though and has every intention of being back in the car for the 2011 season. Obviously, that will all depend on his ability to be off blood thinning medication for several months before the green flag drops in Daytona.

Team Ranking: Second. While Vickers only started 11 races, he had more top-10 finishes (three) than anyone who got behind the wheel of a Red Bull Toyota this season. Had he competed for the entire year, Vickers would have certainly unseated Scott Speed from the top spot.

Off-Track News: It was discovered in July that Vickers had a hole in his heart between the right and left atrium which could lead to future clots and potential strokes. Vickers underwent surgery to have the hole repaired and has been cleared by his doctors to resume his racing career in 2011. Vickers’s doctors, while clearing him for work, said that he appears to be in the best physical shape of his life.

2011 Outlook: RBR seemed to be making positive strides in the early part of the 2010 season before Vickers was diagnosed with the blood clots. Considering Vickers’s extensive off-track training that has taken place, he will undoubtedly be one of the most physically fit and energetic drivers in the garage in 2011. Kasey Kahne is also driving for Red Bull now, which will hopefully be a benefit for Vickers; Kahne’s success with the new car and his progress with the Red Bull team should lead to instant chemistry.

With Ryan Pemberton back on the box and a driver anxious to get back behind the wheel, the 2011 season could very well see Vickers back in contention for a Chase slot.

2006 Frontstretch Grade: B
2007 Grade: C-
2008 Grade: B+
2009 Grade: A-
2010 Grade: Incomplete

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