Sam's Town 300
A Tough Weekend in Vegas
Team ABF Racing headed to Las Vegas this weekend, as Brian Vickers returned to the track in the #32 along with Jason Leffler, who is piloting the #38 full time for Braun Racing. Both cars were carrying ABF as an associate sponsor. While both drivers came to Vegas hoping to win big, lady luck was not on their side.
The weekend started out promising, as both Brian and Jason made it through each practice session without incident. Considering the number of cars that crashed during practice between the Cup and Nationwide series, this was an accomplishment in itself. As final practice ended, both cars had posted speeds among the top ten fastest of the session, and looked poised to qualify near the front of the field for Saturday's Nationwide race.
A Track Record
As the cars took to the track for qualifying, conditions proved to be a bit tricky, as the wind, coupled with the warm weather, caused a loss of grip on the track, and left the drivers to balance trying to post a fast lap, and trying to keep their car out of the wall. Some drivers failed on both endeavors. Jason Leffler was the first ABF Racing driver to take to the track for qualifying. He posted a good first lap, but after losing grip during his second lap and having to slow down to avoid wrecking, the #38 posted the 20th fastest time. Given the speed of his car however, it looked like he should be able to work through the field. Several minutes later, Brian took to the track in the #32, and posted a lap time around the 1.5 mile track of 29.71 seconds. Not only was this good enough to take the pole position for the Sam's Town 300, it was also a new track record!!!
Sadly, the good fortune for Team ABF Racing would end soon after the green flag dropped for Saturday's race. While both cars were very strong as expected, and Brian Vickers was able to lead several laps in the #32, both cars were unable to escape race-ending crash damage in a caution filled race that saw half the field wrecked by the end. On lap 9 Kyle Krisiloff lost control of the #41 entry, and drove down the track into the side of Jason's Toyota, causing him to turn up the track and drive straight into the outside wall, ending his chances of winning, or even finishing, the race. This left ABF's hopes of a win this day squarely on Brian's shoulders, but it wasn't meant to be, as on lap 61 the #32 lost its grip and slid hard into the wall, ending Brian's race day. Thankfully, both drivers escaped without significant injury, and I'm sure both are looking forward to a much better showing next weekend, as Brian returns once again, this time to pilot the #32 ABF U-Pack Toyota Camry.
(Photos courtesy of www.thehotlap.com)