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Vickers focused on title run

August 22, 2013, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com

Vickers focused on title run
JGR driver looks to make a move in the standings at Bristol

Brian Vickers already won a NASCAR Nationwide Series title in 2003.

He left the following year to try his hand in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series where he stayed for the majority of the next nine seasons. He returned to NASCAR Nationwide fulltime this season at the helm of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

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After just one year back in NASCAR's second series, he returns to the premier series to drive the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota fulltime.

"I don't think it has actually," Vickers replied to a question last week about whether the news of his job driving for MWR in 2014 had yet sunk in.

In the meantime, he's intent on bringing a NASCAR Nationwide title to JGR. He first, however, needs to finish Friday night's Food City 250 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Bristol in a good place.

"Our main focus is obviously on clinching a championship for Dollar General," Vickers said. "It was 10 years ago that I was fortunate enough to win the championship in this series. I'd love to do it again with JGR's No. 20 team."

His schedule, however, got a little more hectic on Monday when it was announced that he would get a jump on his fulltime gig next year by driving the No. 55 MWR Toyota in 12 of the remaining 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup events left on the schedule.

With 11 races remaining in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, he sits fifth in the standings, only 18 markers behind points leader Sam Hornish Jr. He has put together a string of six consecutive top-five finishes and moved up two spots in the standings over the last seven races.

"The performance of our team throughout the last several weeks has been phenomenal," Vickers said. "The team has really clicked."

In seven series events at Bristol Motor Speedway, Vickers has never won, but has one top-five finish -- a third-place showing earlier this year. In his last three NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at the short track, he's placed fifth, fourth and eighth.

Another hurdle Vickers will have to overcome if he is to win a second title this season is that of the 11 tracks left on the schedule he's only been to Victory Lane at Dover.  

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