News & Media

Notes: Vickers stays grounded; Montoya humbled

February 14, 2013, Kenny Bruce,

Plenty of happenings at NASCAR Media Day Fueled by Sunoco

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brian Vickers is a professional racer, but he doesn’t own a personal car. 

“No. I don’t like cars and I don’t really have a need for one right now,” Vickers said Feb. 14 during NASCAR Media Day Fueled by Sunoco at Daytona International Speedway. “If I had my choice, I would much rather ride. It works out great because my girlfriend loves to drive. Loves cars, loves to drive. I’m like, ‘Absolutely. Have at it.’ ” 

Vickers has more than enough time behind the wheel scheduled for the upcoming racing season, competing fulltime in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and running nine Sprint Cup races for Michael Waltrip Racing.

Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, teammates at Penske Racing, are slated to spend a bit of time behind the microphone in the next few days.

Keselowski, the defending Sprint Cup Series champion, won’t be competing in the Feb. 16 running of The Sprint Unlimited because he didn’t win a pole last season, and isn’t a former winner of the non-points race. Instead, he will join the FOX broadcast team in the television booth.

“Maybe I will get to see a few things or maybe open my eyes on the broadcast side to make them better or maybe make me better,” Keselowski said. “It goes back to you put yourself in position where you can learn things and you never know what comes from it.”

Logano will serve as spotter for Coleman Pressley in the Feb. 18 Whelen-All American race, one of three that make up the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach. The following night, he will be in the booth with Speed officials for the K&N Pro Series event.

Dave Blaney in a pink driver’s uniform?

It’s part of a Florida Lottery sponsorship for the Tommy Baldwin Racing team, and Blaney said while he wasn’t crazy about the color at first, he’s quickly warmed to the association.

“It’s a cool sponsor for us to have and I can’t wait to have the car out here in the 500,” he said.

Some drivers discover that they have what it takes to race at the Cup level much sooner than others. For Ryan Newman?

“I was 38 days old,” the Stewart-Haas Racing driver, and former Daytona 500 winner, deadpanned.

Carl Edwards doesn’t get pre-race jitters. But put him out front, or within sight of the leader in the closing laps?

“That’s when it gets really exciting,” Edwards, driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 99 Ford, said. “That’s when everything seems to slow down and you are hyper focused and I really like that feeling.

“I haven’t had that a lot recently.”

It’s been four years since he qualified for NASCAR’s Chase For the NASCAR Sprint Cup and three years since he won a Cup race.

“It’s not humbling,” Juan Pablo Montoya said, “it sucks. 

“It’s not about humbling. I’ve won at everything I have been in, and I came to NASCAR and I’ve been good. I know I can do it. To run where we’ve run, it hasn’t been fun. It hasn’t been fun for Chip (Ganassi, team owner), or (teammate) Jamie (McMurray) or myself, or the crew chiefs, or the organization or Target. We know we have the right tools to make it work, and I think this year we’ve done enough over the winter that is going to put us in a better situation.”

BK Racing driver Travis Kvapil said his team doesn’t have the resources of the bigger organizations competing in Cup, leaving the two-car group to figure out the new Generation-6 car with the only tools available.

“My ass, basically,” Kvapil said, laughing, when asked from where the team obtains its data. “We don’t have seven-post time, we don’t have wind tunnel time, we don’t have a lot of the behind-the-scenes data to kind of back things up and have a baseline. Seat of the pants, that’s what it really comes down to.”

Kyle Larson is the real deal, and one of NASCAR’s next stars according to three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart.

Larson, 20, will compete full time for Turner Scott Motorsports in the Nationwide series this season. A development driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, Larson captured the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title in 2012.

“You can bet the farm on it,” Stewart said. “I guarantee it. If not, you can take everything I own because I’m that confident.”

- Greg Biffle spoke with about the new Generation-6 car and how his team is handling it. Watch the video below: