ROAD AMERICA RECAP: In his first Nationwide Series road course race since 2009, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Brian Vickers captured a sixth-place finish at Road America last Saturday. The 55-lap race was Vickers’ first attempt at Road America’s 4.048-mile course and his first road course event with Joe Gibbs Racing. His sixth-place finish was the No. 20 Dollar General team’s seventh top-10 finish of the 2013 season. Vickers is now positioned ninth in the Nationwide Series Championship point standings heading into Friday night’s 200-lap event at Kentucky Speedway.
BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE-DUTY: This week will be Vickers’ second consecutive week of double-duty driving as he will compete in both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races in Kentucky. In addition to piloting the yellow and black No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in Friday night’s Nationwide Series race, the 29-year-old will be behind the wheel of the No. 55 entry for Michael Waltrip Racing in Saturday evening’s 400-mile Sprint Cup Series event. Friday will be Vickers’ first Nationwide Series start at Kentucky Speedway since the year he won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship in 2003.
DASH 4 CASH QUALIFIER RACE: Not only will drivers be contending for the win on Friday night at Kentucky, but they will also be vying for a qualifier spot for the first Nationwide Series Dash 4 Cash race of the 2013 season. The top-four finishers in the Kentucky race who are eligible to receive NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship driver points will qualify for the first Dash 4 Cash race the following week at Daytona International Speedway. The highest finisher of those four points eligible drivers in Daytona (July 5) will win a $100,000 payout. Following Daytona, the next three races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 13), Chicagoland Speedway (July 21) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 27) are also Dash 4 Cash races. The rules remain the same throughout the rest of the four-race competition with the top-four finishing points contenders from the previous race qualifying for the Dash 4 Cash in the next race, and the highest finisher of those four in the race winning the $100,000 prize. If one driver wins the first three Dash 4 Cash awards and then wins the Indianapolis race outright, Nationwide Insurance will award the driver an additional $600,000 bonus, bringing the total payout to $1 million.
JOE GIBBS RACING AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY: In 27 starts at Kentucky Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Nationwide Series operation has three wins, 10 top-five finishes, 13 top-10 finishes and four poles. Joe Gibbs Racing entries have led 567 laps in their 27 starts at the Sparta, Kentucky track. With 14 of 33 races on the 2013 Nationwide Series schedule completed, Joe Gibbs Racing has six wins, 22 top-five finishes, 31 top-10 finishes, three poles and a total of 1,100 laps led.
THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners Ragu, Purex, Airwick, STP, Oreo, Nestle Drumstick, Slim Jim, Gildan, Scott Products, Colgate, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Glad will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.
RACE INFO: The Nationwide Series Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, June 28. Watch and listen live on ESPN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.
Brian Vickers: “I haven’t raced in the Nationwide Series at Kentucky since 2003, which is a very long time, but I was there in a Cup car in 2011. The track surface has drastically changed from my last Nationwide Series race there to now. It’s dramatically bumpier and rougher. That’s not a bad thing though. That track surface gives Kentucky Speedway character. Maybe a little too much character. I think the most difficult thing there for drivers and teams is the bumps. Communication with the crew chief, engineer and shock specialist is very important here because of the rough surface and the challenge it brings.”
Crew chief Kevin Kidd: “I think our bad luck finally turned around last weekend at Road America. We had a good race on Saturday and should have had a second or third place finish, but we closed it out in sixth. Heading into Kentucky, the biggest thing that sets it apart from other mile-and-a-half tracks is that it’s pretty rough. With the surface being as rough as it is, we have to give consideration to that with our shock and spring packages. There has been very little tire falloff there lately, which means tire strategies come into play. That makes for an exciting night on pit road.”
-Joe Gibbs Racing PR