Brian Vickers the driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota will be out of a job when the season is over, next Monday to be exact. Red Bull Racing is shutting down and selling either the Team or the equipment. At this point in the season they will probably be lucky to sell the equipment. One would think that in light of this fact, he and his team would have stepped it up a notch in order to audition for new jobs. Instead they are 25th in points and having the worst season yet, not counting last season when Brian was out most of the year for health problems.
Go back a couple of weeks to the race at the Martinsville Speedway. Throughout that race Brian raced every car really hard, sometimes bouncing off of them like pin balls. Yes, many times it was hard to tell if it was really Brian’s doing or the other drivers. The only apparent constant was it was the #83 car involved. At some point in the race Matt Kenseth was faster and was racing Brian on the outside to get the position. Instead of letting Matt go by and working on his car to get better. He did not give up the position and eventually Matt dropped back and spun Brian out to get the position, wrecking Brian’s car.
Come back to this week. Brian Vickers runs up on Matt Kenseth and doesn’t let up until he has driven him into the wall. You can see all four of Matt’s tires locked up trying to keep from getting into the wall. Instead of moving to the left and around Matt, Brian keeps right behind him. Brian says it isn’t payback for Martinsville but it sure looked like it to me. It also looked like it to Matt.
Matt and Fans are questioning why NASCAR didn’t park Brian Vickers for intentionally wrecking Matt in light of what happened with Kyle Busch the week before. The simple answer is that this occurred during green flag racing on a short track. It is just literally the definition of “Boys have at it.”
They have a saying in Elementary School these days, “Have you filled your bucket today”. The idea of bucket filling is to encourage kind and considerate behavior and for teaching the benefits of positive relationships. Brian Vickers has not been filling his bucket, in fact he as emptied and dried his bucket. Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and even Matt Kenseth are examples of drivers that have full buckets. If any one of these did to Matt what Brian Vickers did last week, got out of the car and said it was a mistake, they would have gotten the benefit of the doubt and we would not be writing about it today. That is what Bucket filling is all about.
Brian Vickers problem is that his credibility is at an all-time low. He doesn’t have any respect to give up. There is nothing in his bucket. He doesn’t have a “Boys have at it” card in his deck to use. Matt does. Brian Vickers needs a job. Wrecking cars of all the other race teams in the field won’t get him one. He desperately needs good runs, and that does not leave any room for pay back.
This very same race highlights the extent of Brian’s problem. Kasey Kahne has known the whole season he will not be with Red Bull next year. He is Brian’s teammate, has the same equipment and funding. He has been just as good as the points leaders the last 9 races. He wins the race. Kasey Kahne is only five points from 13th place. Brian Vickers is 25th. Kasey Kahne could quite easily get to 13th place after the last race if he keeps up on the pace he has been. He also could win the next race. There is no way Brian Vickers could finish the season higher than 25th. If someone pays him back he could easily be 26th. Not a good way to audition for a job.