They built it. And the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finally came 10 years later. The fans came, too. Even if some never made it.
Red Bull Racing Team’s two trucks were parked inside Kentucky Speedway long before clogged arteries — i.e., traffic problems — trumped the chatter surrounding the Cup Series’ first visit to the decade-old track.
Minutes into the race, Brian Vickers reported the tachometer in his No. 83 Red Bull Toyota wasn’t working. Fast forward to a green-flag stop on lap 77 when NASCAR tagged Vickers as “too fast entering.” The penalty: a pass through pit road two laps later. Vickers fell two laps down to 35th.
The No. 83 crew fixed the tach under caution with 59 laps to go, and Vickers remained trapped in traffic to finish where he started, in 27th. (Note: Friday’s qualifying session was rained out with Vickers holding the provisional pole after 23 cars had timed in.)
“We had a really good car at the end — really good. We just screwed ourselves with the tach. The guys did a good job fixing the broken tach mid-race, but we were already in a hole (two laps down) due to the speeding penalty. We just can’t catch a break this year.”
Kahne’s night started off promising, as the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota started fourth and held that position through much of the first half of the race. He lost track position through a series of stops, and the car kept “plowing” through the bumps in the turns.
Late in the race, Kahne and a fleet of other cars took the wave-around as only seven cars were on the lead lap. That put him on the cusp of 20th, and after a final pit stop he restarted 18th, making up five positions in the final three laps to finish 13th.
Kahne picked up two spots in the driver standings to 17th. He’s 45 points out of 10th with eight more chances to enter the Chase wild card race. Vickers ranks 26th in the standings — 64 points behind 20th.
Follow Red Bull Racing Team on Twitter: @RedBullNASCAR.