Brian Vickers has nothing to lose…Right?

Is Brian Vickers thinking about his future?
In this week’s race, the confrontation at Phoenix Raceway, involving Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth is highlighted, with questions to fans about their view of what’s going on between these two NASCAR drivers. Fans and media alike, as heard on NASCAR Now on ESPN2 and SPEED’s Race Hub, have an opinion.   Fans may recall the whole feud between Kenseth and Vickers actually began earlier this season in March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when Kenseth  and Vickers were involved with an accident. With this incident, Brian blamed Kenseth for the accident, while Matt seemed confused as to why?   

As the story continues, Vickers is saying the incident this past Sunday was unintentional. Kenseth has expressed his firm belief, that Vickers claim does not match his comments, over the past several weeks. Apparently, Vickers has  expressed his specific intention to wreck the #17 car and eliminate any championship hopes for Kenseth. Many thought Vickers had taken care of his retaliation at Texas, the previous week.  However, by several accounts from the media and fans, it appears Brian was harboring more of a vendetta and intentionally punched Kenseth with the one – two knock out in Phoenix, accomplishing his goal to take away Matt Kenseth’s chances of contending for the championship. 
When interviewed post race about the incident, Vickers did not deny his statements as conveyed by Kenseth. However, he went on to say, this specific incident “was not it,” and “was not intentional.” Is it just Vickers demeanor in general? Or did anyone else notice a slight smirk on his face as he made these comments?  For those noticing this subtle gesture, his demeanor did not sit well. And by the way, Mr. Vickers, it is not just fans  taking note of your actions and demeanor.
Anyone remember the race at Martinsville? Vickers name virtually became a running joke throughout the event, as he appeared to be racing as if he was driving a bumper car at the county fair. It was at this race, he managed to eliminate a couple of other drivers from Chase contention. Most notable, is the five-time Championship title holder, Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie also expressed, Vickers race actions were “disappointing,” to say the least and maintained his composure as a respected champ, fully realizing, because of this incident, he would not be hoisting his sixth Sprint Cup trophy this season. 

Taking all of this in over the last several weeks, some are scratching their heads and wondering, why are Vickers actions of retaliation so apparent to fans and media, while NASCAR says, there is no evidence of any intentional actions by Vickers? What? Yes, you did hear correctly. Which is even more puzzling, considering the penalties given to Kyle Busch for his similar actions during the Camping World Truck series at the Texas night race. The only discernible difference between the two incidents, is that Kyle’s actions took place during a caution, and  Vicker’s actions occurred during green flag racing. The message, many are taking away from NASCAR’s lack of action with Vickers, is in NASCAR’s eyes, “boys have at it” is fine as long as it is executed during green flag runs. Many are still scratching their heads over this revelation. However, this point is for another blog.  

Getting back to the point of Brian Vickers, his team Red Bull Racing, is without sponsorship for next year and that means, so is Mr. Vickers. Thus, many are considering, Brian may have nothing to lose with his actions, as any penalty delivered by NASCAR would have minimal effect, since he doesn’t have a ride for 2012. 
Furthermore, some fans are baffled why the obvious seems to elude Vickers. Another reason he may not have a ride next season is precisely because of his actions on the track. During a time when he should be showcasing his talent as a driver to potential sponsors and teams, Vickers is doing the exact opposite. Contrasting his chase performance against that of his teammate, Kasey Kahne, the Phoenix race winner, it becomes crystal clear, why Kasey has a ride with a top tier team at Hendrick Motorsports next year, and Brian Vickers just may be on the outside looking in when the 2012 season begins. 

Sprint Cup Series Trophy

Right now, Vickers is relishing his role, as he settles outstanding scores by taking out Chase contenders. Right now, NASCAR is enabling Vickers role in determining who contends for the Sprint Cup series trophy and who will hold that trophy high in victory lane at Homestead. While so many are wondering, how this can be happening, it occurs to a few, that IF, Vickers gets extremely lucky in getting a ride next season, there will be quite a few chase level drivers with their own score to settle with Mr. Brian Vickers. However, unlike Vickers, it is likely they will avoid using the sloppy bumper car approach, but will use their skill and finesse to make sure their message is clearly relayed, while minimizing any personal damage. Keeping this in mind, a 2012 season, for Vickers, may not be so alluring and especially to potential sponsors footing the bill for anticipated retaliation on their dollar. In today’s tight economy, it seems to make more sense to attract potential sponsors and boost your career by winning, or at least by finishing well vs. settling scores with bumper car retaliation. 

Now, when you really stop and think about what’s been happening, courtesy of Brian Vickers throughout the Chase, the emerging epiphany reveals this is no longer a matter of Vickers having nothing to lose with his actions. There is the heartbreaking reality, whether he has a ride next season or not, he has managed to put himself in a position to lose with his NASCAR future.
There just might be a hint of a smirk in Vicker’s expression these days. And while he appears to be so pleased with himself, the rest of us are wondering why Brian Vickers is so willing to waste his own talent and risk his career, when there are so many other talented drivers ready to take his place?  Why Mr. Vickers would you do this to yourself, at the risk of losing it all?
Now, it’s your turn to share the same or opposing views…
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