Vickers Takes Victory at New Hampshire
Taking the checkered flag in the 2013 Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, gave Brian Vickers his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win since August 2009 at Michigan. Driving for Michael Waltrip Racing, this was his third career win, with Kyle Busch taking second place, Jeff Burton finishing third, and Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola in fourth and fifth places respectively. The top five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are (in order), Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
At the age of 71, Morgan Shepherd became the oldest driver to participate in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, and while he had started out with every intention of finishing the race, he bowed out after 92 laps. As long as a driver passes the physical at the start of the season, there is no age limit for drivers competing in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. There were no objections from other competitors to Shepherd competing, even though he was quoted as saying that when he starts hitting the wall or something, it may be time to get out. There were incidents during the race, but none caused by, or involving, this driver who has been competing in NASCAR for more than four decades with a good measure of success.
Following the restart on lap 238, Danica Patrick lost control of her car in a tightly bunched field and slid sideways into Travis Kvapil and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The incident was made even more newsworthy by the fact that Patrick and Stenhouse are a couple. Stenhouse finished in 34th place, with Patrick ending in 37th and Kvapil in 38th place. Patrick claimed responsibility for the crash, noting that they were bunched up on the restart and she was not sure if she misjudged the braking zone, or if the other competitors stopped suddenly in front of her, but in trying to avoid them she went sideways and caught the other two drivers, for which she expressed sincere regret. In a post-race interview, Stenhouse said that he had not yet seen the replay of what happened, but pointed out that crashing other drivers by accident was all “part of it”.