It's amazing how so much can change in a month and a half.
On June 15th the NASCAR Nationwide Series ran the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Raceway. Regan Smith defeated Kyle Larson for victory. Early in that race Brian Vickers got into an accident with Travis Pastrana, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman and Jeffery Earnhardt. After that event Vickers was a dismal tenth in the points standings and was 100 points back of leader Regan Smith.
It was utter disappointment for Vickers and his team, who were favorites coming into the season to win it all. Many thought crew chief Kevin Kidd was on the hot seat. Vickers a highly touted driver during the 2012-2013 offseason went to Joe Gibbs Racing to win a championship and things looked grim.
However, since that day at Michigan Brian Vickers and his #20 Joe Gibbs Racing team have turned into the team that everyone thought they would be. Looking at the points as the Nationwide Series heads into a stand alone race at Iowa Speedway Vickers is currently fifth in the standings and is just 28 points behind the leader with momentum on his side.
Vickers has rallied by stringing five top ten finishes together in his last six starts. His most impressive race came at New Hampshire where he led 63 laps and finished second. He also won the Sprint Cup race the following day.
With 14 races left on the schedule in the 2013 season 28 points is not a whole lot of ground to make up for Vickers. He could easily win at Iowa, a stand alone Nationwide Series race with zero cup regulars in the field. If Vickers can gain ground on the teams in front it could mean big things for the 2003 Nationwide Series champion.
Vickers' climb has been a consistent one and it proves that while it's important to get off to a good start, consistency in the Nationwide Series is really all that matters.
Vickers will still need to win races to win his second career Nationwide Series championship but after the last seven weeks it looks like Vickers is back in the championship picture, something no one saw coming on June 15th.
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