NASCAR at Michigan starts with first-lap crash involving Brian Vickers

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Today’s Quicken Loans 400 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has begun with a first-lap crash that ruined the day of dark horse Brian Vickers.

In an apparent attempt to follow Jimmie Johnson, Vickers got loose high in Turn 3 and attempted to save the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, only to have it go up the track and into the wall.

The car then slid down the track in Turn 4 and into Travis Kvapil, who was already in the inside grass in an ill-fated bid to avoid the No. 55.

“I just lost it,” he told TNT after being released from Michigan International Speedway’s care center. “I have no idea what happened or why. The car just got really loose into [Turn 3] and I chased it all the way up to the wall. I thought I had it saved and then it just came all the way around.”

Vickers had been one of the quicker drivers this weekend at MIS outside of the dominant, Hendrick-powered Chevrolet racers.

But instead, today appears as if it will mark his third consecutive subpar finish after a 43rd at Dover (engine failure) and a 19th last weekend at Pocono.

Leclerc: No. 16 was third-choice for Formula 1 career

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2018 Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc has revealed No. 16 was his third-choice number to use through his grand prix career, with his preferred options having already been taken.

From 2014, drivers were given the chance to pick a number to use through their F1 careers instead of being assigned one depending on their team’s championship position.

Formula 2 champion and Ferrari junior Leclerc was announced in an Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat for 2018 earlier this month, picking No. 16 as his permanent number.

However, the Monegasque racer revealed last week that it was in fact his third choice, with both No. 7 and No. 10 already being taken by Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly respectively.

“It’s quite simple to be honest: I wanted number 7 first, but Kimi had it,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“Then I chose 10, but Pierre came to F1 and chose number 10, so then I chose number 16.

“It’s just my date of birth and I could not find anything better. And 1 + 6 = 7, which is my favorite number.”

Leclerc will become the first driver hailing from Monaco to race in F1 since Olivier Beretta, who made nine grand prix starts in 1994 for Larrousse.