Brian Vickers laid out his thoughts on the Michael Waltrip Racing penalties and Chase controversy in an op-ed piece for USA Today.
In it, Vickers expresses no regrets over the radio transmission that he abided by to help ensure enough points for his teammate Martin Truex Jr. to make the Chase (before that was erased).
“If helping a teammate, friend and brother in arms is a crime, then I’m guilty,” Vickers wrote. “But if my teammate(s) needed me again and it was of no consequence to me, my team or our partners, I would make the same decision time and time again.”
He said people should consider their thoughts and words about the team. Hundreds of families could be affected from MWR and their partners.
“If our amazing partners were pressured to the extent of pulling out, hundreds of families would lose their means of income. You should consider this next time you decide to rant on Twitter about something without having all the facts,” Vickers wrote.
When it comes to the action itself taken by MWR, Vickers again confirmed that what happened Saturday night isn’t new, and isn’t uncommon.
“Every lap we take, every car we pass, every pit stop we make changes the outcome of the race. Are we free to choose what and when those moments are or not? You can’t have it both ways,” he said.
Whether you agree or not, it’s well worth a full read.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.