While Brian Vickers is going for his first Sprint Cup win of the season this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, he is also looking forward to turning both left and right this summer.
The first of two road course events comes up next weekend at Sonoma Raceway, and the second will take place in August at Watkins Glen International.
Vickers’ fondness for road racing was no doubt nurtured by his two 2012 appearances in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He drove an AF Corse Ferrari that had Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman as one of its co-drivers.
But he believes that the road racing product is even better in NASCAR than in Europe.
“There’s a lot of great road racing out there — [this year’s] Le Mans is going on this weekend and I had the opportunity to race there,” he said today at MIS.
“That is an awesome event, but unquestionably I think our cars put on a better show on a road race.”
Naturally, Vickers would be happy to see more road races in NASCAR. But what he doesn’t want are return visits to Sonoma or Watkins Glen.
Instead, he’d like to see road racing used to test out new markets.
“I would love to see our sport expand,” he said. “Everybody talks about adding more road races and I’m all for it, but just don’t add another Watkins Glen. I love Watkins Glen, but let’s go somewhere else, let’s go international, let’s go to other continents – if we’re going to add road racing let’s go to new markets.
“I think NASCAR will put on the best road race that any road race track we’ve gone to has ever seen. I love those tracks and I always kind of enjoyed them. I think the time I spent in sports cars made me like them even more.”
But while Sonoma and the Glen loom on the horizon, Vickers is choosing to focus on one track at a time as he looks to get into the Chase.
“There are certainly tracks that you look forward to and you think we have a good package for and I like to race there and the team has good cars there,” he said. “We show up every weekend focused on that weekend.
“I really try to not only live my life that way, but race that way. If I’m going down the front stretch, my focus is Turn 1 — that’s it. I think that’s just kind of where I’m at right now and I like that.”