Team Preview: Team Red Bull
February 9, 2010 | 12:25 P.M. EST
That included a late-season run that gave Vickers the final spot in the Chase and cemented the year as one of the most satisfying for the Team Red Bull organization.
And although Vickers wasn't in contention for the title once the playoffs began, he's still looking back at the year as a success and the foundation for better things to come for TRB.
"No matter what happened, it's hard to argue that it wasn't a successful year and I still stand by that," said Vickers, who wound up 12th in the final points standings. "We set our goals out at the beginning of the season to sit on poles, win races and be in the Chase. Racing for a championship within the Chase was not necessarily a goal we had, but obviously when you show up at the racetrack, you want to win races and championships. That goes without saying, especially with the competitors that we are."
As TRB races into 2010, Vickers and Scott Speed again anchor the two-car effort which will use the impressive performances of a year ago as inspiration for better things this season.
"Looking back upon the whole season, everything that we've gone through with Red Bull since its inception, I'm really proud of this year and proud of everybody at Red Bull for what we've accomplished," he said.
Vickers, who has been with the team since its inception in 2007, was rewarded with a contract extension earlier that will keep him behind the wheel for the TRB No. 83 Toyota for three more seasons.
"The team is continuing to prove that it is a consistent force week in and week out," Jay Frye, vice president and general manager of Red Bull Racing. "Brian has been here from the beginning and he continues to be a vital piece of the puzzle with regard to our ultimate goal of building Red Bull Racing into a consistent contender."
So with that security now in place, Vickers is ready to bring the team to the next level in the coming campaign.
"I'm thrilled," Vickers said. "This has been a long time coming, and there is nowhere else I would rather be. I am looking forward to building on what we have started the last couple of years.
"It is an interesting experience being with a team from the ground up -- going through the growing pains, then successes, together. I am so proud to have been able to bring this team their first win."
TRM needs Speed to shore up his performance this season after a rough rookie campaign. The former Formula One driver knew he'd have a challenge on his hands making the move to NASCAR and believes there were enough positives coming out of the year to look for even better things to come in 2010.
"Ever since I came back over the pond and started racing these things, every time I get into it, there's something big that I learn," Speed said. "And honestly, it has been a lot more exciting having done that just because I physically can see so much more progress in myself, you know, from where I started out, say from my first Cup race, to where I'm at now. It's really fun and exciting for me to be able to make those improvements and be able to better myself as a racecar driver. That's honestly the most rewarding."
One thing Speed believes will be beneficial to his development is the opportunity to return to tracks where he now has experience running.
He hopes the added information and data the team was able to gather from each stop last year will also be put into the equation to better his performance.
"No one is gonna do anything different," Speed said. "I guess you're gonna try to get more productive with how you analyze information, but for the most part there is nothing you can really do differently.
"I guess you can take the off-season to decide what you do differently. But if there was something we thought we could do that would be better, everyone would be doing it."