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Brian Vickers finally gets a new deal

  For Brian Vickers, victory brings a new contract (Photo: Toyota Motorsports)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Looks like Brian Vickers' win Sunday at Michigan was the key -- Tuesday Team Red Bull, owned by Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz, finally signed the 26-year-old Thomasville, N.C., racer to a new contract.
    So Vickers will continue running the Sprint Cup tour with crew chief Ryan Pemberton and general manager Jay Frye.
    Still no official word, though, if the team will stay with Toyota, though that's now the expectation.
   "Brian has been here from the beginning, and he continues to be a vital piece of the puzzle with regards to our ultimate goal of building Red Bull Racing into a consistent contender," Frye said in announcing the new deal.”
   Indeed, for running with what was a start-up team only in 2007, with a new manufacturer, Toyota, Vickers has done rather well, though with a bit more luck he could have more wins. He has proven to be consistent and fast, if not a great 'closer.'
   But Sunday at Michigan International Speedway Vickers did close the deal on the second tour win of his career, beating former teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
    Last weekend, with negotiations still dragging, Vickers expressed frustration at the process. And there has been no clear indication of the reason for the slow pace, given Vickers' runs. To be honest, many times Vickers has simply been better than the equipment. After all he's been on the tour for quite a while, though he's still young in the sport.
   "This has been a long time coming," Vickers said. "And there is nowhere else I would rather be.
   "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 bring this team their first win."
   Now Vickers and Pemberton have three races to crack the top-12 and make the championship playoffs. They're 13th in the Cup standings, only 12 points out.

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