LOUDON, N.H. —
Stewart wasn’t so lucky a week after he finished second at Daytona.
Johnson, who won at Daytona, was mired in last place for the first time in his career after his No. 48 Chevrolet flunked post-qualifying inspection. No big deal. The points leader made quick work through the back of the field and worked his way up to the front for most of the race.
He easily breezed past 71-year-old Morgan Shepherd, the oldest driver to start a race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series.
Kurt Busch led a race-high 102 laps before he connected with Ryan Newman to end his shot at his first victory of the season. Off the restart, Danica Patrick was involved in a three-car wreck that included boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
“We’re all bunched up on those restarts,” Patrick said. “I’m not sure if I misjudged the breaking zone or they stopped really quick in front of me.”
Vickers survived it all to win for the third time in 271 Sprint Cup races.
He thanked the MWR team for “believing in me and giving me a second chance.”
But he wants more.
He received the clean bill of health, the ride and the victory.
With a full 36-race schedule, Vickers said there is one more check he needs to put in his box.
“I feel like I can win a championship with this team,” he said. “That’s our goal.”