CONCORD, N.C. - Brian Vickers is getting frustrated with leading a lot of laps at Lowe's Motor Speedway and having nothing to show for it.
Vickers appeared to have a dominant car in the Sprint Showdown last weekend, only to come up short and fail to capture one of the two spots that transferred into the All-Star Race.
For nearly half of Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600, Vickers appeared again ready to contend for his first Sprint Cup Series victory at the track.
He led four times for 61 of the first 181 laps and traded the lead with Kurt Busch, who had led 64 of the first 200 circuits.
But trouble struck again. The left-rear wheel came off of Vickers' No. 83 Toyota as he entered Turn 1 on Lap 185 and Vickers slammed into the wall. There was no hope of repairing the car and he was credited with a 42nd-place finish.
"We were the fastest car on the race track and we were really moving, and that was with the left-rear (tire) loose," Vickers said. "It's a couple of years now where we've led a lot of laps and haven't been able to close one."
In last season's 600, Vickers led 76 laps and ended the day with his season's best finish, a fifth. He failed to qualify for last fall's race at Charlotte.
"It's definitely a little frustrating. This was the first race for the new chassis at Team Red Bull and I'm really proud of those guys. They did an awesome job," Vickers said.
"Obviously. we were the fastest car here, very similar to last year, and we just didn't have the luck or something. We're missing something there to be able to seal the deal."
Vickers said the performance of he and teammate A.J. Allmendinger at Charlotte the last two weeks bodes well for the organization. Allmendinger won the Showdown and advanced into the All-Star Race last weekend.
"It's been a really long road. Last year was really difficult for everybody, but we've made so many gaines," said Vickers, who began his Cup career at Hendrick Motorsports. "We just have to finish it off."