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NASCAR at Michigan starts with first-lap crash involving Brian Vickers

Jun 15, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT

Today’s Quicken Loans 400 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has begun with a first-lap crash that ruined the day of dark horse Brian Vickers.

In an apparent attempt to follow Jimmie Johnson, Vickers got loose high in Turn 3 and attempted to save the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, only to have it go up the track and into the wall.

The car then slid down the track in Turn 4 and into Travis Kvapil, who was already in the inside grass in an ill-fated bid to avoid the No. 55.

“I just lost it,” he told TNT after being released from Michigan International Speedway’s care center. “I have no idea what happened or why. The car just got really loose into [Turn 3] and I chased it all the way up to the wall. I thought I had it saved and then it just came all the way around.”

Vickers had been one of the quicker drivers this weekend at MIS outside of the dominant, Hendrick-powered Chevrolet racers.

But instead, today appears as if it will mark his third consecutive subpar finish after a 43rd at Dover (engine failure) and a 19th last weekend at Pocono.

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