SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- For Brian Vickers, the third time really was the charm.
Vickers didn't win Saturday's Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but his fourth-place finish did net the Joe Gibbs Racing driver the final $100,000 bonus in the Nationwide Series Dash 4 Cash program.
Making his third appearance in the program, Vickers was the highest-finishing driver among the four eligible for the Indy bonus.
Austin Dillon (12th), Elliott Sadler (13th) and Sam Hornish Jr. (34th) were also eligible for the award.
Race fan Pam Nabors collected a $100,000 bonus for being paired with Vickers for the program's final race of the 2013 season.
"We had a lot of adversity to overcome today and unfortunately we were on the race track hitting the splitter all day. It probably cost us a shot at the win," Vickers said. "? It was still a great day. To get the $100,000 with Nationwide's Dash 4 Cash and get the family here $100,000 too -- that's huge and that's special."
Vickers' Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch won the race, scoring his 59th career victory and the eighth of the season. Vickers said he felt his team had a car capable of competing with Busch, but late changes to the setup the previous day proved to be his undoing.
"We made some changes last night and that kind of got us," he said. "It snuck in there and got us. We were awesome (Friday) in practice and we probably got greedy trying to get more out of it. Between practice and the race, it might have cost us, but still a great top-five. Good points day for us."
Although he led only once, for three laps, Vickers was in the top 10 practically all day and a good portion of that was spent in the top five. Only three spots separated he and Dillon on a restart with 12 laps to go in the 100-lap race. A mix of drivers on new and old tires, however, made for a mad scramble and when the yellow reappeared only two laps later, Vickers had gained four spots and was inside the top-five. He was able to maintain his position through the final six-lap run.
"Obviously a good points day and a great day for Pam," Vickers said. "Very excited about that ? it's a phenomenal program for the sport, the series, the drivers and the fans."
"I'll never have a chance to win $100,000 in my life again, I don't believe," said Nabors, a resident of Santa Cruz, Calif. "It's just fantastic. I couldn't stop crying. Now I have, and it still doesn't feel real."
Dillon, a two-time winner of the Dash 4 Cash this year (at New Hampshire and Chicago), jumped from third to first in points after the cars of Hornish Jr. and Regan Smith (1-2 in the points heading into the event) suffered engine issues.
Smith remains second, while Hornish fell from first to fourth.
Sadler won the program's first bonus this year at Daytona.
"We have to always ? step back and look at the big picture," Vickers said. "? If we don't have problems, we usually have a top-five or top-three. If you keep doing that, usually the wins will come. ?
"The guys we were racing had some problems. We don't wish that for them at the end of the race, but we'll take it. We've had our fair share of them this year."
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