Brian Vickers took steps Friday to distance himself from the infamous Maxim magazine article that portrayed him as a party animal who has "relentless, connoisseur's pursuit of pussy in all its forms."
The article, which is no longer available online, said Vickers "gains velocity by consuming untold vodkas, lurches from club to bar to club, and staggers home with women in multiples."
"That was completely a lie," Vickers said upon returning to Bristol Motor Speedway in preparation for his first NASCAR race of the season. "I could have sued them if I really wanted to. I chose not to because I think it was only going to drag the experience out, but I had three witnesses for that interview and every one of them would attest in court that most, if not all, of that article was completely made up."
Vickers said author Mike Guy printed "blatant lies" and said "the quotes weren't even real quotes."
"I think he said something at one time in the article about scotch on the rocks, and I've never drank scotch in my life, ever," Vickers said. "I have no idea where that came from. He just made it up."
When the story was published in February 2011, it became the buzz of the garage area. At the time, Vickers' friends seemed to think the story sounded like an accurate portrayal.
"I know that Brian, definitely," close friend Jimmie Johnson said at the time. "With a year off, I think he pursued as many things off track as possible and certainly had a lot of fun. ... Brian has always had an interesting point of view on things. He has never lacked confidence, either. I felt like that came through in the article."
But in a little-noticed blog post in April, Vickers wrote the Maxim article was "loosely based on a true story."
"We didn't really even go out for a drink," Vickers wrote. "We did an interview talking about my heart surgery, coming back to racing, and overcoming adversity and all that stuff."
If the article is a false portrayal, then Vickers' reputation and his quest to find a new NASCAR team may have been damaged.
But in a statement to SB Nation, author Guy said defended his story.
"I stand by my reporting – and the reaction of Brian's peers to the story – and wish him the best of luck securing a ride," Guy said.
Vickers found himself jobless after Red Bull Racing shut down in the offseason and though he is running six Cup races for Michael Waltrip Racing, there are no other races on his schedule for now.
On Friday, Vickers even said the Red Bull lifestyle with his previous team was somewhat of an exaggeration.
"GMAC wanted me to do an appearance at a dealership (when he was at Hendrick Motorsports); Red Bull wanted me to swim with sharks," he said. "... Did I enjoy sky diving and scuba diving? Yeah, of course. Would I rather be at a test at Nashville for two days with the race team learning more about the race car? Yeah, but that's not what they wanted. They wanted (me) to be sky diving.
"That was what was important to them, so it just is part of the sport."