NASCAR At Martinsville: Brian Vickers, Matt Kenseth Say 2012 Marks Fresh Start

Even if you can't remember who won last October's Martinsville race (it was Tony Stewart, by the way), you probably remember Brian Vickers being involved in five cautions – including a spat with Chase contender Matt Kenseth.

Vickers was a wrecking ball that day, and many have speculated his Martinsville performance may have hurt his chances at landing a full-time Sprint Cup Series ride this season.

But coming off a top-five run at Bristol two weeks ago, Vickers was back at Martinsville on Friday to drive Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 car.

And as for the bad memories from last year's race? Vickers said they're all behind him.

"Obviously, I didn't make the best decisions of my career," Vickers said. "But ultimately at the end of the day Matt wrecked me going into (Turn) 3 and I wrecked him back. It's happened a lot through the sport of NASCAR and big time auto racing.

"My goal this year is for that to go away – for that to becoming a non-issue ... so that when we're back here in the next race we're talking a great run at Martinsville and everybody completely forgets about the other one."

Will Kenseth be able to forget? The Roush Fenway Racing driver said yes and added, "That's all in the past."

"I think if you're sitting there worrying about that stuff and thinking about it, you're certainly not giving your best effort to try and get the best finish that you can," Kenseth said. "So I think that's all water under the bridge and you move forward from there."

Michael Waltrip, who hired Vickers for eight races this year (his seat for the two road course races was just announced Friday), said the driver's Martinsville showing didn't cause MWR any hesitation when deciding who to hire.

"Brian's body of work has never been about wrecking people or running over people," Waltrip said. "Things happen at Martinsville that lead to contact and people get mad. That certainly never was any part of the consideration MWR had about hiring Brian, because that doesn't define who he is."

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