Silly season has taken another wild twist. Though it was expected after rumors have circled the NASCAR scene for several weeks, Brian Vickers will have a full-time ride next year.
Besides running a part-time schedule in the Sprint Cup Series with Michael Waltrip Racing in the No. 55 Toyota, Vickers will add a full Nationwide Series schedule to his slate.
According to Nate Ryan of USA Today, Vickers has signed on a deal to run the full Nationwide Series schedule with Joe Gibbs Racing. The car will be sponsored by Dollar General for the entire season. But, that will likely mean that Brian Scott will be departing the organization.
Scott is in his second year with the No. 11 team and has had numerous sub-par performances over the course of his Joe Gibbs Racing career. It’s unclear where he will end up, driving a truck with Kyle Busch Motorsports could be an option as he could bring Shore Lodge sponsorship along with him.
But, for Vickers, returning to the Nationwide Series with a championship caliber team should help his campaign for a full-time Sprint Cup Series schedule with Waltrip’s team in 2014. His career has been erratic, but throughout his few races in 2012, he has shown that he belongs in a competitive car.
That leads into another open seat at Joe Gibbs Racing. Since Joey Logano is departing at season’s end for Penske Racing, there will be another open Nationwide Series seat with the team.
Elliott Sadler, who currently drives for Richard Childress Racing in the Nationwide Series, is leaving the team at season’s end as well. The latest rumor circling Sadler is that he will run a full Nationwide and part-time Sprint Cup Series schedule with Gibbs. Sadler is rumored to be bringing his One Main Financial sponsorship with him to the team, but that has not been officially announced.
In a press conference at the Texas Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon, Sadler seemed optimistic to have a deal done soon. Tf hough Sadler couldn’t say what team it is, he did say that he was pretty close to finishing the deal over the off-week the series had after Kansas.
If the rumor is true, Sadler should make a return to full-time Sprint Cup Series competition in 2014 along with Vickers as both drivers continue to rejuvenate their careers hoping to be elite once again.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.