For Brian Vickers, the 2013 season just came to an unexpected end.
Michael Waltrip Racing announced on Monday that Vickers will be out for the remainder of the 2013 NASCAR season due to a blood clot in his right calf. The diagnosis was made following the Charlotte racing weekend. Vickers expects to make a return just in time for the 2014 season, in which he is expected to driver the No. 55 car full-time for MWR. A replacement driver has yet to be determined for the remaining five Cup races in the No. 55 car.
At the upcoming race at Talladega, Michael Waltrip had been scheduled as driver of the No. 55.
As of lately, Vickers had been doing double duty, racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 20 car as his primary ride. He currently sits in eighth place in the Nationwide standings where he was competing for the championship. There is no word yet on who will replace Vickers in the JGR ride.
Since Mark Martin left MWR to take over for an injured Tony Stewart, Vickers had been behind the wheel of the No. 55, moving his time in the car to an earlier start. Now, any work or preparation for the full-time move in 2014 will now be on hold.
This isn’t the first time Vickers has had to sit out of races for a health issue. In the 2010 season, Vickers sat out much of the year due to blood clots. He missed time, but he managed to come back healthier and better than ever.
Now, with the season coming to the final races, the question that remains is, who will replace Vickers in the MWR Cup ride and the JGR Nationwide Series car? When it comes to the JGR car, the team may place one of its development drivers for the final races. JGR could use Drew Herring, or it can even turn to some of Kyle Busch’s drivers from Kyle Busch Motorsports. As for MWR, they may have to look towards a Toyota Racing driver to step in and help the team within the final weeks.
While the teams decide which step to take in the situation, the important matter of it all is that Vickers gets the necessary recovery in order to come back in 2014.