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NASCAR Cup Series

Vickers Sidelined for Remainder of 2013

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By Kelly Crandall – Brian Vickers will miss the remainder of the 2013 season Michael Waltrip Racing announced this morning.

Vickers received news from Dr. William Downey that he has a small blood clot in the calf region of his right leg. He’ll be taking blood thinners for the clot and will not compete in the final five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for MWR in the No. 55, which he’ll race full-time beginning in 2014.

“If there’s anything to be positive about with today’s news it’s that this is only temporary,” Vickers said in the MWR release. “The timing for this is never good, but I’m glad we’ll get it out of the way now and be ready to run for a championship with the Aaron’s Dream Machine in 2014.”

Vickers had been schedule for finish out the year in the 55 as the team prepared for next season. The group won together at New Hampshire in July. Team owner Michael Waltrip will drive the car this weekend at Talladega, which had previously been planned, with a replacement driver for the season’s remaining races to be announced at a later date.

Vickers finished 25th at Charlotte on Saturday night.

“We were just informed this morning and our concern is for Brian’s health,” Rob Kauffman said, co-owner at MWR. “Anything else will be worked out in due course.”

Vickers was also running full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series. He sits eighth in points coming off a hard crash on Friday night with teammate Elliott Sadler. JGR has not announced a replacement driver for the season’s remaining three races.

Blood clots are an unfortunate familiar thing for Vickers. In 2010 he was sidelined from his then ride at Red Bull Racing when clots were discovered in his left leg and lungs, which he underwent heart surgery for. Later it was found he also had a clot in a finger in his left hand. He returned for the 2011 season and has been healthy ever since.

Both Vickers and his doctors say he’ll be able to return to racing for the 2014 season.

EMAIL KELLY AT kelly.crandall@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @KellyCrandall

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