NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers will miss the rest of the 2013 season while undergoing treatment for a blood clot in his right leg. According to Nate Ryan of USA Today, the veteran driver spoke out about the situation and expressed optimism surrounding his outlook:
If there's anything to be positive about with today's news it's that this is only a temporary setback. 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.
This isn’t Vickers' first issue with blood clots during his racing career. He missed the final 25 races of the 2010 season with the same issue, and underwent heart surgery while away from the sport, according to Ryan.
Vickers has reportedly been prescribed blood thinning medication to take care of the clots, and that is the reason he will not be able to race for the rest of the season. Even the slightest crash while on blood thinners has the potential to be deadly.
Team owner Michael Waltrip released a statement about his driver following the news:
It's pretty amazing, talking to Brian, looking at Brian, that he can't race. It just goes to show you how fragile life is at times. He feels perfectly fine. He just had a sore ankle. That regular checkup exposed he had a problem. His spirits are good. He's very confident he'll be ready to go for '14. We just support him and want to wish him the best.
The 29-year-old veteran was named the full-time driver of Michael Waltrip Racing’s No. 55 car in August after splitting time with Mark Martin and Waltrip for most of the year.
Vickers won the Camping World RV Sales 301 and registered four more top-10 finishes over the course of his shortened season. His stellar performance on the track is what helped MWR hire him full time for 2014.
Waltrip himself will take over the driving duties for the No. 55 car this week at Talladega, but no announcement has been made concerning who will drive the car for the rest of the 2013 season.
With just five races remaining in the season, the team owner would be smart to finish the year in the driver’s seat instead of hiring another temporary replacement.
Per the report, Vickers should be ready to continue rejoin Michael Waltrip Racing in early 2014.