Brian Vickers out rest of 2013 due to blood clot

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Brian Vickers will be sidelined for the remainder of the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series seasons due to health complications.

Vickers, who was sidelined for the second half of 2010 due to a blood clot, has a similar issue this time around. Doctors discovered a small blood clot in his calf region during a Monday morning examination.

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

As previously announced, his Sprint Cup team principal Michael Waltrip will drive the No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota this weekend at Talladega, and a decision on a replacement for the remaining four Cup races will be made later.

A decision will have to be made on his Nationwide replacement, as well, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Vickers had been pulling double duty since Tony Stewart’s injuries meant MWR’s other driver, Mark Martin, went to the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet to fill in there for the balance of the season. The one exception there is also this weekend at Talladega, where Austin Dillon is set to drive the No. 14.

Vickers’ 2013 had been a comeback season of sorts with a popular win at New Hampshire in July, and the announcement he’d be back in Sprint Cup full-time in 2014 with MWR. That was in happier days for the team before the controversy of Richmond happened in September.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.