Waltrip: Vickers and Martin’s part-time efforts made deal possible


Michael Waltrip’s No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota has done an excellent job of carrying the flag for part-time driver lineups over the last two years, while Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. have raced full-time in the other two cars.

But as for the part-time No. 55, Waltrip was quick to give credit to both Brian Vickers, his new full-time driver for 2014, and Mark Martin, who helped lay the foundation with his setup work and mentorship to the team.

“We wouldn’t be sitting here if Mark Martin didn’t join the team,” Waltrip said at today’s introductory news conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. “I got to run a few races but we needed a guy for a few other ones and that was Brian Vickers. We loved Brian’s enthusiasm and how he wanted to race that car. It wasn’t about money for him then, and it’s not now. It’s abut him being a champion driver. Mark has given so much to our team.”

Vickers, too, paid tribute to Martin’s role.

“To have a mentorship with Mark was great. I only wish it would have happened 10 years ago when I was a rookie!” Vickers said. “I wish we didn’t have to wait so long! There’s still a lot to learn through the process.”

For Vickers, just being able to race again was half the battle after his blood clots diagnosed sidelined him in 2010.

“Yeah, when the doctor told me I’d never race again,” was Vickers’ answer to a question when asked if he thought his career was over. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs through the whole process. When I brought up racing, my bedside manner wasn’t the best. But fortunately we learned it was a fluke event. I can’t take credit for it. Just never give up.”

Motocross: Chase Sexton to miss Hangtown after midweek practice crash

Sexton Hangtown practice crash
Align Media

Chase Sexton announced on Instagram he will sit out this weekend’s Pro Motocross race at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California after a practice crash on Tuesday left him with a concussion.

Sexton’s crash on Tuesday happened during a test session at Fox Raceway.

“Bummed to make this post but I’ll be sitting out this weekend,” Sexton said. “As you guys saw I had a big one during qualifying at Pala, then another one on Tuesday this week that banged me up pretty good. Nothing broken just need a few days to get back to 100%.”

Despite his crash in the first qualification session in Pala, California, Sexton mounted up for both motos and finished second in each race behind his teammate Jett Lawrence, who was making his Motocross debut and won with a pair of first-place finishes. Sexton padded his SuperMotocross points’ lead over the injured Eli Tomac, who is still second in the combined Supercross and Motocross standings despite missing the SX finale at Salt Lake City and the outdoor opener with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Sexton has an advantage of 78 points over Cooper Webb and cannot give up his SMX lead by missing this round.

At stake, however, is the risk of losing ground to Lawrence in the Pro Motocross championship. Sexton currently trails his teammate by six points and is liable to lose significant ground this weekend.

In addition to his concussion, Sexton has also been diagnosed with mononucleosis and the combination of the two conditions caused the team to make the difficult decision to keep him out of the lineup at Hangtown.

“I’m super-bummed to miss this weekend’s race,” Sexton said in a press release. “I feel like I rode well at Pala, and I was really looking forward to Hangtown because it’s a good track for me. Unfortunately, I was already pretty banged up from my qualifying crash on Saturday, and now with mono and Tuesday’s concussion on top of it, I want to do the right thing and hopefully be back on the track soon.”

A return date for Sexton has not yet been announced.

Other 2023 Injury News

450 riders
Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon | It was just a freak deal
Justin Barcia,
collarbone and shoulder
Jason Anderson, vertebrae
Christian Craig, elbow
Marvin Musquin, wrist
Malcolm Stewart, knee | Signs two-year extension
Aaron Plessinger, hip | returned at Salt Lake City
Dylan Ferrandis, concussion | Will not return until Motocross
Cooper Webb,
concussion | returned at Pala

250 riders
Nate Thrasher, hip
Stilez Robertson, leg
Cameron McAdoo, shoulder
Seth Hammaker, arm and wrist
Austin Forkner, knee | Injury isn’t the hardest part
Jo Shimoda, collarbone | returned at Atlanta
Jalek Swoll, arm | returned at Pala