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.
It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”
But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.
Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.
Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:
- 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
- 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
- 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
- 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:
1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.
Check your local listings for replay times.