Season finish: 22nd
2014 Season Stats: 0 Wins, 3 Top-5s, 9 Top-10s, 1 Pole.
What went right: Just being able to return to full-time Sprint Cup competition was huge for Vickers, who ran a full, 36-race Cup schedule for the first time since he lost his ride at Team Red Bull after its 2011 shutdown. Restrictor plate events were particularly fruitful for Vickers; he earned two of his three Top-5 finishes in 2014 (including his season-best of second at Daytona in July) as well as a pole on the mega-tracks.
What went wrong: Following a decent early-season stretch (two Top-5s, 5 Top-10s in the first 12 races), Vickers lost an engine early at Dover and finished 43rd. That appears to be where the year took a turn for the worse, as his results, outside the aforementioned runner-up at Daytona, became largely mediocre.
2015 Prospectus: It was pretty clear that Michael Waltrip Racing struggled with downsizing to a two-car team after its Richmond 2013 race manipulation incident. In addition to Vickers’ woes, teammate Clint Bowyer also faltered noticeably. Unfortunately, Vickers will have to wait for his opportunity at redemption. Heart-related health issues – the latest in a series of medical setbacks that have hampered his career – have forced him out of the car for at least the early part of the 2015 season. We wish him the best and we hope to see him back behind the wheel soon.