NASCAR AMERICA: The perseverance of Brian Vickers (VIDEO)

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As we have focused lately on Brian Vickers’ health issues over the course of his Sprint Cup career, perhaps we have forgotten about his ability to overcome obstacles.

Vickers, who underwent heart surgery in December but will return to action at Las Vegas this March, may have shown as much perseverance as anyone in the Sprint Cup Series.

Despite his health problems, he remains a competitive driver in NASCAR’s top division. That’s a distinction only so many people have in this world. And clearly, Vickers has worked hard to keep that.

Still, there are questions about whether his most recent scare will be the last. What if his body fails to hold up again? His Michael Waltrip Racing team and his main sponsor, Aaron’s, have shown admirable patience and support of Vickers. But would another setback give them pause?

Vickers, for his part, isn’t worried about that scenario. In an 1-on-1 interview with NASCAR AMERICA’s Nate Ryan, he said that his partners have assured him that they’ll continue to be behind him.

“I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it – ‘How many times can I go through this without scaring them?,'” Vickers told Ryan. “But [the team and Aaron’s] just keep reminding me that that’s not how they think.

“They have my back, they support me, they want me in that car, and they’ll do anything they can to have that happen as long as it’s safe and the right, healthy thing to do.”

For more of Vickers’ interview with Ryan, check out the clip above.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold