Blood clot forces Brian Vickers to miss remainder of NASCAR season

Todd Warshaw

A blood clot found in the right leg of Brian Vickers will sideline him for the rest of the 2013 NASCAR season.

NASCAR driver Brian Vickers will miss the remainder of the 2013 season after a blood clot was found in his right calf.

The news announced Monday will affect both Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. Vickers was slated to drive the No. 55 MWR car in four of the final five Sprint Cup races and the No. 20 JGR entry in the three remaining Nationwide Series events.

Vickers has been placed on blood thinners and is confident he will be healthy and cleared to return in time for the start of the 2014 season Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway.

"If there's anything to be positive about with today's news it's that this is only a temporary setback," Vickers said in a statement. "The timing for this is never good, but I'm glad we'll get it out of the way now and be ready to run for a championship with the Aaron's Dream Machine in 2014."

This marks the second time Vickers has been sidelined because of health complications. He missed the final 25 races of the 2010 season while recovery from blood clots and heart surgery to repair a hole in his atria.

And Monday's news dampers what had been a triumphant return to full-time competition for Vickers.

After running a limited scheduled last year and into this year, the 29-year-old signed a multiyear contract and was named the permanent driver of the No. 55 car following an emotional July victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The win snapped a 75-race winless streak and also prompted sponsor Aaron's to sign an extension with MWR to continue funding the team.

Vickers last competed a full Cup schedule in 2011 and had ran 17 of 31 Cup races this season accumulating one win, two top-fives and six top-10s finishes.

Neither MWR nor JGR has announced who will fill-in for Vickers during his absence. MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip had been previously named as the driver of the No. 55 car for this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway.

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