In the absence of Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip Racing has tabbed Elliott Sadler to drive its No. 55 Toyota in four of the final five races of the season.
MWR announced Monday that Vickers would be sidelined the remainder of the year after a blood clot was discovered on his right calf. Vickers suffered a similar illness in 2010 and nearly died. He missed 25 races that year, though he is expected to be cleared to race by the start of the 2014 season.
MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip was already named the driver of the No. 55 car for this weekend's event at Talladega Superspeedway. Sadler will begin his role as Vickers' fill-in Oct. 27 at Martinsville Speedway.
Sadler, currently a full-time driver in the Nationwide Series, where he is a teammate of Vickers at Joe Gibbs Racing, competed in NASCAR's premiere series from 1999-2010. In 431 Cup starts, Sadler has three victories and qualified for the 2004 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
"First, I am already a teammate of Brian's at Joe Gibbs Racing and it is really tough to see him going through this again," Sadler said in a statement. "Both of us have fought hard to get back in a position to win at NASCAR's highest level. I am honored to have this opportunity to drive for MWR because I know their cars are competitive.
"I want to thank Rob Kauffman, Michael and Aaron's for giving me this chance. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers will be for Brian to have a quick recovery."