Vickers out for rest of Cup season

Brian Vickers will miss the remainder of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season due to health issues resulting from blood clots.

Vickers was placed on blood thinning medication following a Monday morning examination where doctors discovered a small clot in his right leg.

The medication will force Vickers out of the No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota effective immediately.

“If there’s anything to be positive about with today’s news it’s that this is only a temporary setback,” said Vickers. “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.”

Vickers has three career Sprint Cup wins, the most recently at New Hampshire on July 14.

Earlier this season, Vickers shared the ride with Mark Martin, but following the veteran’s departure to Stewart Haas Racing in August, was announced as the full-time driver of the team for next season but took over the driver’s seat full-time. In August, Vickers was also named the Aaron’s driver for 2014.

Vickers’ condition was originally discovered in May 2010 while driving for Red Bull Racing. He took a medical leave following the 11th race of the year then returned for the full 2011 season. His condition has been monitored ever since.

Vickers was expected to participate in a NASCAR test at Charlotte Motor Speedway Monday morning. Brett Moffitt is standing by for the test.

Scott Miller, crew chief for the No. 55 Toyota says Vickers absence “is unfortunate for us all.”

“The whole MWR team and Brian have a good relationship,” Miller said. “We were all looking forward to finishing the year, building on that and leading into next year.

“But unfortunately we’ve taken that setback today. It’s a pretty big blow for MWR – and especially Brian. He’s worked so hard to get back here and he’s done a fantastic job. But now some things are up in the air and my heart goes out to him.”

Vickers currently competes full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series. He is currently eighth in the point standings.

JGR general manager Jimmy Makar was grateful for Vickers’ contribution to the organization’s Nationwide Series program this year. He acknowledged Vickers, who won the 2003 NNS title, was an asset to the club.

“Brian has been good, he’s a good race car driver,” Makar said. “He’s consistent. He’s smart and gives a lot of good feedback for the guys. I think he helps the team stay focused and in a good direction. He was obviously running for the championship there and it was nice to have everyone concentrating to that.

“If there is a good part to all of this, it’s that there’s two weeks off until the next Nationwide Series race so the guys have time to look things over and decide what to do moving forward.”