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Blood Clots Sideline Vickers

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, May 14 2010

Brian Vickers has been hospitalized because of blood clots. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Dover, Del. – NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Brian Vickers could be released from a Washington D.C. hospital as early as today.

Red Bull Racing Team General Manager and Vice President Jay Frye confirmed Friday morning during a press conference at Dover International Speedway that the 26-year-old Vickers experienced discomfort in his chest Wednesday evening while preparing for a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

“He went to the emergency room (Wednesday night) and a CP scan discovered blood clots in his veins, not his arteries,” Frye said. “He’s currently being given medication to dissolve the clots.

“We’re not sure what caused them or how it happened. There’s no timetable for his return.”

Vickers, who is coming off a 10th-place finish in Saturday night’s Showtime Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C., was a participant in last year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

But the Thomasville, N.C. native is 20th in the current Cup championship standings heading into Sunday’s Autism 400 at the one-mile concrete oval.

Casey Mears has been tabbed to drive Vickers’ No. 83 Red Bull Toyota this weekend.

Frye was asked if there’s still a possibility that Vickers could start on Sunday to gain championship points before turning the driving chores over to Mears.

“At this point, we’re not even sure when he’ll get out of the hospital,” Frye said. “Our main concern is his health. It’s nothing we anticipated happening.

“Our focus is to get through the weekend. Casey has agreed to (drive) it as long as we want him to do it.”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, May 14 2010
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