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Vickers Going Back To Waltrip But Keeping Options Open

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, October 26 2012

Brian Vickers won't rule sports cars out of his future. (File photo courtesy of RK Racing)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Brian Vickers has a nine-race NASCAR Sprint Cup deal with Michael Waltrip Racing for 2013, but the North Carolina driver said Friday he’s open-minded about driving for teams in other series.

This year Vickers has competed in seven Sprint Cup races for MWR and has piloted a Ferrari in selected events in the World Endurance Championship.

“I want to be in a car as much as possible,” said Vickers, who qualified on the outside of the front row for Sunday’s TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. “Sports cars are welcome. Indy Cars are welcome; Europe, America, Nationwide, Truck. You name it. I am open-minded to anything. My No. 1 criteria is to be in a winning car.”

MWR officials announced Friday that Vickers, Mark Martin and team co-owner Michael Waltrip would again share driving duties in the No. 55 Toyota in 2013. Martin will pilot the Toyota in 24 races next year, plus the Shootout at Daytona and the All-Star race at Charlotte.

Waltrip’s three races are all restrictor-plate events – July Daytona and both Talladega races. Vickers’ nine-race schedule contains the Bristol, Martinsville, New Hampshire and road course events, as well as Kentucky. Aaron’s is the sponsor for three of the races, while the other six need funding. Vickers said a sponsor was needed for all of the races in 2014.

Rodney Childers will continue as the team’s crew chief in 2013.

“I would love to be in this situation that I’m in full-time next year, but I’m also very thankful to be in it at all,” says Vickers, whose eighth and final race for MWR this season is the Martinsville event. “I took a chance running part-time with a top team and I feel like it’s paid off,”

In seven races this year, Vickers, who missed most of the 2010 season with blood clots in his left leg and lungs and a hole between the right and left atrium in his heart, has produced three top-five and four top-10 finishes.

“We’re pleased with this year, but not satisfied,” commented Vickers, who has no contractual obligations for 2014.

Still, Vickers believes he is where he belongs – with Toyota and MWR.

“I’ve looked for a home for a long time in NASCAR and I feel like I have found it,” Vickers said.

– Deb Williams can be reached at dwilliams@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, October 26 2012
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