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Health Problems Again Strike Vickers

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, December 15 2014

Brian Vickers will miss the start of the 2015 NASCAR season. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

Michael Waltrip Racing driver Brian Vickers will miss the beginning of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season because of health issues.

Vickers’ body, it was reported Monday, was rejecting the patch inserted to repair a hole in his heart in 2010.

On Saturday, he had surgery to repair the hole in his heart.

“Brian has been a part of the MWR family since 2012 and our thoughts today are with Brian, his wife Sarah and the Vickers family,” said MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman. “As a race team, MWR has plenty to consider and we will confer with our partners, including Aaron’s and Toyota. As this is fresh news, we will adjust our future plans as more information becomes available.”

In 58 races driving MWR’s No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota, Vickers scored eight top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. He won the July race at New Hampshire in 2013 and captured the pole at Talladega in October 2014. He has won three Cup races and 12 poles in 316 career Sprint Cup starts.

Vickers missed most of the 2010 season because of blood clots in his legs and lungs. He also was forced to sit out portions of the 2013 season because of clotting problems.

He had heart surgery in July 2010 in hopes of keeping blood clots from forming. He returned in 2011 and was healthy until missing the last five weeks of the 2013 season because of a blood clot in his right calf.

“First, I want to thank everyone for their sincere support,” the 31-year-old driver said in a statement released by MWR. “I have faced obstacles before and it has made victory that much sweeter and I know that will be the case again.

“My previous experiences have given me a very keen understanding of my body. Late last week I knew something wasn’t right, so I went to the hospital to be checked out. Following several tests, it was discovered that my body was rejecting an artificial patch that was inserted in 2010 to fix a hole in my heart. Saturday, I had to have corrective surgery to repair the hole and now I am beginning the recovery process. I will need plenty of time, rest and rehab but this temporary setback will not stop me from pursuing my dream of becoming a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.”

Vickers was the 2003 Nationwide Series champion.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, December 15 2014
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