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Brian Vickers Expected to Replace Tony Stewart in Daytona 500

Brian Vickers has emerged as the lead candidate to replace Tony Stewart in the season-opening Daytona 500 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next weekend.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Vickers will fill in for the injured Stewart in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14, granted he is medically cleared to compete by NASCAR, per an anonymous source.

Vickers, 32, has been sidelined since last March due to blood clots, running only two races during the 2015 season for Michael Waltrip Racing and the No. 55. The former XFINITY Series champion has missed races various times since 2010 due to illness, including the recurring blood clots as well as surgery to repair a hole in his heart in December 2014.

In 318 career Cup Series starts, Vickers has three wins, 29 top 5s and 77 top 10s. He made the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2009, finishing 12th.

A long-term substitute — Vickers or otherwise — for Stewart has not been announced.

Stewart-Haas Racing will officially announce the driver of the No. 14 during a press conference on Friday, Feb. 12.

Stewart, who is entering his farewell season as a full-time Sprint Cup driver, was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident last week, suffering a fractured vertebra.

 

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About Kevin Rutherford

Kevin Rutherford
Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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6 comments

  1. Avatar

    There was no one else?

  2. Avatar

    Hopefully Brian has his health issues straightened out and can make a solid showing.

  3. Avatar

    Surprising choice to me. With MWR closing their doors I had wondered if Vickers would ever race at the Sprint Cup level again. Hope his medical issues are in the rearview mirror.

    • Avatar

      Vickers is back, one win and waiver from a championship run. Stewart’s woes continue. Maybe he should have retired 5 years ago.

  4. Avatar

    Brian Vickers for Daytona then Ty Dillon? What’s wrong? Pop Pop’s inventory of toys for Grand Kids getting low?
    I know, its a Johnnie Morris deal. Would have been nice to see someone more deserving. Personally, hoped Stewart might give JJ Yeley a chance in a competitive car. Just sayin’

    • Avatar

      was kind of surprised that a dillon would drive for satellite operation of hendrick. maybe he’ll do some surveillance while he’s in stewart/haas cars.