Between another health scare for Brian Vickers and Martin Truex, Jr. being told it is okay to look for another ride in 2014, Monday has been the pits for Michael Waltrip Racing.
It was announced on Monday morning that Brian Vickers will miss the rest of the 2013 season after being placed on blood thinners for a blood clot in his right calf.
As you may recall, Vickers missed the final 25 races of 2010 while recovering from blood clots and heart surgery. His doctors are confident he will return to NASCAR before the 2014 season begins.
“If there’s anything to be positive about with today’s news it’s that this is only a temporary setback,” Vickers said in a team release. “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 was not to be in the car this weekend at Talladega, but MWR has not decided who will drive the No. 55 Toyota Camry for the remaining four races, also Joe Gibbs Racing, who Vickers drives for in the Nationwide Series had no word on who would fill in.
As for Truex, with the announcement that NAPA was leaving at the end of the 2013 season because of the team orders scandal, Michael Waltrip Racing will downsize from three to two Sprint Cup teams next season.
“Our goals for the reorganization were twofold, firstly to improve the competitiveness of our race teams and, secondly maintain a stable organizational structure,” said co-owner Rob Kauffman. “The team’s focus has been to find that last one percent needed to move from Chase participant to Cup champion. This realignment will get us closer to that last one percent.”
It has been hit after hit for the Toyota team, since the September 7th race at Richmond International Raceway, where MWR was found to have manipulated the finish in an attempt to get Truex into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR fined the team $300,000 and suspended Ty Norris, the general manger, indefinitely, and replaced Truex in the Chase field with Ryan Newman, who wuld have won the race and earned a spot before Clint Bowyer’s spin.
In punishing MWR, NASCAR ruled that the only thing it could prove was that Norris intentionally called Vickers down pit road in the closing laps to adjust the finish.
Now the question, where do you think Martin Truex, Jr. will end up? Would you stay at a team who has been found cheating and is losing their main sponsor?
Let your voice be heard, NASCAR Nation!