Brian Vickers to miss first part of NASCAR season after surgery

Brian Vickers (Getty Images)

Brian Vickers (Getty Images)

Brian Vickers will not be behind the wheel of the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota when the NASCAR Sprint Cup season begins in February. The team announced Monday that Vickers, who has battled health issues in the last few years, will miss the early part of the 2015 season. Vickers said that he was the one who knew something with his health wasn’t right last week.

“I went to the hospital to be checked out,” Vickers said. “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.”

Vickers missed much of the 2010 season when blood clots were discovered in his left leg and lungs. He returned to NASCAR the following year with Red Bull Racing. That team shut down at the end of the year and in the first part of 2012, Vickers was without a ride. In March, Michael Waltrip Racing announced they had signed Vickers in a part time role. It was announced in August that Vickers would be the full time driver of the No. 55 starting in 2014. Then in October of 2013 another blood clot was found in Vickers leg. Doctor’s placed Vickers on blood-thinning medication that prevented him from racing. MORE>>>

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