Brian Vickers gets full sponsorship backing to drive No. 55 Aaron's Toyota starting in 2014

  • Article by: STEVE REED , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: August 13, 2013 - 9:50 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Brian Vickers has a full-time ride again on the Sprint Cup Series.

Michael Waltrip Racing announced Tuesday that Vickers will drive the No. 55 Aaron's Toyota for a full Sprint Cup schedule beginning next season. Andrea Freeman, the vice president of marketing for Aaron's Inc., says the sponsorship deal is for both the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Vickers said he's "ecstatic" about the decision.

"I feel like I've found a home here at MWR," Vickers told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I'm partnered with a great team. A lot of it is about chemistry. Sometimes it's hard to find that right mesh, but when you find it, you know it."

The 29-year-old Vickers has endured plenty of adversity the last three years.

His racing career was derailed in May 2010 when 11 races into the season doctors discovered blood clots in his legs and lungs. Two months later he underwent two procedures to close a hole in his heart and insert a stent into a vein in his left leg.

Vickers said at the time he didn't know if he'd recover, let alone drive a stock car again.

He was medically cleared to return to racing in 2011 but his team struggled and he finished a disappointing 25th in the point standings. After the season he was dealt another blow when Red Bull pulled out of Cup racing leaving Vickers without a full-time ride.

He's been racing part-time on the Cup Series ever since with MWR, sharing a ride with Mark Martin. He's running a full schedule on the Nationwide Series this year for Joe Gibbs Racing.

"It's been a while since I've had a ride, so this feels great," Vickers said with a laugh.

Vickers called the last few years of his life "a rollercoaster ride," but believes his best racing is ahead of him.

"I'm still in my 20s and have more than 10 years of experience and a lot of life lessons that I think will only contribute to more wisdom on the track and more success," he said.

Vickers said getting a full sponsorship deal like this would have made him happy regardless, but given his health problems in recent years it makes it extra special.

He said there were times he didn't know if anyone would ever take a chance on him again.

"Oh, of course," Vickers said. "Between everything that has happened between the health issues and being in the hospital to Red Bull shutting down, did it come to mind? Absolutely.

"But one thing I have learned is you have to live every day one day at a time. You have to make plans for the future but you also have to live in the moment, which is a difficult balance. I've learned that you have to appreciate what you have. That's where I am right now."

It's rare in today's NASCAR world when a driver gets a full-time sponsorship from a company, let alone a two-year deal like Vickers received.

But Aaron's Inc. feels like it made the right choice.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close