When ever a part time driver wins on the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, it's news. But this weekend's win by part-timer Brian Vickers is especially sweet for him and his fans, because Vickers probably shouldn't even be a part-timer to begin with.
Vickers had two previous career NASCAR wins, and made the Chase for the Championship in 2009. He has driven for two of the top teams in the sport in Red Bull Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. But they year after he made the chase, Vickers had to step out of the car because of blood clots in his legs and around his lungs. He returned to the car in 2011, but his team did not return to the track in 2012. All that work to get back in a car, and the former Nationwide Champion was without a ride.
"I mean, just everything that a lot of us have gone through and everything that I've gone through over the last so many years from the blood clots; and you wake up one morning and you're just not sure -- you're just hoping to be around the next to are you ever going to race again to okay I may race again to all right I'm racing; now I don't have a job," and Vickers. "To getting a phone call from (Michael Waltrip Racing President) Ty (Norris) and him asking me if I was interested in running eight races. And I said, absolutely."
And Vickers has not disappointed, giving the 55 a soild finish just about every time he was in the car, and returning to victory lane this past Sunday.
" So we always have confidence when he gets in the car that we can run up front and that we can compete for the win," said Norris. "And it's because he's a talented race car driver."
Adds Vickers, " When your back is against the wall and everything is down and things are not looking so good, you find out quickly who is willing to vouch for you or not. I learned a lot through that experience personally and I grew a lot as a person myself, thankful for that, and with everything that's happened, I'd like to think that I'll never forget those learning curves. I doubt that's going to happen, but all of that, coming here, sitting in victory lane, just makes it one of the most special events of my life."