Brian Vickers again has been sidelined by blood clots that will prevent him from racing this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
Vickers’ third bout with blood clots was announced Friday by Michael Waltrip Racing. The team said the 31-year-old has been placed on blood thinners, which make it too dangerous for him to compete. If he is injured, the bleeding would be difficult if not impossible to stop.
“First and foremost our thoughts are with Brian and his family,” said MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. “He isn’t just our race car driver, he is our friend and we know the NASCAR community will continue to rally around Brian.”
Brett Moffitt will return to the No. 55 Toyota this weekend at Auto Club Speedway as Vickers’ replacement. Moffitt filled in once this season, at Atlanta, where he drove the car to an eighth-place finish.
“We are fortunate to have Brett Moffitt in our system and marveled at his great drive in Atlanta three weeks ago, so we know he can get the job done in the No. 55 this weekend,” Waltrip said. “As this news is very fresh and the situation is very fluid, we can only plan for this weekend at this point.”
The team did not immediately disclose when Vickers learned he had a recurrence of the blood clots.
Vickers missed the first two races of this year following offseason heart surgery to repair a patch on a hole in his heart that his body was rejecting. The heart issue was first discovered in 2010 when Vickers’ was sidelined with his first bout with blood clots.
The blood clots caused Vickers to miss the final five races of the 2013 season because he was placed on blood thinners to treat a clot in his right calf. He also missed 25 races during the 2010 season when clots were discovered in his legs and lungs.