Friday, May 21, 2010

Vickers out for rest of 2010 season


Brian Vickers said he will be out of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota for the rest of the 2010 Sprint Cup season as he undergoes treatment for blood clots.

During a press conference Friday, Vickers said he will be on blood thinners for at least six months and his doctors have advised him not to race during that time.

"This sucks, because this is what I love to do," Vickers, 26, said. "I fully intend to be able to do it again.

"I do expect to be back in the car next season and to win the Daytona 500,'' he said.

Vickers was admitted to a Washington, D.C.-area hospital May 12 after complaining of chest pains. He was diagnosed with blood clots in both lungs and his left leg. Vickers was released May 14 and returned to North Carolina. But he experienced more chest pains and was re-admitted to a nearby hospital May 15, where he stayed until Sunday. It was decided shortly afterward that Vickers would not race for the remainder of the season.

“It is not advisable for him to race while on blood thinners,” said Dr. Steven A. Limentani, Vickers' doctor. Vickers and Limentani said racing would be risky in case Vickers was injured in a crash.

Vickers and Limentani did not know what caused the blood clots. Limentani said tests are ongoing, but it may take weeks to determine a cause, if ever.

The two were observed sitting with cans of Red Bull during the press conference. Limentani was asked if energy drinks like Red Bull could have caused the clotting, as a report from Australia has suggested. The doctor denied that the product could have contributed to the condition.

Vickers sat out last weekend's Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Raceway after being diagnosed with blood clots. Casey Mears took Vickers' place in the No. 83 car and was approved by NASCAR to race for Vickers in the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night.

Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team vice president and general manager, said it hasn't been decided if Mears will replace Vickers for the rest of the season, but that he didn't anticipate a driver change, except possibly for the road course races.

PHOTO: Brian Vickers announces that he will miss the remainder of the 2010 season due to a recently discovered health condition. (Jason Smith / Getty Images for NASCAR)

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