Vickers: New MWR deal not a given

Vickers: New MWR deal not a given

Cup Series

Vickers: New MWR deal not a given


Brian Vickers says a full-time 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup seat with Michael Waltrip Racing is not a done deal despite his New Hampshire Motor Speedway victory.

Vickers ended a four-year victory drought when he took his first win with MWR at the Loudon oval on Sunday. The 29-year-old is sharing MWR’s No. 55 Toyota with Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip this year, but has been tipped to join Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr as a full-time Waltrip driver next year.

MWR general manager Ty Norris warned that while the team wanted to do a full program with Vickers, nothing was yet in place.

“He’s been our focus, and we would love to have him in the car, but we need commercial support,” Norris said. “Michael has made no bones about it — in the last 30 to 45 days, he talks about Brian a lot as being that candidate that we want to go ahead and try to get moving forward with.

“All I can tell you is wins help a lot of business issues, and so this was a great day for that. So if I had to have a crystal ball, that’s where we’d want to go and that’s what I see in the future for sure.”

Vickers added that the win would not automatically change his situation.

“Until the deal’s done, the deal’s not done. That goes for Jimmie Johnson or Jeff Gordon, too — in this sport, you have to have commercial sponsors and partners to put a car on the racetrack,” he said. “I’m sure that a win helps. But it doesn’t mean that the deal magically happens.”

If he can secure his future at Waltrip, Vickers is confident he can be a title contender.

“The way they believe in me, sometimes more than I believe in myself, makes all the difference in the world,” he said. “This is a very, very challenging and very competitive sport, but I feel like I can win a championship with this team. That’s our goal.”

Vickers lost his last full-time drive when Red Bull closed its NASCAR team at the end of 2011. His career had previously been interrupted by blood clots that forced him to take a sabbatical from racing.