INDIANAPOLIS – Its been a whirlwind last several years for NASCAR driver Brian Vickers. It’s one bumpy trail though, that could lead him to the Indianapolis 500.
Yes, the Indy 500.
Vickers is rumored to be in the running for a seat with Schmidt/Peterson Motorsports for the 100th Running of the race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year, as the North Carolina native has expressed a ton of interest in running the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the 2.5-mile oval.
But, how realistic is the possibility?
RACER reported today that he’s down to the final four with SPM as they’re both actively seeking funding to make this work. The only issue with Vickers is he’s splitting seat time with Ty Dillon in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in filling in for Tony Stewart while he’s injured, but there’s no word yet on if Vickers will be in that car for Charlotte in May or if it will be Dillon or even Stewart.
But, I suspect that Stewart would be more than happy to allow Vickers to race at Indy and would likely even let him use his jet and coach him up in the process.
Vickers has never publically expressed interest in running in the Indy 500, but it’s something he’s always desired to do.
Now that he doesn’t have a full-time NASCAR ride again and is fully cleared to race, the time is now.
Vickers, was first diagnosed with blood clots in 2010 as he had the miss the remaining 25 races while he was on blood thinners. He rejoined the team in 2011, but was let go following that season.
He joined Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012 as he ran a part time schedule for them that year and again in 2013. He had a ton of success in that role as he won at New Hampshire in 2013, as that led to a full-time seat again for 2014 and 2015.
Unfortunately, Vickers needed heart surgery in the offseason of 2014, so he was forced to miss the first two races of last season. Then, after racing just twice in 2015, the blood clots came back which forced him to sit out the remainder of the season again.
That left him without a ride as he thought his career might be over.
Then his phone rang and it was SHR wanting him to replace Stewart for the Daytona 500.
Vickers did just that as he’s made three Cup starts this year in an interim role, but now the Indy 500 may be calling.
Two bouts with blood clots and a heart surgery and now he could race in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year.
What a story that would be.