Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/15/14

CONCORD, NC - OCTOBER 15: Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 15, 2009 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brian Vickers has been working on a Sprint Cup Series return for the past year and a half. That quest got a boost this past week when he was announced as the replacement driver for Denny Hamlin. Hamlin is recovering from injuries sustained during the last lap of the Auto Club 400 from the Auto Club Speedway. Vickers has already been lined up to run a partial Sprint Cup Series with Michael Waltrip Racing, but driving for Hamlin will add an additional four races to his schedule and hopefully impress car owners for a ride next year. “It’s a huge opportunity for me.  I feel like I’m very fortunate to have both of these opportunities — to be in the 55, which I consider a great car and then to go drive the 11.  I welcome the opportunity and the challenge — I look forward to being in it. Obviously, that team and that car have run good for a long time.  Darian (Grubb, 11 crew chief) has won championships and he’s a very good crew chief — I’ve known him for a long time so I look forward to working with him as well and everyone at FedEx.  Again, I reiterate it’s very sad how it happened because I’ve been on the receiving end of this.  I’m happy to jump in and do the best I can,” Vickers told reporters Friday at the Martinsville Speedway, site of Sunday’s STP Gas Booster 500. Vickers knows a thing or two about being out of a ride due to health reasons. In 2010 he had to step out of his ride for the majority of the season after blood clots were diagnosed in his legs and around his lungs. “Next week I’m going to be in the 11 car, which I’m obviously excited about, but sad how the opportunity came about.  I know what it’s like to be pulled out of your car for health reasons — I’ve been in that boat before and wish Denny (Hamlin) a speedy recovery.  I will do the best job I can for him and FedEx and everyone at Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Toyota until he returns,” commented Vickers. When pressed by reporters on what the future could hold and if this could mean bigger things with Joe Gibbs Racing, Vickers basically said any opportunity could be a good one for next year. “I think anything’s possible.  I mean, they could clearly go to a fourth car, so could MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) — so could a lot of teams.  I found definitely that I enjoy both organizations.  I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to run at Gibbs and MWR.  I’d love the chance to be in the 55 next year and for some reason that doesn’t or can’t work out then maybe there’s an opportunity at Gibbs as well, as you pointed out.  But, that’s so far off and it’s so many ifs and buts.  For me right now, the focus is Martinsville and then the focus will be Texas and to go do the best I can.  I think if we go out and run good and win and contend for wins and then the rest will take care of itself wherever it is,” said Vickers. It will be interesting how this plays into his future with both organizations. The first step to that takes place Sunday at 1 PM EST for the STP Gas Booster 500, which can be seen on FOX.

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season


Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.