Vickers Anxious to Return to Racing
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on October 27, 2013 | 12:57 P.M. EST
Brian Vickers said that he feels fine and that he's continuing to train for next season despite sitting out the rest of this year because of a blood clot. (Photo: Getty Images)
MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Brian Vickers says he feels fine and can’t wait to get back in a car after being forced to miss the rest of the season because of a recent blood clot.
It’s the second time Vickers has missed races because of blood clots. He missed the final 25 races of the 2010 season because of them and hadn’t had a problem until recently.
Vickers said his latest blood clot came after he suffered a mid-foot sprain in a crash at Bristol in August. He wore a boot to help the sprain but that caused the blood clot by constricting his calf.
After pain in his right calf didn’t go away, he visited a doctor. He was checked the morning he was to have driven in a NASCAR test at Charlotte where series officials looked at possible changes for next year.
“At first, I thought maybe I had bruised the calf wearing the boot,’’ Vickers said Sunday morning at Martinsville Speedway. “It didn’t go away. I had a slight swelling in my right calf. At that point, I didn’t have a good feeling about it.’’
Doctors discovered a blood clot and his season was done.
“I’ve told many people this since everything happened that I can’t complain,’’ he said. “I’ve got a great life and family and friends. I’m frustrated. I’ve been bummed since all of this happened. I’m just kind of looking forward. Things happen in life. That’s part of it. You keep fighting and have faith.’’
Vickers says he plans to be ready to go testing in January. He’s scheduled to drive the full season next year for Michael Waltrip Racing.
“My passion and my love is racing and I want to win a championship at the Sprint Cup level,’’ said Vickers, who won at New Hampshire in July.
Vickers says he continues to train in preparation to race next year. He is taking the blood thinner Xarelto.
“It’s not that I can’t race on blood thinners, it’s just that I can’t crash,’’ Vickers said. “As long as I can promise my doctors that I will not crash, then they are fine with me racing.
“The risk is not even so much external injury like a cut or something, it’s really more of an internal injury, they wouldn’t be able to stop the bleeding.’’
Vickers looks forward to getting past this and hopes he not to take blood thinners in the future.
“My choice is always going to be leaning towards being off of blood thinners regardless of racing,’’ Vickers said. “As long as it's a healthy thing to do. If a doctor tells me unequivocally you need to be on blood thinners then that's what I'll do. No doctor has told me that.
“Both of these instances were caused by a specific event. This one was caused by the boot that I was wearing that immobilized my right foot and right calf and, fortunately, I was able to catch it early enough. Unfortunately, it took me out of the car for three months.’’