Vickers ready for 3 in a row, Stewart still no timetable

  • Brian Vickers speaks to reporters after unveiling a new Steward-Haas Racing team color scheme for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2016. The 20th annual Duck Commander 500 runs Saturday night. Ralph Lauer

  • Tony Stewart hangs out in the garage during practice for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2016 Ralph Lauer

  • Brian Vickers, left, and Danica Patrick unveil a new Steward-Haas Racing team color scheme for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2016. The 20th annual Duck Commander 500 runs Saturday night. Ralph Lauer

Associated Press
Published: 4/10/2016 12:02:00 AM

FORT WORTH, Texas – Brian Vickers has no issues with his role as a substitute filling in for injured Tony Stewart - even if it’s a shared role.

Vickers drove his third race in Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas, a week after finishing seventh at Martinsville.

But Vickers isn’t the only one serving as Stewart’s fill-in driver, as Ty Dillon, already with two races in the No. 14, is expected to be driving it again next week at Bristol.

There still could be more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for Vickers at Stewart-Haas Racing and maybe a ride in the 100th Indianapolis 500. He would also like to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans again.

“Yeah, I would love to race anything,” Vickers said earlier Thursday. “I would love to be in this car. I am really enjoying this opportunity as well. I’m open to all of those opportunities.”

“Tony’s healing quickly and he’s looking good, and it’s all kind of a wait-and-see when Tony is ready. At the end of the day, it’s his car,” Vickers said. “I think I’ll be back in the car again, but it’s really up to how Tony’s doing.”

While the waiting is hard, Stewart said he feels good and is confident that when doctors say he’s cleared that he’ll be ready to go.

But the 44-year-old driver is putting no timetable on that since he has no control over it.

Vickers and Stewart-Haas teammate Danica Patrick were in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway to unveil the “TaxAct Military Files Free” paint scheme for the No. 14 this week.

Three consecutive races will be Vickers’ longest stretch since the full 2014 season for Michael Waltrip Racing. He ran only two races last season, his last under contract with MWR, before getting sidelined by a third serious bout with blood clots. He has run only two full Sprint Cup seasons since 2009.

“Having some consistency in the driver’s seat has been great for (the team) and great for us to build that chemistry and work together. It takes time. It just does,” Vickers said. “I hate that I’m in the car because of the circumstances because Tony is injured and he’s not here. I have been in his shoes many times. I wish him nothing but the best. I would love to see him in the car soon, but happy to fill in for him until then.”




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