News & Media

Vickers to drive MWR's No. 55 for six races

March 08, 2012, Team Release,

CORNELIUS, N.C. -- Michael Waltrip Racing on Thursday announced Brian Vickers will drive the team's No. 55 Toyota in six Sprint Cup races in 2012, beginning at Bristol on March 18.

Vickers also will race the No. 55 at the August Bristol event, as well as each of the two races at Martinsville and New Hampshire this season.

"I am thrilled to get back behind the wheel of not just a race car, but a very fast race car."


"I am thrilled to get back behind the wheel of not just a race car, but a very fast race car," said Vickers, who while driving for now-defunct Red Bull Racing earned Toyota Racing Development its first Chase entry in 2009.

"I'm lucky to find a ride of this quality so early in the season. That Toyota won the pole last weekend in Phoenix [with Mark Martin] and you saw it up front throughout the race [finished ninth]. I know how good [crew chief] Rodney Childers and team are. I've known Rodney since I was 8 years old. This car is tied for sixth in points right now. This is going to be fun. I appreciate the opportunity Michael and the entire MWR organization are giving me."

Vickers, 28, owns two victories and 11 poles. Until this season, the Thomasville, N.C. native competed full time in the Sprint Cup Series for eight years. In 2011, he scored three top-five and seven top-10 finishes.

Vickers began his Cup career in 2003 driving for Hendrick Motorsports before moving to Red Bull Racing in 2007. Vickers has raced only Toyotas since the manufacturer entered Cup competition in 2007.

"Brian Vickers is a veteran driver with almost 10 years experience, but he hasn't even turned 30 yet," Waltrip said. "He's shown he can win at this level and we have every confidence he'll run well with us. I believe in second chances and this is great opportunity for us and Brian. He wants to show the world how good he really is and we believe in the equipment and people we're putting him with in 2012."

Waltrip drove the No. 55 in the Budweiser Shootout and will run in four more races in 2012. Martin will drive the No. 55 in 24 races plus the All-Star Race in Charlotte. MWR will name a driver for two road-course events later.