Remember that time that Joe Gibbs Racing said that Mark Martin would be the driver to fill in for Denny Hamlin while he recovered from his back injury? Well, that's not entirely true.
Yes, Martin will be in the car at Martinsville, but starting at Texas, Brian Vickers will be behind the wheel of the No. 11. The news was announced in a Friday evening release.
“Obviously having to find someone to fill in for Denny is not an ideal situation to have to be in and when you start a process like this you obviously begin to look at the drivers that are not only available but also able to drive for your race team and manufacturer. We were a bit premature in determining Mark’s status past Martinsville however,” Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs said in the statement. “We're real happy to have the opportunity to get Brian in our Cup cars and with him driving Nationwide for us we think we have some continuity there that is beneficial."
“We really appreciate everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota for working with us through this process. The good thing for us is that we have drivers the caliber of Mark and Brian to help fill in until Denny comes back.”
According to the AP, after the deal was announced, MWR said that Martin would fulfill his commitment to the team, which meant that JGR was looking for a replacement for its replacement. Martin, driving a part-time schedule for MWR, wasn't scheduled to drive the No. 55 at Martinsville, where Vickers was scheduled to be in the car.
Vickers has competed in 264 Sprint Cup Series races and has won at Talladega and Michigan. He drives the No. 20 full-time for JGR in the Nationwide Series.
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