So is Brian Vickers running the All-Star race, or what?

Brian Vickers missed last weekend's Autism Speaks 400 because of blood clots, and while he's been released from the hospital, his return remains uncertain.

On Tuesday, Red Bull Racing released a statement that was both optimistic and vague, saying his treatment "has been progressing well" and that "Vickers remains in good spirits and is appreciative of all support and concern that has been expressed from the team, Red Bull, fans, media, fellow drivers and members of the NASCAR family."

Still up in the air is whether Vickers would be available for this weekend's All-Star race. Casey Mears, pressed into service to drive for Vickers last weekend at Dover, indicated on Sunday that he believed Vickers would be back, but there's been no official confirmation or denial.

Either way, Vickers' 83 is on the All-Star entry list, standard procedure given the fact that Vickers is, in fact, eligible, as are all drivers who have won a race in 2009 or 2010. (Vickers won the fall Michigan race.) Curiously, though, Mears could take Vickers' spot again, as NASCAR indicated Red Bull could request a driver change before the first practice at noon Friday.

Mears will be there anyway; he's slated to run the Sprint Showdown for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Should he jump ship, Johnny Sauter could replace him, as Sauter did in Dover.

Bottom line, though, everyone's hoping for the best for Vickers. And if he doesn't return this week, with the grueling Coca-Cola 600 on the immediate horizon, it could be awhile before we see him again.

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