Mark Martin and Brian Vickers will fill in for injured Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Toyota Camry with Martin racing next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. It was previously released that Martin would handle the duties while Denny Hamlin recovered from injury.
Martin will return to the No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13 and resume his previously scheduled run of events with MWR for the remainder of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint cup season.
"I think it is great that a driver of Mark’s caliber is available to support our fellow Toyota team during this difficult time for them. We wish Denny a speedy recovery" said MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. "Mark is a big part of our organization and is committed to our sponsors, especially Aaron’s and Toyota. We have a lot of goals yet to reach this year and we are very focused on accomplishing them."
As previously announced, Brian Vickers will race MWR’s No. 55 Jet Edge Toyota Camry for MWR at Martinsville. Vickers will then take over behind the wheel of the No. 11 starting on April 13 at Texas.
“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,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “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,” added Gibbs. “The good thing for us is that we have drivers the caliber of Mark and Brian to help fill in until Denny comes back.”
Vickers is currently driving JGR’s No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He has recorded two top ten finishes through the first five races of the season.
Vickers has 264 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts over his 11-year career on the sports’ top level. He has two wins, 24 top-five and 63 top-ten finishes. He has one start thus far this season having finished eighth in at Bristol Motor Speedway for MWR. Last season, Vickers made eight starts for MWR with three top-five and five top-ten finishes.