The reappearance of blood clots has sidelined Vickers from the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota for the third time, dating to May 2010. In addition, Vickers missed the first two races of the 2015 season while recovering from offseason heart surgery.
To combat the medical issue, Vickers must resume the use of blood thinners, which in turn will keep him out of a race car for at least three months. NASCAR will not approve a driver to race while using blood thinners because of the obvious risk.
Whether the latest recurrence of blood clots will jeopardize Vickers’ career remains a germane question.
“Am I worried?” Vickers asked. “Of course. Have I given up hope? No. What I know right now is that I unfortunately had to go back on blood thinners. To be clear – I have not been on blood thinners. If I were, I probably wouldn't have blood clots and wouldn't be able to race. Being off of blood thinners, working with my doctors closely to figure out how to solve the problems of the past and get off blood thinners is what has allowed me to get back in the race car.
“Unfortunately, now I am back on blood thinners for at least three months and through those three months I'll try to figure out what makes sense with my doctors if I can come back off of them to go racing, if there's some kind of plan that works—and if not, then that's that. We're so far away from crossing that bridge at this point, I can't really say. ...
“There's more to life than just this. I think keeping that perspective is important, but it's also my favorite thing to do in the world. I want to try to come back.”