Brian Vickers to Drive Full-Time for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2014

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Brian Vickers to Drive Full-Time for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2014
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Brian Vickers already has one win driving for Michael Waltrip Racing as a part-time driver.

After months of speculation, it was announced on Tuesday that Brian Vickers would indeed become the full-time driver of the No. 55 car for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2014.

Vickers has spent the last two seasons driving the car in a part-time role, sharing the seat with 54-year-old Mark Martin.

According to Lee Spencer of FoxSports.com, the deal is for two years, with primary sponsor Aaron's returning to the team as the sponsor for all 36 races in both seasons.

2014 will mark the first season since 2011 that Vickers will run a full-time Sprint Cup Series schedule. He is currently competing for the Nationwide Series championship this season, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Vickers is already a winner driving for MWR. He scored a surprising win earlier in the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It snapped a 75-race winless streak in the sport's top series.

Having already been a member of the team for two years, Vickers is confident that the future is bright, and he and the team have lofty goals for their first full-time season together. During the announcement of the deal, as reported by SpencerVickers said:

We want to win, we want to race for wins, we want to race for a championship. It's a big goal – especially for our first year full-time together. But we feel like we've grown a lot together as a team. MWR is evolving in its own right. The notebook is getting thicker. The cars are getting better. Toyota's stuff is getting better and better, and we want to compete for a championship and we feel we have that potential.

Vickers' career has been well-documented. After a successful career in the Nationwide Series that saw him win the 2003 series championship, he made the jump to the Sprint Cup Series. He had marginal success with Hendrick Motorsports before joining Red Bull Racing for their inaugural season in 2007.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Brian Vickers with team owner Michael Waltrip at today's announcement.

Vickers helped transform the two-car team into a true contender, notching the team's first win in 2009 when he took the checkered flag in Michigan. He finished that season a career-best 12th in the point standings.

His career, and his life, encountered a sudden change in 2010. Eleven races into the season, Vickers was diagnosed with blood clots in his leg. This caused him to miss the rest of the season, and questions swirled about whether or not he could ever race again.

After being medically cleared to return to competition for the 2011 season, Vickers had a mediocre comeback year. He finished with just seven top-10 finishes and a 25th-place points finish. 

He then signed with MWR to share the No. 55 with Martin beginning in the 2012 season.

Vickers made the most of his two-year audition. Currently, he has competed in 14 races for the team. Along with his New Hampshire victory, he has notched seven top-10 finishes.

While the 2014 season probably can't come soon enough for the 29-year-old Vickers, there is still business to tend to this season. He currently sits fifth in the Nationwide Series standings. In 21 events driving the No. 20 Toyota, he has posted 13 top-10 finishes and is only 18 points behind current leader Austin Dillon.

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