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Brian Vickers Will Drive Tony Stewart’s Chevy Racecar in the Daytona 500

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It has been confirmed that driver Brian Vickers will replace the injured Tony Stewart in the Daytona 500

Brian Vicker’s last win in the Sprint Cup Series came in 2013
Photo: Jerry Edmundson

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will not be racing in the upcoming Daytona 500 after suffering a burst fracture of his L1 vertebra in an ATV incident.

Stewart underwent fracture-stabilizing surgery on February 3rd, and ESPN reports that Stewart does plan to return later this season after his injury has sufficiently healed. Doctors say it could take two or three months for his injured back to recover and that Stewart will need to go through intense rehab in order to regain his strength.

Veteran driver Brian Vickers will drive Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet racecar at this month’s Daytona 500. The 32-year-old Vickers has three career victories in the Sprint Cup Series, but he missed most of the 2015 season due to a recurrence of blood clots. The blood thinners he was taking to treat the blood clots put him at an increased risk of internal bleeding, which would have been bad news if he had been involved in an accident.

Vickers is only expected to driver Stewart’s racecar at Daytona International Speedway. Ty Dillon is also expected to see time in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy this season.

Stewart, 44, previously announced the 2016 season would be his final year as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The Daytona 500 will be shown this year on Fox and will take place February 21st.

Video: Check Out Highlights of Vicker’s Last Victory

News Sources: ESPN, FoxSports