As awkward situations go, David Ragan finds himself in a bit of one as it relates to his 2016 plans.
Filling in for Brian Vickers in Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota through the end of the season, Ragan would obviously love to keep a ride with the two-car organization for next year.
At the same time, Ragan also wishes a speedy recovery for Vickers, who has experienced multiple health setbacks in recent years with the latest coming in March when MWR announced he would be sidelined indefinitely after a recurrence of blood clots.
If Vickers comes back next season — and there's no guarantee that he will — Ragan could be the odd-man out at MWR. Ragan, however, sees a potential opportunity to remain with the organization fulltime in the Sprint Cup Series even if Vickers gets back in the No. 55.
That opportunity would require the organization becoming a three-car stable — as it last was in 2013 before the infamous "SpinGate" scandal at Richmond resulted in the departure of longtime sponsor NAPA and forced MWR to downsize to two teams.
"I just do what David Ragan can do," Ragan said on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway in an exclusive interview with FOXSports.com. "I feel like I control my own destiny with this program and going forward. I think if David Ragan puts in 100 percent, if he drives and races smart and doesn't have a lot of mistakes, if we have some good race cars, I think everything's going to be perfectly fine, and certainly from a team standpoint it could be a very good thing if Brian could come back. I know MWR would love to be a three-car team again."
Ragan said he talked with Vickers around the time that he first moved into the No. 55 in mid-May but the two haven't been in touch for several weeks.
"I'm sure when Brian's got some news or he's ready to be around the racetrack some, I'm sure we'll hear from him," Ragan said. More at Fox Sports