Michael Waltrip told FOXSports.com Friday that no deal has been finalized yet that would allow Michael Waltrip Racing to hire David Ragan to drive the team’s No. 55 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting next month.
A rash of injuries and illnesses has gotten the traditional NASCAR "Silly Season" of driver-team swaps off to an early start this year.
Ragan began the 2015 campaign with Front Row Motorsports, but since the second race of the season has filled in behind the wheel of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. That's because the car's regular driver, Kyle Busch, has been sidelined with a compound fracture of the lower right leg and a mid-foot fracture of the left foot, both suffered in a crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
JGR team owner Joe Gibbs has said promising young driver Erik Jones is ready to move up to Cup, and multiple sources have said he could replace Ragan as early as the Kansas race in two weeks. Jones made his Sprint Cup debut last week at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he was a relief driver for Denny Hamlin after Hamlin suffered a neck spasm early in the race.
Meanwhile, a recurrence of blood clots has knocked Brian Vickers out of the No. 55 MWR Toyota for a minimum of three months. Brett Moffitt has filled in for Vickers during the last four races. The Associated Press reported that MWR was in the process of putting together a deal to have Ragan replace Moffitt in the No. 55 if and when Jones replaces Ragan in the No. 18.
Between NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practices Friday at Richmond International Raceway, MWR founder and co-owner Waltrip said nothing has been finalized yet.
"We're working with our sponsor, Aaron's to try and find a permanent solution," Waltrip told FOXSports.com.
And that's as far as it's gotten, at least for now.
"All I know is Brett's driving the No. 55 this weekend and I'm racing it next weekend at Talladega," Waltrip said. "Beyond that, nothing's done." Tom Jensen/Fox Sports