Martin Out, Vickers In MWR No. 55

Michael Waltrip Racing announced Monday that Brian Vickers will drive the team’s No. 55 Toyota in 12 of the 13 races remaining in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

The announcement follows the mutual decision by MWR and Aaron’s Inc. to grant Mark Martin an early release, enabling him to replace the injured Tony Stewart. (Click Here For That Story)

Vickers was originally scheduled to drive three of the remaining races in 2013. The announcement increases that schedule to 12. Michael Waltrip, MWR founder and co-owner, will race the No. 55 at Talladega on Oct. 20 as originally scheduled.

The move gives the 29-year-old Vickers an early start to his full-time role in the No. 55. Last week Aaron’s and MWR announced Vickers will drive the Aaron’s Dream Machine full-time beginning in 2014.

Waltrip said Martin achieved all of the goals both he and the team set when he began a 24-race schedule in the No. 55 in 2012.

“With Mark, we accomplished everything we hoped to when he came to this organization, which was bringing that winning confidence to the team, the experience to help elevate our program and ultimately find the full-time driver for the future who can race for a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship," said Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion.

“Mark’s leadership the past two years has been so impactful that he has left a mark on this company that will be here as long as we race. This opportunity to help two Hall of Famers in Mark and Tony Stewart at the same time, while getting the opportunity to run the rest of the year with Brian makes sense for MWR. But nothing could happen without the support of Aaron’s, Toyota and the other MWR sponsors. Each of them saw the same benefits in such a move and helped make it happen. This is a truly win, win, win situation."

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