Perennial favorites to sub for Vickers
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Brian Vickers (right) stands with Michael Waltrip Racing development driver Brett Moffitt. Could Moffitt be on the short-list to substitute for Brian Vickers next season?
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
Due to health issues, Brian Vickers will miss the beginning of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Vickers, who missed races in 2010 and 2013 due to his health, will again be sidelined from the driver’s seat in 2015. He expressed his gratefulness earlier in the week for the support he has received.
“First, I want to thank everyone for their sincere support,” Vickers said in a statement. “I have faced obstacles before and it has made victory that much sweeter and I know that will be the case again.”
With Vickers out for an undetermined amount of races, the question is, who will take place of him for the beginning of the season? While Michael Waltrip Racing has yet to disclose who will pilot the No.55 machine, we’ll take a look at a few drivers who may have a legitimate shot at driving the car for the Daytona 500 and the foreseeable future beyond the season opener.
Michael Waltrip might step into the No. 55 car for the Daytona 500, but I doubt
he would run anything else other than restrictor plate races. He might still
run a separate entry for the Daytona 500.
An MWR development driver, Moffitt could be a leading candidate to drive the Aaron's Machine. Moffitt, 22, ran seven Sprint Cup races for in 2014.
His best finish this season was 22nd in his Cup debut at Dover.
One driver that first came to mind to me was Michael McDowell.
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He has ran for MWR before but then again, I believe he is pretty well committed with Leavine Family Racing.
While LFR is a part-time team, no official announcement has been made if the team will continue on a part-time basis or move to a more full-time presence
McDowell, like Moffitt, was a developmental driver for MWR, running a majority of races with MWR in 2008. Could MWR possibly rekindle a past connection and tap the soon-to-be 29-year-old driver?
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One other driver has also came to mind, Alex Bowman. This driver has some huge talent as a young driver, making the most of lower-tier equipment. While he is committed to running with BK Racing again in 2015, could Bowman take a risk of signing a potentially part-time gig with MWR to use the opportunity to prove himself in better equipment?
Had Landon Cassill collected points in Sprint Cup this year, the driver would have finished 34th in overall points. He has outrageous talent for the position he is in, and looks to continue building his relationship with Circle Sport Racing.
While Cassill says he is content with his current team, he late in the season he would possibly entertain offers from other teams if they could be viable.
While MWR can still choose virtually anybody, the names mentioned make the most sense. It will be interesting to see what Michael Waltrip, Rob Kauffman and the rest of MWR decide in the coming weeks.