- Lead-Lap.com - http://lead-lap.com -

Vickers Expects To Be Back In Sprint Cup In 2011

[1]Brian Vickers revealed that he had surgery to close a hole in his heart earlier this year, but said he fully expects to be back in a Sprint Cup car by the start of the 2011 season.

After he was found to have blood clots [2] in May that sidelined him for the rest of the season [3], Vickers said that doctors began to search for causes. They focused on his heart because a clot was found in one of the fingers on his left hand.

Vickers said:

The only way for a clot to get there was through my heart, from the right atrium to the left atrium. It’s a hole between the two atriums. Surprisingly enough, it’s pretty common. About 25 percent of people have this hole. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to diagnose and very intrusive to diagnose.

Doctors also confirmed, during the surgery that Vickers is a candidate for May-Thurner Syndrome, which Vickers said:

[is]┬ábasically where a vein and an artery pinch. It slows the blood flow down in that region. It’s very difficult to diagnose that issue without being intrusive. So we had both of those decisions out there that might have been part of the cause. Obviously, it wasn’t the entire cause, because that’s something you’re born with, and I spent most of my life without clots.

Vickers had heart surgery in July at Charlotte Medical Center. He also had a stent placed in a vein in his left leg, a day after heart surgery. He said that no more surgeries are scheduled and he will be evaluated this week.

Vickers is still taking blood thinners and clot-blocking drugs, and will continue to do so through the remainder of this year. But, he cleared the genetic blood testing and has received a clean bill of health.

Vickers said:

My chances right now of having a clot, when I come off Coumadin, are no higher than anyone else in the garage. So I’m as good or better than I was a year ago, from that standpoint.

With this news, Red Bull Racing will face a decision on whether they will field a third Toyota next season to accomodate the addition of Kasey Kahne [4], or replace Scott Speed with Kahne and continue to run as a two-car team.

RBR General Manager Jay Frye said the team is still evaluating Speed, but they would like to see improvement.