MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Brian Vickers feels healthy enough to race. If he could promise his doctors he wouldn't crash, he'd be in the car Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
A blood clot in his right calf found Oct. 14 has sidelined Vickers for the final five races of the season because Vickers is taking blood thinners. If he crashed, the thinners would make it impossible for doctors to stop internal bleeding.
"There's a lot of moving parts in a car that I can't control and 42 competitors that I can't control," Vickers said Sunday at Martinsville Speedway in his first appearance since the clot was found. "The risk is not even so much external injury like a cut or something, it's really more of an internal injury. They wouldn't be able to stop the bleeding. Your body's ability to form clots, which is if you have an internal injury especially in the brain they wouldn't be able to stop it until the medicine wore off. Other than that, I could be in a race car driving. It wouldn't affect my ability to drive."
Vickers said he'll be on the medication for only three months and will be able to resume his seat in the No. 55 Toyota with Michael Waltrip Racing in time for next season's Daytona 500.
Vickers missed 25 races in 2010 when blood clots were discovered in his legs. He had heart surgery while he was out to prevent future clots from moving through his body to his brain.
He said Sunday he's met with several doctors and does not believe he need to be on blood thinners for the rest of his life, and that this new clot formed because of a boot he was wearing on his foot to treat a sprain suffered when he wrecked at Bristol in August.
"I don't want to be on blood thinners the rest of my life even if I'm not racing," Vickers said. "That wouldn't be my decision. I like to snow ski. I like to ride motorcycles. I like to skydive. I like to do a lot of things that most doctors probably wouldn't agree with, period. But that's me, that's who I am and that's what I like to do.
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