By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone on January 27,
2015 | 11:15 A.M. EST
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Brett Moffitt
will fill in for Brian Vickers in the Michael Waltrip Racing
No. 55 entry at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Vickers will miss the first two races of the season
as he recovers from a heart ailment and team owner Waltrip
will drive his car in the season-opening Daytona 500.
Moffitt will take the wheel in the second race of
the year at Atlanta before Vickers’ expected return
the following week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“Obviously very excited to have the opportunity,”
Moffitt said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The
Morning Drive.” “Atlanta is a fun track and I’m
looking forward to filling in for Brian and hopefully bringing
the 55 car home with a good finish that day.”
Vickers had corrective heart surgery three months
ago and has been granted a medical waiver by NASCAR, which
would make him eligible for the Chase should he win a regular
season race when he returns.
The short term plan to put Waltrip and Moffitt in
the car as replacements is one the team feels positive about.
“It will be a little bit of a challenge getting
the car ready for different drivers like Michael and Brett
in the first two weeks of the season,” said crew chief
Billy Scott on “The Morning Drive.” But we certainly
think each of them give us a chance to be competitive in those
races as we get ready for Brian’s return at Las Vegas.”
Moffitt drove the No. 66 Sprint Cup car last year
with was an alliance between MWR and Jay Robinson Racing.
He made seven starts with best finish a 22nd in his first
race at Dover International. He also competed at Michigan,
Bristol, Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas, and Homestead-Miami.
“He was the driver that everybody at Michael
Waltrip Racing wanted to be in that car at Atlanta,”
Waltrip. “They believe in his ability and we know how
much he’s helped us in our testing and preparation in
getting to the race track.
“Aaron’s is gonna reward him and Michael
Waltrip Racing is going to reward him with the chance to drive
a winning race car.”