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Vickers picks up six Cup race outings

Brian Vickers will race in six Cup events in 2012 for Michael Waltrip Racing after a previously announced deal involving Elliott Sadler fell through.
Former Red Bull Racing driver Brian Vickers will get some Cup race action this year after all, after picking up six races with Michael Waltrip Racing in the #55 car.

"I am thrilled to get back behind the wheel of not just a race car, but a very fast race car," said Vickers, who will have his first run in the car next weekend at Bristol. "This is going to be fun. I appreciate the opportunity Michael and the entire MWR organization are giving me."

The car is being driven for 24 of the 36 Cup races in 2012 by veteran racer Mark Martin, who put it on pole for the Phoenix event last weekend. However Martin is reducing his overall workload and the remaining ten oval races are to be split between Vickers and car owner Michael Waltrip. A road course specialist yet to be announced will take the final two events at Sonoma and Watkins Glen.

Originally a five-race deal was announced last weekend as having been handed to Elliott Sadler, who won his first Nationwide Series race in over 13 years at Phoenix. But the deal fell apart just two days later, possibly over conflicts of interest between the various engine manufacturers and sponsors involved.

However, Sadler himself said that after his Nationwide race win at Phoenix, his car owner Richard Childress had advised him to pull out of the Cup deal in order to concentrate on his bid for this year's Nationwide title.

Regan Smith, Paul Menard uninjured after road accident

Cup drivers Regan Smith and Paul Menard escaped unhurt after their road car was involved in a traffic accident in Colorado mid-week.

Smith and Menard, along with Smith's wife Megan and a family friend, were on their way to the ski slopes on Wednesday morning when Smith lost control of his Silverado truck after hitting a patch of ice. The truck slid off the road and crashed into a collection of trees.

The incident happened near Smith's mountain home in Evergreen, outside of Denver. Both drivers will compete as normal in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Infineon ends Sonoma naming rights deal

Infineon Technologies has decided not to renew its ten-year naming deal with Infineon Raceway at Sonoma in California.

The original deal signed in June 2002 was reportedly worth $34.4m and saw the race venue renamed from Sears Point Raceway.

John Cardinale, the vice president of marketing and communications at Infineon Raceway, said that a new naming rights partner was currently being arranged.

"There are three or four companies we're talking to," he told SportsBusiness Journal. "I wouldn't say they're ready to sign, but they're certainly interested."



Related Pictures

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Paul Menard in the garage. [Photo credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR ]
Elliott Sadler celebrates after winning in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the first time since 1998 following the Basha`s Supermarkets 200 on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. [Picture Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images]
Regan Smith climbs out of the No.78 Furniture Row Chevrolet after winning the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Joey Logano, winner of the Coors Light Pole, leads the field of 43 cars across the start/finish line as the green flag drops for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. [Picture Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR]
VICKERS AT DOVER
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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