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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
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team battled back from a bad re-start after the first caution of the race to finish 17th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo Credit: Campbell Marketing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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