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Mark Martin-JGR deal falls through

"Mark is a big part of our organization and is committed to our sponsors, especially Aaron's and Toyota," said team owner Michael Waltrip. "We have a lot of goals yet to reach this year and we are very focused on accomplishing them."

On Friday, both squads were attempting to put a brave face on the embarrassing situation and doing their best to insist that there were no strained relationships between the two Toyota-powered camps.

"I think it is great that a driver of Mark's caliber is available to support our fellow Toyota team during this difficult time for them," said Waltip, wishing Hamlin a speedy recovery

"Obviously having to find someone to fill in for Denny is not an ideal situation to have to be in," admitted JD Gibbs. "When you start a process like this, you obviously begin to look at the drivers that are not only available but also able to drive for your race team and manufacturer."

Hamlin is expected to be out for six weeks or five Cup races, as this weekend sees NASCAR take a break for Easter. With Martin taking the car for next week's even at Martinsville, Vickers can now expect to compete at Texas, Kansas, Richmond and Talladega over the following weeks with Hamlin aiming to return to racing at Darlington on May 11.

Vickers will also be competing in the Cup race at Martinsville, as he was already contracted to take over the #55 for that event, one of ten that Mark Martin is not running in his partial 2013 season.

Vickers raced full-time in the NACAR Sprint Cup championship with Red Bull Racing from 2007 until their exit from the sport at the end of 2011, although he missed most of the 2010 season after being diagnosed with a medical condition involving blood clots. Unable to find a new full-time Cup seat with a top team, Vickers opted for a part-time slot in the #55 shared with Martin and Waltrip, while returning to the Nationwide Series in which he was champion in 2003.

The 29-year-old from North Carolina has had one Cup start so far in 2013 which saw him finish in the top ten at Bristol. In the Nationwide Series, he's had one pole position and and finished in third place twice in the five races of the season to date.


Related Pictures

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Brian Vickers at New Hampshire - September 2012 (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brian Vickers at Bristol - March 2012 (Photo Credit: Jared Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brian Vickers with team owner Michael Waltrip at Martinsville - March 2012 (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brian Vickers at Martinsville - October 2012 (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Harvick is the points leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Allmendinger is 25th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Busch is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Wix Chevrolet SS, finishes in fifth place and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, has an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) and David Ragan (Joe Gibbs Racing) spin out during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, races Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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