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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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS stops in the pits on his way to his win Sunday, March 1, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS races to victory Sunday, March 1, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with a burnout Sunday, March 1, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory Sunday, March 1, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, spins out after an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ben Kennedy, driver of the #11 Local Motors Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies in second position Friday, February 27, 2015 for a front row position start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS qualifies in third position Friday, February 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #4 Energizer Chevrolet SS qualifies in sixth position Friday, February 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS qualifies in seventh position Friday, February 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Team XTREME Racing #44 entry - driven in the Daytona 500 by Reed Sorenson (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development, speaks to members of the media after a testing session at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 26, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, interim driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in sixteenth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

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