The ever-changing MB2 Motorsports line-up will take another twist for the final four races of the Winston Cup season, after the team revealed that it had struck a deal for Hendrick Motorsports Busch Series standout Brian Vickers to drive the #01 US Army Pontiac in place of the injured Jerry Nadeau.

The 19-year-old will use the ride as an experience-builder ahead of his already confirmed full-time graduation to the Winston Cup next year, where he will drive the #25 GMAC entry for Hendrick.

"Having the opportunity to gain Winston Cup experience with an established team like MB2 is really exciting," said Vickers, who is currently in second place in the Busch Series point standings, "The team has a great sponsor in the US Army, and the cars have Hendrick Motorsports engines under the hood, so it's a great situation."

Mike Skinner, who joined MB2 Motorsports in early August, will continue as the team's substitute driver through to the 19 October race in Martinsville.

"Mike continues to give us a great effort and we all sincerely appreciate the experience and professionalism that he has brought to our team," said MB2 general manager Jay Frye, "When we hired Mike, the understanding was it would most likely be for a limited schedule.

"Proactive discussions were already in progress with Hendrick Motorsports to have Brian drive the US Army car in the event that Jerry was not ready to return for the closing races of the season. We have a great working relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and its engine department and we're happy to assist in Brian's transition to the Cup Series."

In an ironic twist, this is the second time MB2 has assisted Hendrick by giving seat time to a future driver, having allowed Nadeau - who had already struck a deal to drive Hendrick's #25 car the following season - to replace the retiring Ernie Irvan with 13 races remaining in the 1999 season.

"Our organisation has enjoyed a strong relationship with MB2 Motorsports over the years," said team owner Rick Hendrick, "I'm appreciative of the opportunity they've given Brian, and we're all looking forward to seeing him compete at the Winston Cup level this year."

Vickers will drive the #01 US Army car at Atlanta, Phoenix, Rockingham and Homestead, each of which will be a double-duty weekend as he chases the Busch Series title.

Nadeau, meanwhile, continues to make a good recovery from the injuries he sustained at Richmond in May.