For sidelined NASCAR driver Brian Vickers, Walt Disney World truly is the happiest place on earth. A number of Sprint Cup Series drivers and teams are set to test at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Speedway today, including Vickers, who climbed behind the wheel of his Red Bull Racing Toyota for the first time in eight months.
Vickers last competed in the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 8, finishing 10th before being sidelined the following week by blood clots in his legs and lung. He did not race again in 2010.
"Today was just a huge weight off of my shoulders," said Vickers. "Not only for myself, but for the guys on the team. There were so many rumors, assumptions and speculations about my health and status for 2011, but today hopefully put all of them to rest.
"It felt damn good to get back in the car," said Vickers. "Everything fit. Everything felt right. Everything was just the way I left it last May. Just to fire the car back up was awesome, and then to punch it for the first time was such a great feeling. We are here to get more seat time for me and so I can back in groove with the road crew. I don’t think we are going to learn anything ground-breaking today, but it's really just a great chance for us all to work together, and the bottom line for me is just to get back in a race car and log some laps."
The team has still not made an official announcement on whether Vickers has received approval from his doctors for a return to full-time competition at the wheel of the Red Bull Racing #83 Toyota this season, as a teammate to Kasey Kahne.