Michael Waltrip Racing re-signs Brian Vickers and Mark Martin for 2013

Mark Martin, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip will continue to share Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Toyota in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup

Michael Waltrip Racing re-signs Brian Vickers and Mark Martin for 2013

Veteran Martin, now 53 years old, will remain the lead driver of MWR's third entry, driving 24 Cup events starting with the season-opening Daytona 500.

Meanwhile co-owner Waltrip will drive the car in both Talladega events plus the Daytona race in July.

Vickers will take over for nine races, including both road courses, the two events at Bristol, Martinsville and Loudon, but adding Kentucky Speedway as well to increase his planned outings by one relative to this year.

The 28-year-old says he has been offered other opportunities to race in Cup next year but is instead focused on getting a full-time drive with MWR in 2014.

"There's no contractual obligation to 2014, but that's my goal and that's their goal," said Vickers. "That's what we're working towards.

"Right now we've got a couple things on our task list: run good. We've got nine races next year - three are with [sponsor] Aaron's and six are unsold. We have to sell those six races and part of that is going to be [down to] performing.

"Then in 2014 we have to sell all of them. That's what we need to do to make that happen. Obviously, just run good."

This year Vickers has finished in the top five in three of his seven appearances, one shy of Martin's result tally in his 21 races. Vickers has also led laps in three of those outings and will start from the front row in Sunday's Chase round at Martinsville.

"It is amazing that we have a driver of Brian's talent available to drive our #55 Toyota again in 2013," said Waltrip. "He is a race-winning, Chase-calibre driver and we are so happy to have him back.

"We gave Brian a difficult assignment in 2012 and not only has he thrived in the role, but he has made the entire team better.

"Believe me; I know how hard it is to run a part-time schedule with races spread throughout the schedule. I have been most impressed with his attitude towards the crew and his approach to his job and really feel confident that he can win with our team."

Rodney Childers will continue to be the crew chief of the #55 entry, which currently ranks 14th in the owners' standings.

Waltrip's team is enjoying its best season in Cup thus far, with Clint Bowyer currently ranked fourth in the Chase with three victories to his name, while Martin Truex Jr sits behind him in sixth.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Brian Vickers
Author Diego Mejía
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