CORNELIUS, N.C. — Elliott Sadler makes his debut in the No. 55 this weekend driving the RK Motors Collector Car Auctions Toyota in his home state of Virginia where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tackles the flat, half-mile of Martinsville Speedway.

Elliott Sadler, Joe Gibbs Racing
Elliott Sadler, Joe Gibbs Racing

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

The Emporia, Va. native replaces driver Brian Vickers in the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota for the final four races of the 2013 season. Vickers informed MWR on Oct. 14 he could not drive the remainder of the season due to anti-coagulation medications he’ll take to treat a small blood clot in his right leg. Sadler and Vickers also drive Toyotas in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing.

SADLER ON JGR & MWR: “The relationship between MWR and Joe Gibbs Racing was already really close. Earlier in the year Mark (Martin) filled in for Denny (Hamlin) and of course Brian has been my Nationwide teammate at Gibbs and driving the No. 55 on a limited Sprint Cup schedule this year with MWR. Toyota as a whole always works really close together. When I called (JGR President) J.D. (Gibbs) and asked about it he said ‘Man, that’s great for you, a wonderful opportunity, we’ll do all we can to help MWR.’ It’s pretty neat how close these guys all try to work together and help each other out. It wasn't a really big hard decision to make. The guys worked it out pretty well.”

SADLER ON VICKERS: “How Brian is handling all of this, I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure I could do this. The way he handled it last time and fought back, working his way back through the ranks and getting himself a fulltime ride with Michael Waltrip Racing was amazing. For him to have this setback again is really hard to watch. It is tough to see a friend go through what he is going through. I’m just there to fill in these last four races and get these guys to the end of the year. I appreciate them giving me this opportunity. Brian will be good. He’ll be back 100 percent healthy and ready to go. The way he is handling it, I don't know how he does it. That’s the worst news you can have when you are a driver. To not be able to get back into the car is tough. We look forward to having him back next year. Me and him being teammates means we have a lot of notes of comparison on how we like our cars. This switch should be seamless.”

MWR