Vickers to see specialists in Charlotte

Updated: May 15, 2010, 12:15 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

DOVER, Del. -- Sprint Cup driver Brian Vickers was released Friday evening from the Washington, D.C., hospital where he was being treated for blood clots around his lungs and in a leg.

Red Bull Racing general manager Jay Frye said Vickers texted him Friday night to let him know he was on his way home to Charlotte, N.C., to undergo more tests.

Vickers
Vickers

Frye said team officials plan to meet Monday to discuss long-term plans for the No. 83 team, adding Vickers still hasn't given him a medical term for his condition.

"He said he was OK, just worn down," Frye said of Vickers on Saturday.

Casey Mears is replacing Vickers in Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway.

Several physicians commenting on the symptoms that sent Vickers to the hospital said the condition appeared to be deep vein thrombosis.

DVT treatment, which includes blood thinners, typically is a three- to six-month process. Red Bull Racing released a statement Saturday morning that said Vickers had been cleared to fly back to Charlotte, where he will meet further with specialists.

Vickers entered the hospital Wednesday evening after complaining of chest pains. Once the clots were discovered, he was immediately placed on high dosages of blood thinners.

Missing the Dover race likely will end any chance the 26-year-old Vickers has of making the 12-driver Chase for the Championship for the second straight season.

He is 20th in points, 160 points out of the 12th and final spot for the 10-race playoff. By missing a race, he will lose at least 156 points to the 12th spot and up to 190 to the race winner.

"He's a long-term player with Red Bull Racing," Frye said. "Our main concern is his health."

Frye also indicated that having Vickers take the first lap on Sunday -- which would allow the driver to keep any points the car earned in the race -- was not an option.

NASCAR doctors must give Vickers clearance before he can race again. Spokesman Ramsey Poston said the governing body is working in conjunction with the team.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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