Brian Vickers ready to return to racing

Updated: January 21, 2011, 4:49 PM ET
Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- After eight months away from racing, Brian Vickers is back and ready to run a full season.

Vickers stepped away from NASCAR last year after doctors found clots in his leg and lungs. Treatment included blood thinners, two procedures to close a hole in his heart and the insertion of a stent into his left leg.

He considered quitting, but decided to return for the 2011 season because of his "love for racing." He says win or lose, "I'm happy to be back."

Vickers got back in his No. 83 Toyota for the first time during a private test in Orlando last week. He turned even more laps at NASCAR's three-day open test at Daytona.

He finished treatment in November and has been cleared to race a full-time schedule without limitations.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press