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Vickers suffers second-degree burns at Bristol

3/30/2007 - NASCAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Brian Vickers suffered second-degree
burns to his feet when an exhaust pipe broke midway through the
500-mile race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

He was walking gingerly Tuesday during an appearance at Team Red
Bull headquarters, but team officials said he would be prepared to
race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

"We think that a piece of the tail pipe came off halfway
through the race, so heat was blowing directly onto the floor
board," Vickers said. "The guys tried to put some lining in the
car to protect my feet, but it didn't really help that much. I
basically had to run the whole race with my feet burning and that
was just painful."

Vickers finished 15th in Sunday's race, despite the smoke and
carbon monoxide fumes that filled his cockpit for the final 200
laps at Bristol. He needed immediate medical attention and received
oxygen while still in the car.

He went for a long bicycle ride on Monday to help his body rid
the carbon monoxide, but had to do it standing up because his
buttocks were slightly burned from the heat in the car.

Red Bull officials were prepared to pull teammate A.J.
Allmendinger from his car to replace Vickers on Sunday, but Vickers
insisted on finishing the race.

Despite missing three races, Vickers is 38th in the standings
and 47 points out of 35th -- the critical cutoff that guarantees a
driver a spot in the field.

He's scheduled to test a car Wednesday at Greenville-Pickens
Speedway in South Carolina.