HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – After a deal fell through to have Michael Waltrip Racing’s Mark Martin drive the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota while Denny Hamlin recovered from a broken back, JGR was forced to go to ‘Plan B.’
JGR announced late Friday that Brian Vickers will drive the No. 11 FedEx Toyota beginning at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13. Martin will still drive the No. 11 at Martinsville. Vickers was previously scheduled to drive the No. 55 Toyota for MWR at Martinsville, so it was decided Martin would stay in the No. 11 for that race.
“Obviously having to find someone to fill in for Denny is not an ideal situation to have to be in and when you start a process like this you obviously begin to look at the drivers that are not only available but also able to drive for your race team and manufacturer. We were a bit premature in determining Mark’s status past Martinsville however,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We’re real happy to have the opportunity to get Brian in our Cup cars and with him driving Nationwide for us we think we have some continuity there that is beneficial.”
Martin had been announced as Hamlin’s substitute in the No. 11 on Thursday, but Friday afternoon MWR released a statement saying Martin would only drive the No. 11 at Martinsville. That story can be read by clicking here.