LarrE Ervin

  Interview with Brian Vickers

"I want to start off by thanking everyone.  Friends and family, people in the industry, other drivers, owners and even media who have reached out and been very supportive through all of this.  To answer the question, ĎWhy Iím here today,í I am here today to answer everything.  Iím not going to hold anything back from you.  Iím going to be completely honest with you.  Weíre not going to speculate, but weíre going to tell you exactly whatís going on.  Obviously, thereís two different ways to handle these scenarios and situations.  Sometimes you have specialists tell you to hide stuff Ė I disagree with that.

  I think that I know all of you guys (media) or most of you guys and youíve always been good to me.  Iím here to be honest with you and to be frank with you about our situation.  Where Iím at, where I stand and what Iíve gone through.  I hope that you give me the same respect back and donít run wild with this or speculate or necessarily not believe me on anything because Iím here for you guys, not for me.  Iím here to be completely honest with you.

 Anyway, to start off and just give you a brief synopsis of whatís happened.  Most of you already know and weíve put some press releases out.  Before Dover, I was in Washington D.C. visiting a friend and going to visit with a Senator at the Capital and then going to the Walter Reed Hospital and visit with the troops, just to go see the troops before the race and spend some time with those guys that we appreciate so much what they do so we can be out here and do what we do.  Unfortunately, I ended up in the wrong hospital.  I ended up in Washington Hospital Center rather than Walter Reed visiting.

 I had chest pains at night and had a hard time breathing.  I woke up and being young and 26,  I thought I was invincible so I just went back to sleep, brushed it off.  The next day I was walking around the Capital visiting the Washington Monument and having lunch with a friend, Lincoln Memorial, so on and so forth.  Started to get a little worse. 

I called two doctors back here (Charlotte, N.C.) and one of them you already know and the other one Iím going to leave out of it unless he tells me otherwise.  Dr. (Jerry) Petty and he convinced me to go to the emergency room.  I asked him if he knew a doctor in town, told him the symptoms and I thought it was overkill.  He said, ĎJust go to the emergency room, do this for me, get a CT scan.í  I said, ĎOkay,í so I went.  When they laid me down, which was where I was having the most problems and the most pains and I will let Dr. (Steven) Limentani explain why that is, I donít really know. 

Going through the CT scans I had some more problems, they took me out, found the blood clots in both lungs, my left leg and immediately started me on Lovenox, Heparin, I believe it is and Coumadin.  The Lovenox is the bridge until the Coumadin kicks in, which takes some time.  Then again, I will let him explain all the details of that.  Pretty standard procedure, standard stuff.  I was at the Washington Hospital Center and they took great care of me.  I was released Friday, I believe it was and was released to fly so I flew home.

 Saturday I was relaxing and just taking it easy.  I had some more pains Saturday night and went to the hospital to see Dr. Limentani, which we were going to do on Monday, but we sped that up a little bit and visited the emergency room at CMC (Carolinas Medical Center) on Sunday, I believe it was and got readmitted because I was still having some pains and then they released me fine on Monday.  Iíve been good ever since.  No more pains.  No issues.  We donít have all the answers.  Weíll tell you the answers that we do have, weíre not going to speculate.  Weíve had some tests come back, we have not had all of the tests come back. 

Thereís still a lot of questions that we donít have answered, when we know the answers we will give them to you.  The announcement that I have to make right now is that Dr. Limentani and myself and the people that we work through for him have decided that due to whatís happened and due to the blood thinners that Iím on that I will be out of the car for a minimum of six months, for the rest of the year.  If something changes and I can get in sooner then great. 

Right now, itís going to be the remainder of the season.  As you can imagine, that is killing me.  No pun intended.  I really miss being back in the car.  It was really hard last Sunday to watch the race on TV and not be in the car.  It was funny, I was laying in the hospital with all these things going on and instead of probably asking the right questions, all I kept asking was, ĎCan I race this weekend?í  They were trying to be nice and saying, ĎWeíll talk about it, but probably not.í  As reality set in, I realized that this was probably going to be a much longer process than normal.

 That being said, as disappointing as this is, itís an opportunity that Iím going to use to make the most of life and try to make it a positive, learn something from it.  Iím going to spend some time with the race team, learning some different roles.  Spending some time on the pit box, trying to understand more of what they go through, what they do.  Spend some time on the spotter stand with Chris.

 I want to thank Casey Mears and thank the whole team for stepping up to the plate.  Casey for getting in as a friend, fellow driver and doing a great job.  Scott (Speed) and the other team, the 82 and everyone involved.  What theyíve done, theyíve been very supportive through this whole transition process. 

Iím not going to be coming to every single race.  Iím going to take some time off, doctorís orders.  Iím going to do some stuff, quite frankly, that Iíve wanted to do that I havenít been able to do my whole life, my career and some things that I hope to not be able to do for many, many more years, maybe 15 years to come when I get back on the race track.  Maybe go to the Red Bull Air Race in New York that I was pretty bummed about missing.  I may go to an F1 race with the Red Bull team as well so Iím excited about that.  Thatís pretty much it.  I do expect to be back in the car next season and to win the Daytona 500."

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