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Vickers optimistic about long-term future

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CHRIS JENKINS | July 21, 2013 12:28 PM EST | AP

JOLIET, Ill. — Brian Vickers' victory last week could provide a boost to his long-term future at Michael Waltrip Racing.

"It definitely helped," Vickers said. "How could it not?"

Vickers, who won last Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race for MWR at New Hampshire, is in discussions with the team about a full-time ride next season. He has been driving part-time for Waltrip's team for the past two seasons, and has a full-time ride with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series.

Vickers says he's optimistic about a deal coming together because he, Waltrip and sponsor Aaron's all want it to happen -- but he knows it would be unwise to assume anything until a contract is in place. Vickers says the team is exploring the possibility of adding other sponsors to help split the bill with Aaron's.

And while the deal isn't done yet, the possibility of landing another full-time Cup ride is a reflection of just how far Vickers has come since missing most of the 2010 season to receive treatment for blood clotting issues.

"It's a lot better having these conversations than being in the hospital," Vickers said before Sunday's Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway.