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NO LE MANS FOR WALTRIP: Michael Waltrip has pulled out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans because of schedule conflicts and will be replaced by Brian Vickers on the AF Waltrip Racing team.

Vickers, who is driving part-time for Michael Waltrip Racing this season, will be joined by MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas on the AF Waltrip team for the race June 16. The same trio also will race in the six-hour FIA World Endurance Championship race in Belgium on May 5.

Waltrip blamed television and NASCAR duties. He, Kauffman and Aguas finished 13th in their class at in their first appearance at Le Mans last year after transmission issues ended their effort at the 16-hour mark. The team finished third in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa Francorchamps in 2010, and third in the Petite Le Mans race in 2011.

“Running at Spa is pretty cool. It’s such a historic place, and the high speed Eau Rouge corner sure gets your attention. It will be a challenge in the race,” Vickers said.

“Le Mans will be one of the highlights of my career.”

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