NASCAR driver Brian Vickers has been medically cleared to return to racing in March, just three months after surgery to repair a hole in his heart.

Vickers will miss only the first two races of the season before he returns to his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. NASCAR on Tuesday granted him a waiver to make him eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship should he qualify.

Team co-owner Michael Waltrip will drive the No. 55 for Vickers in the season-opening Daytona 500. A replacement driver for the March 1 race at Atlanta has not yet been named.

Vickers had surgery in December as doctors corrected an artificial patch his body was rejecting. Vickers received the patch in a 2010 procedure that first fixed the hole in his heart.