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Packed and ready: NASCAR's Vickers back on the road

By Rebecca Angel Baer, CNN
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NASCAR's Brian Vickers' travel strategy
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NASCAR driver Brian Vickers spends about 300 days a year on the road
  • He says he can survive indefinitely with just a backpack and a carry-on suitcase
  • Vickers has a precise formula for the number of garments he packs
  • The young driver is ready to race after some serious health problems

(CNN) -- Gearing up for Sunday's Daytona 500 doesn't just mean strategy on the track for NASCAR driver Brian Vickers. He packs for the trip with a plan.

Competing in both major NASCAR series, he is a busy man who's happy to be back after serious health scares last year. He spends roughly 300 days a year on the road. But he has perfected his way of making a method of the madness.

"Over the years ... I found a system," Vickers says. He claims to be able to live indefinitely out of just a carry-on suitcase and a backpack.

The sport of racing cars is very dependent on formulas -- fuel consumption, how long tires will last, speed, etc. -- so it should come as no surprise that Vickers has a formula for the way he packs.

He packs two pairs of jeans, two pairs of shorts, four to five pairs of socks, underwear, four dress shirts, one suit, one sport coat and one swimsuit -- as he says, "you never know when you may need to jump in a hot tub."

He adds only one outfit for the gym, no matter the length of the trip.

"Listen, you're gonna smell bad when you go to the gym, at least when you leave. So you can reuse it a few times and then wash it."

Vickers says you can mix and match and wash clothes and just keep going.

"You go on a trip somewhere and you look at your suitcase and go, 'what didn't I use?' Instead of repacking that next time, just realize you didn't need that much."

Vickers' travel smarts come from experience, and that goes beyond just what's in his bag. As a professional driver, he also notices common mistakes people make on road trips.

"I would never encourage anyone to drive faster than they're comfortable driving. But just do it in the right lane," he says. "If you pay attention and ... see people swerving in and out [on the highway], it's because they're trying to get around someone that's not going the speed for the lane. It's a personal pet peeve, but it's also dangerous."

Vickers is also a tech junkie and always packs his laptop and his iPad. But it's not all for movies or games. He loves to read and is now a big fan of audio books, online newspapers and e-books. "I used to have a stack of books that I carried in this thing," he says as he points to his backpack, "and now I just have one device."

Last year, Vickers made headlines for all the wrong reasons: His health was in serious question. At the age of 26, he had blood clots and a hole in his heart. But he's healthy now and ready to climb back into that #83 Red Bull Toyota.

Vickers is organized, packed and ready to rock and roll this Sunday.