(WOMR file photo)
Stewart-Haas Racing made the rumors official Monday.
In light of Tony Stewart suffering a severely broken right leg, SHR made an announcement regarding the fill-in driver for the remaining 13 races.
Mark Martin will fill in for injured Tony Stewart ,and drive the #14 Stewart- Haas Racing Chevrolet it was announced on Monday. Martin will drive in the rest of the Cup races with the exception of the one at Talladega, where Austin Dillon will be in the car.
“After consulting with Tony’s doctors and speaking with Tony, we agreed it was best for him to focus on his recovery,” said Greg Zipadelli, competition director, SHR. “For the #14 team, our focus is on positioning them for a run at the owner championship. Mark Martin and Austin Dillon give us the best opportunity to do that, and we certainly appreciate Michael Waltrip Racing and Richard Childress Racing for making Mark and Austin available to us.”
In the 11 races where Martin will compete for SHR, he has 21 collective victories at those tracks (Bristol – 2; Atlanta – 2; Richmond – 1; Chicagoland – 1; New Hampshire – 1; Dover – 4; Kansas – 1; Charlotte – 4; Martinsville – 2; Texas – 1; Phoenix – 2). At Bristol, Martin has a series-best nine poles, 16 top-fives, 23 top-10s and 1,200 laps led in 46 Sprint Cup starts.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed to be out of the Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy for so long, but the team is in very good hands with Mark Martin and Austin Dillon,” Stewart said. “Mark is someone I’ve looked up to my entire career and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Austin is a great young talent, and he showed that Sunday at Michigan. Greg Zipadelli, Steve Addington (crew chief) and everybody at SHR supports them 100 percent. This isn’t a situation anyone wanted, but we’re going to make the best of it. In the meantime, my focus is on getting healthy and getting back into my Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy.”
Brian Vickers, who, it was announced earlier will drive the #55 Toyota full time for Michael Waltrip Racing next year, will be in that MRW car in 12 of the 13 races remaining in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
The announcement follows the mutual decision by MWR and Aaron’s Inc. to grant Mark Martin an early release.
Pull your belts tight, race fans. The silly season has now shifted into high gear!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!