Tony Stewart To Miss Remainder Of Season
A few weeks ago I reported on Tony Stewart’s injury during a Sprint Car race, resulting in a broken leg. At the time it was unclear how many weeks the three-time champion would miss. It was announced recently that Tony will now miss the rest of the racing season.
He received the injury during a Sprint Car race at the Southern Iowa Speedway on August fifth.
Tony drives the number 14 car in the Sprint Cup series, and since his injury their have been two different drivers behind the wheel. Max Papis drove Tony’s car at the Watkins Glen race, and Austin Dillon last week at Michigan and ironically, Dillon finished fourteenth.
The third driver to get behind the wheel of the number 14 will be 54-year-old Mark Martin who is considered one of the best drivers in NASCAR. He has 870 career starts, earning 56 poles and 40 wins. Martin said, “My motivation for racing is not for points, it’s for racing. I want to race, and I want to finish.”
In a statement Tony commented on the two drivers that will drive the number 14 for the remaining races, “Obviously, I’m disappointed to be out, but the team is in very good hands with Mark Martin and Austin Dillon. 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.”
Martin who drove the number 55 part-time for Michael Waltrip Racing will be released from his duties there to drive the number 14 for 12 of the final 13 races and Dillon will drive the car at Talladega on October 20.
Mark Martin has no championships behind his belt, but has finished second in the standings five times. His plans for 2014 are unsure as he said in a statement, “A week ago, I was going to race a partial schedule. Now, I’m racing all but one with a whole new situation with what I feel like is a lot of challenges and a lot of pressure. And I don’t want to think about 2014 at all right now.”
Martin stated, “Hopefully, we can turn the 14 car back over to Tony an even stronger organization than what it was when he stepped away and got injured. That’s the thing that I really want to work hard to do, is when it’s all said and done with, I hope that they can look back and say they were glad that they had me as a part of the organization.”
Greg Zipadelli, who is competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing expects Tony to be back for preseason testing, stated, “we expect a full recovery by Daytona or close to it. It may be able to be done earlier, it’s just not worth it. It’s a bad break to the leg, and he needs time to go through the process of healing, rehabilitation, all those things.”
Tony is a fierce competitor and exciting to watch. He will definitely be missed for the rest of this year. I am sure he will be back with his aggressive style in the 2014 season. Speedy recovery Tony!!