Kannapolis, NC-- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart is out for the remainder of the 2013 season. The news comes two weeks after Stewart broke his leg in a sprint car crash August 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
According to a news release from his shop, Stewart is expected to return in time for pre-season testing in January 2014. Stewart drives the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).
Tony Stewart Breaks Leg in Crash
Stewart is a three-time Sprint Cup Champion.
Filling Stewart's seat for the rest of the season: SHR says in the interim, Mark Martin will drive the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Aug. 23-24 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and in 11 other races. Austin Dillon, the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion who filled in for Stewart this past weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and finished 14th in his 10th career Sprint Cup start, will drive the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Oct. 18-20 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
"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 No. 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."
Stewart released this statement about being out the remainder of the season: "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."
The No. 14 team is 13th in points, 10 out of the top-10 and 160 behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports. The No. 14 team is first in line to grab one of the two wild-card positions for the 12-team Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only three races remain before the cutoff for the 10-race Chase. Following the Sept. 7 race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, the owner standings will be reset, with each team getting 2,000 points.
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