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Stewart out for rest of 2013, Mark Martin to take over

Tony Stewart is out for the rest of the 2013 schedule: his place will be taken by veteran racer Mark Martin, and by Austin Dillon at Talladega, which means an early return for Brian Vickers to Cup competition.
Stewart-Haas Racing has confirmed that Tony Stewart will not be able to return to race duty for the rest of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

The three-time series champion suffered a broken right tibia and fibula in a
winged sprint car crash in a regional weekday race on August 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Stewart had originally appeared optimistic of returning to the wheel of the #14 car as early as September, but has now received medical advice that he needs a considerably longer recuperation period.

"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, Stewart-Haas' competition director. "For the #14 team, our focus is on positioning them for a run at the owner championship."

That meant finding a top quality line-up of replacement drivers to take over the #14 car for the rest of the season. Zipadelli had previously stated that it was his preference to have just one or two drivers take over from Stewart in order to establish some continuity and allow the replacement to get into a rhythm and build up a strong working relationship with crew chief Steve Addington and the other members of the team.

Rumours circulating at Michigan International Speedway last weekend strongly hinted that SHR was close to concluding a deal to bring in veteran racer Mark Martin as the main stand-in driver. Martin has been driving the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing car this season for 26 of the 36 Cup races, and came close to winning on Sunday before running out of fuel two laps from the end of the race.

On Monday, SHR announced that Martin would indeed take over from Stewart for the remainder of the season, with the exception of the October 20 race at Talladega Superspeedway as Martin is no fan of the high-speed 2.5-mile tracks. Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon will take over the seat for that race, as he did for a solid outing at Michigan.

"We certainly appreciate Michael Waltrip Racing and Richard Childress Racing for making Mark and Austin available to us," said Zipadelli, relieved to have finally hammered out the delicate three-way negotiations to make the jigsaw pieces fall into place and give the team some stability for the remainder of 2013.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed to be out of [competition] for so long, but the team is in very good hands with Mark Martin and Austin Dillon," said Tony Stewart himself. "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 and everybody at SHR supports them 100 percent," he stressed. "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."




Related Pictures

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Austin Dillon, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, pulls on his helmet in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 44th Annual Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2013 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
A decal reading `#SmokeWillRise` is seen on the #14 Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet driven by Austin Dillon (pictured), during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 44th Annual Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2013 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Owner Michael Waltrip, driver Brian Vickers, Aaron`s CEO Ronald W. Allen and Aaron`s VP of Marketing Andrea Freeman unveil the new 2014 No. 55 Toyota Camry Aaron`s Dream Machine on August 13, 2013 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. Aaron`s and Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Vickers will pilot the car for all 36 Sprint Cup races in 2014.
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Mark Martin at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Kobalt Tools 400. (Photo Credit: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Mark Martin at Daytona International Speedway for the Preseason Thunder (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2012 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS,  qualified for seventh position Friday, October 31, 2014 for Sunday`s Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Newman, who is in the Chase, is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet SS qualified for third position Friday, October 31, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Johnson is shown with his crew chief, Chad Knaus. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, drives during Pinnacle Propane Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Joe Gibbs Racing`s Matt Kenseth in qualifying. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Grainger Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS celebrates his 4th victory of the season with Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motor Sports, and his girlfriend, Amy Reimann, after winning Sunday, October 26, 2014 the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. This is the 10th anniversary of a Hendrick Motorsports plane crash which killed 10 in Martinsville. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS races to a second place finish and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, October 26, 2014 in the  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Both Gordon and Newman are in the The Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which continues next week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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