Monday, May 21, 2018
Sports

Martin to replace injured Stewart in No. 14 Sprint Cup car for rest of season

Out for the season with a broken leg, Tony Stewart turned to one of NASCAR's most respected drivers to take over the No. 14 Chevrolet.

At 54, Mark Martin is up for the challenge of taking the wheel for his good friend.

"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," Martin said.

Martin was released from his part-time schedule at Michael Waltrip Racing on Monday and will drive Stewart's car in 12 of the final 13 Sprint Cup races for Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart, a three-time Cup champion, is out for the season after breaking his right leg in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 in Iowa.

Nationwide series driver Austin Dillon will drive the No. 14 Oct. 20 at Talladega. Dillon filled in for Stewart on Sunday at Michigan and finished 14th.

Martin entered 16 of 23 races as part of a shared ride in the No. 55 with Michael Waltrip at Brian Vickers at MWR. Vickers, who won this season at New Hampshire, will now drive the No. 55 Toyota for MWR in 12 of the final 13 races. Waltrip will race the No. 55 at Talladega as scheduled.

"My motivation for racing is not for points, it's for racing," said Martin, who owns 40 Sprint Cup victories, 17th al-time. "I want to race, and I want to finish."

"Obviously, I'm disappointed to be out," Stewart said in a statement. "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."

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