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Possible replacements for Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen

By admin | August 6, 2013


By Richard Allen

As has been widely reported, three time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart broke his right leg in a sprint car crash in Iowa on Monday night. The injury was severe enough to require surgery and will almost certainly cause the driver to miss this weekend’s NASCAR race in Watkins Glen, New York.

Once concerns for Stewart’s well being are taken into consideration, the thought then turns to the question of who Stewart-Haas Racing will hire to replace him for the upcoming race on the road course track.

Here are some possibilities. These are strictly my own thoughts with no inside information:

Ron Fellows

Ron Fellows: Here is one of the most accomplished road racers in North America. The Canadian native has competed on road courses in all forms of NASCAR and has been competitive virtually every time he has gone on track. He is listed as the driver of the unsponsored #33 Chevrolet owned by Joe Falk. A deal could most likely be struck to get Fellows out of that ride and into the Stewart car if that is the direction SHR wants to take.

Fellows has recorded thee top-5 finishes in Sprint Cup competition at Watkins Glen, including two 2nd place results. He has also won three Nationwide Series and two Camping World Truck Series events there.

Nelson Piquet, Jr.

Nelson Piquet, Jr.: This Brazilian son of a former Formula 1 world champion has extensive road course experience. And just as importantly, he is not listed as the driver for any Sprint Cup team this weekend. He is entered in the Nationwide Series race at The Glen in his regular ride for Turner-Scott Motorsports. That #30 car is a Chevrolet, which removes any possible entanglements with one of the other manufactures being that SHR also runs Chevrolets.

However, Piquet has never raced in Sprint Cup, but he has one road course win(Elkhart Lake) in the Nationwide Series as well as a top-10 in his only start in that series at Watkins Glen.

A. J. Allmendinger

A.J. Allmendinger: This is a driver who could win at Watkins Glen in the #14 car. However, he is under contract to drive the #47 Toyota this weekend, which would make for some tricky entanglements. And for his future beyond this weekend, it would likely be best for him to stick with his commitment.

He has a top-5 finish at The Glen in Sprint Cup on his resume as well as a total of four top-10s on road courses at NASCAR’s highest level. He also won a Nationwide race on the road course at Elkhart Lake.

Mark Martin

Mark Martin: One of the most respected drivers in the Sprint Cup garage is not on the entry list for this weekend at Watkins Glen. His Toyota ties could be tricky but a deal could most likely be worked out.

He has a total of 22 starts at Watkins Glen with three wins and 16 top-10 finishes.

If Tony Stewart does indeed need a full-time or part-time replacement for this weekend at Watkins Glen, and he probably will, the drivers listed above are likely to at least be considered by Stewart-Haas Racing for the job.

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10 Responses to “Possible replacements for Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen”

  1. Blake Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Out of those 4, I’d go with the Dinger.

  2. Michael in SoCal Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I think Fellows or Piquet (good call with Piquet) are possibilities. I’d throw Regan Smith and possibly Austin Dillon in there too. It’s gonna have to be a Chevy guy I’d think.

  3. Pete Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Scott Speed could be another possible choice ? I guess depends how long he’s out for the team might want some continuity.

  4. Leto Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Max Papis not being on this list is a shame, since he tested for SHR just last week, I believe, specifically to help the team for this race…

    I think their replacement will depend on whether they- and their sponsors- want one driver in that car, or if they are willing to accept multiple drivers. If they want one driver, the picture becomes muddied. But if Mobil 1/Bass Pro are accepting to a revolving door, I could see Papis this week, Dinger next week (unless he’s scheduled to be back in the 47), and Regan Smith for the companion races.

    I don’t, however, see Austin Dillon taking the ride. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Him being in the 51 was okay, because that team didn’t have a sponsor and it wasn’t an issue, but there are some potential issues with an American Ethanol-sponsored driver in the Mobil 1 car. Bass Pro, maybe.

    It’s interesting, because we don’t know how long this could be a deal for. Is it just this weekend, a couple races? The rest of 2013? I’ve read 10-12 weeks is likely.

    There’s a lot of potential options for the team, especially if they’re going to have multiple drivers.

  5. Michael in SoCal Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Maybe Max Papis for this weekend?

  6. Ricky Whittenburg Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Personally, I’d put Robby Gordon in the car. He could get in and have a shot at winning in that car no doubt about it. People forget he almost won the Glen years ago racing Morgan McClure junk and only lost because the camera the network mounted in the car somehow caused a fire. Like him or not, that man can wheel a race car.

  7. Michael in SoCal Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Leto makes an interesting point regarding American Ethanol & Mobil 1 possible conflicts. Dinger could be a possibility, not sure of his schedule, but he has driven a Chevy in the 51.

  8. Richard Allen Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    It has been announced that Max Papis will sit in for Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen.

  9. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Good call on Max Papis. He could win in this car.

  10. Chris Fiegler Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I think that Max Papis should drive the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS Until Tony Stewart is back driving Including Michigan & Bristol.