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: 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.: 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: 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: 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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