Tony Stewart to miss rest of season

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm •  Published: August 19, 2013
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Martin's arrival was the only transaction SHR was ready to announce on a busy day of musical seats. Kurt Busch had reportedly been offered a deal to drive a fourth car next season for Stewart-Haas Racing, and is mulling that offer and others.

Stewart said last month the organization was not ready to expand to four cars in releasing Ryan Newman.

"Obviously, there's options out there," Zipadelli said. "We're looking at everything that's there. There is nothing done. Right now, we're focused on (Newman), trying to win another race to make it into the Chase and getting Mark fitted up in this car and heading to Bristol to do the best job we can."

Newman, who won at Indianapolis, is 15th in the standings and out of Chase spot with three races left until the 12-driver Chase field is set. Stewart is 18th and dropping in the standings and Danica Patrick is 27th. SHR will remain at least a three-car operation next season when it adds Kevin Harvick.

Waltrip said Martin achieved all the goals both he and the team set when he began a 24-race schedule in the No. 55 in 2012. Martin nearly won at Michigan before running out of fuel with four laps left.

MWR announced last week that Vickers will drive the No. 55 Toyota for a full Sprint Cup schedule beginning next season.

"No one wants to see Tony out of the 14, but I am appreciative of the opportunity to get more seat time in the 55 as a result," Vickers said.

Waltrip said MWR would now turn its attention toward signing No. 55 crew chief Rodney Childers and keep him with Vickers for next season.

"Brian is poised to race for a championship," Waltrip said. "The job he's done in the 55 on a limited basis has been really impressive. To be able to be a part timer and grab a win like he did at Loudon, that's just amazing in this day and age."

It took some cooperation to get this deal done. Martin needed MWR and sponsors Aaron's and Toyota to let him out of his deal to jump to SHR and drive a Chevrolet. Martin could now help send the No. 14 into the owner's standings portion of the Chase and knock out an MWR team.

Martin, who has five runner-up series finishes and no championships in a three decade Cup career, said he has yet to consider his plans for 2014.

"A week ago, I was going to race a partial schedule," he said. "Now, I'm racing all but one with a whole new situation with what I feel like is a lot of challenges and a lot of pressure.

"And I don't want to think about 2014 at all right now."