The Norman Transcript

Sports

August 20, 2013

Stewart out for the season with broken leg

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“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. Austin is a great young talent, and he showed that Sunday at Michigan.”

Stewart is expected to return in time for preseason testing in January 2014.

“We expect a full recovery by Daytona or close to it,” said Greg Zipadelli, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing. “It may be able to be done earlier, it’s just not worth it. It’s a bad break to the leg, and he needs time to go through the process of healing, rehabilitation, all those things.”

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.

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