Tony Stewart, driver of the 14 Mobile 1 Bass Pro Shop Stewart-Hass Racing Chevrolet, will not be racing this weekend at Watkins Glen. Tony suffered a broken leg Monday Night racing sprint cars at Southern Iowa Speedway. It is being reported “Smoke” broke both the tibia and fibula bone in his right leg. According to team officials he’s already had surgery to the injury.
According to Brian Brown who eventually won the race, Tony tangled with a lapped car, which led to the wreck. Tony will fall out of Wild Card contention for the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series and depending on how many races he misses, has a very real possibility to miss the Chase this year.
This is the third accident in two weeks in regional sprint cars for Tony. During a race in Canada last Monday, Tony flipped the sprint cup car. The following Tuesday he had an accident with Alysha Ruggles, which sent her car flipping into the air.
When asked Tony about what appeared to be the nasty Monday flip at Pocono last weekend, Tony responded with “You mortals need to watch more Sprint Car videos and stuff. It was not a big deal.”
This is the reason many sponsors have placed “governors” on their drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr., may be the most famous case of this. In 2004, Dale wrecked an American Le Mans Chevrolet Corvette in Sonoma, which then burst into flames giving the driver second and third degree burns. He then had to use relief drivers for two races following.
It was reported (while not confirmed) Budweiser put down some strict rules on what exactly Dale Jr., could and couldn’t race. Many sponsors followed suit with their drivers.
Tony is a very accomplished Sprint Car series racer however, racing several events throughout the year. So this was not a rookie situation like Earnhardt Jr. However, that’s sure to not be an easing notion to Bass Pro Shop and Mobile 1 and other sponsors.
If Tony does indeed miss the chase, as is almost certain it will be the first time he’s missed it since becoming a driver-owner after becoming co-owner of Stewart-Hass Racing in 2009.
No replacement driver for the 14 has been named at the time of this article.
UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing announced Max Papis has been listed as the replacement driver for Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen. Papis is no stranger to NASCAR, have started thirty-five times and finished in the top ten at The Glen before.
It's also been reported Stewart will need a second surgery. Future return, nor future replacement drivers have been discussed at this time.