While Austin Dillon keeps the No. 14 car's driver's seat warm for Tony Stewart at Michigan, a timetable hasn't been determined for Stewart's return.
“We don’t know that yet," Stewart-Haas Competition Director Greg Zipadelli said Friday, when asked if Stewart was out the rest of the season, "I’m working under the assumption that he’s out for the next month or so or longer. He went to the doctor’s this week, he had a decent visit. No setbacks. Basically, very simple instructions, stay in his bed with your leg up over your heart for the next seven days and then come back and see me. We’ll reevaluate you and tell you what you can do. That’s what he’s doing."
On Monday, August 5, Stewart suffered a grade two fracture of his right tibia and fibula in a sprint car accident in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Stewart was leading when he crashed into a lapped car that was spinning in front of him.
Zipadelli said last week at Watkins Glen that the team was looking at Nationwide drivers to fill the races Stewart will miss, and said Friday that it'd likely be two drivers for the rest of the duration of Stewart's absence, whether it's a month, the rest of the season, or anything in between.
Dillon already has a relationship with Bass Pro Shops, one of Stewart's sponsors. While that played a role, being the 2010 Camping World Truck Series champion and leading the Nationwide points this season obviously doesn't hurt either. Plus, Dillon finished 11th at Michigan in June.
"We looked at that, the association with Bass Pro Shop, both sponsors were on board," Zipadelli said. "That is a big priority to us that our partners are on board with everything we do. Obviously, we let them down with Tony not being in the car the rest of the year and we need to do the best we can to represent them and they are a big part of our decisions.”