Tuesday, Dec 05
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Energized by a productive road-course run recently, Mike Wallace rolls into Watkins Glen International this weekend looking for a good performance in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet in the Zippo 200 at The Glen.

Wallace finished 13th in the recent Nationwide race on the Road America road course at Elkhart Lake, Wisc. He ran as high as 12th after starting 31st, scoring his second best finish of the season to date.

 “Our little team has run pretty good on the road courses,” Wallace said. “Of course, Watkins Glen is a high-speed road course and is totally different from Road America. In fact, the Glen is high speed compared to all the other road courses.”

In six Nationwide races at the Glen, Wallace has finished 18th three times and 20th, 26th and 39th.

Watkins Glen is the second of three road-course events for Nationwide drivers this year. Teams will race at Mid-Ohio next weekend.

JD Motorsports PR

Headed In The Right Direction...The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) will be making right and left turns this weekend as it heads to the second road-course race of the season at Watkins Glen International. Kyle Larson does not have any previous starts at the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course, but he scored a seventh-place finish when the NNS visited Road America in June. 


Would You Like Fries With That?...For the second time this season, Larson's No. 32 Camaro will sport the McDonald's golden arches. McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with more than 34,000 locations serving more than 69 million customers in 119 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women. To learn more about the company, please visit www.aboutmcdonalds.com.


This Week's Camaro...Crew chief Trent Owens and the No. 32 McDonald's team have prepared chassis TSM-304 for competition this weekend at Watkins Glen. TSM-304 previously served as the No. 32 team's backup at the season's only road course so far, Road America.


Come Down To The Bog...Larson and his NNS competitors will be signing autographs at The Bog Hospitality located inside of Turn 11 on Friday, August 9. The session will run from 4:30-5:30 p.m. EDT. Fans can pick up wristbands at the Cheez-It or Zippo displays in the Fan Midway while supplies last.


Watch and Listen...The Zippo 200 can be seen live on Saturday, August 10 on ABC.  Race coverage will begin at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.


Previous Race Recap... In his fourth race at Iowa Speedway, Larson earned another top-five finish in his No. 32 Eveready Chevrolet, coming home fifth in the U.S. Cellular 250 on Saturday night. In his one other NNS race at the 0.875-mile track, Larson also finished fifth. In addition, he has two top-10 finishes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, finishing sixth and second.


Kyle Larson on Watkins Glen International

"I'm looking forward to going into Watkins Glen, I'm feeling much more confident than I did going into Road America.  I'm by no means a road-course expert, but there isn't as much of an unknown going into as there was before Road America. The Glen is still a much different animal; it's got higher speeds and banking in the turns. It's a very fast track. I had a lot of fun in my first road course race and was able to come home with a top-10 finish, and I'm hoping I'll be able to say the same this weekend. We had a good run in Iowa last week, so my goal is to keep up the positive momentum."


Finger Lakes...The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) heads to its second of three road course races this season. Allgaier will be making his fifth start at Watkins Glen International. In last year's race, Allgaier started in the eighth position and finished ninth, after having led one lap at the 2.45-mile road course.


In-Car Camera...This weekend Allgaier will have an in-car camera in his No. 31 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet Camaro. Allgaier will also have an additional over-the-shoulder camera providing fans with another unique view as he navigates his way around the 11-turn road course.


Recapping Iowa...The NNS completed its second and final stop of the season at Iowa Speedway. Allgaier qualified his No. 31 BRANDT Chevrolet Camaro ninth for the U.S. Cellular 250. After four cautions, three pit stops and 250 miles of racing at Iowa Speedway, Allgaier brought his No. 31 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet Camaro home in the 17th position for Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM). With Saturday night's finish Allgaier is currently seventh in the NNS Driver Point Standings.


This Week's Camaro...This weekend the No. 31 BRANDT Chevrolet team will utilize chassis TSM-308. TSM-308 will race for the first time this season.


Meet Justin...Allgaier will sign autographs at The Bog Hospitality area located inside of Turn 11 at Watkins Glen International. Allgaier will sign with other NNS drivers from 4:30-5:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 10. Fans can pick up wristbands at the Cheez-It or Zippo displays in the Fan Midway while supplies last.


Crew chief Scott Zipadelli on Watkins Glen International:

"Watkins Glen [International] is our second road course race this season. Justin finished second at Road America earlier this year, so hopefully some of that road course momentum will carry over into this race. Watkins Glen is very fast and it's different from other road courses because of the banking. If we play our pit strategy correctly and are up front near the end, I think we have a great shot at winning."


Justin Allgaier on Watkins Glen International:

"I'm excited to get to Watkins Glen [International]. We finished second at Road America earlier this year, so it will be nice to get back to a road course. Road racing is challenging, but it's always fun. I don't have the best results at Watkins Glen, but my team at Turner Scott Motorsports has prepared a great chassis, and I think we have great chance to win."



Right Turns Ahead...The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) will make its second of three road-course stops  of the 2013 season at Watkins Glen International (WGI) this weekend for the Zippo 200 at The Glen. Nelson Piquet Jr. has one previous NNS start at the 2.45-mile road course, coming in 2010 where he started 10th and finished seventh. Piquet Jr. is no stranger to success on a road course, he visited victory lane in 2012 when he earned his first NASCAR top-three series win at Road America.


This Week's Camaro...The No. 30 Qualcomm team will have chassis TSM-300 for Saturday afternoon's race at WGI. TSM-300 has been on the track one other time this season at Road America in June.


Come and See...Piquet Jr. will participate in the NNS autograph session on Friday, August 9th from 4:30-5:30 p.m. EDT at the Bog Hospitality located inside of Turn 11. Fans can pick up wristbands at the Cheez-It or Zippo displays in the Fan Midway while supplies last.   


Iowa Recap...Making his second career NNS start at Iowa Speedway last weekend, Nelson Piquet Jr. and his No. 30 WORX Yard Tools team looked to build on what they learned from their previous trip to the 0.875-mile speedway in June. Piquet Jr. started the weekend by earning a top-15 qualifying spot, placing the No. 30 WORX Yard Tools Chevrolet Camaro 13th on the starting grid. After running in the top-10 for the first part of the race, Piquet Jr. and his Turner Scott Motorsports team earned a 14th-place finish.


Welcome Back...For the fifth time in 2013, Turner Scott Motorsports partner Qualcomm will be the primary sponsor for Piquet Jr. and No. 30 team in this week's Zippo 200 at The Glen. Qualcomm Incorporated is the world leader in next-generation mobile technologies. For 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of wireless communications, connecting people more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Today, Qualcomm technologies are powering the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, making wireless devices and services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com.


Watch and Listen...The Zippo 200 at The Glen can be seen live on Saturday, August 10 on ABC.  Race coverage will begin at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.


Nelson Piquet Jr. on his return to Watkins Glen:

"I am looking forward to getting back on the track and making my return to Watkins Glen this weekend. It has been a few years since I have raced at Watkins Glen in a Nationwide car, but we have had some success there and on road courses in the past, so I am really looking forward to it. My guys have worked hard all week at the shop to get this car ready to race. Qualcomm is back on board this weekend; they have been great partners of ours, so hopefully we can reward them with a trip to victory lane on Saturday."



Ryan Newman’s 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories have come at various venues across the circuit. From a superspeedway win in the 50th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway to a short track victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, it seems Newman has won at every type of track. However, there’s one trophy missing from his shelf.

With a victory at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International this weekend, Newman would join an elite list of drivers who have won at every type of track on the Sprint Cup circuit: superspeedway, speedway, intermediate, short track and road course.

Newman came close to winning at Watkins Glen during his rookie year in 2002. He started fifth and led 11 laps before relinquishing the lead to his current teammate and car owner Tony Stewart, who went on to beat him across the finish line by 1.636 seconds.

In 11 career Sprint Cup starts at Watkins Glen, Newman has the one top-five finish and three top-10s. And while he hasn’t won there in Sprint Cup, Newman did capture a NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at The Glen in 2005.

The legendary road course’s long straightaways and fast, sweeping turns have proven their difficulty for some of the sport’s greatest drivers. Recent series champions Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth are all winless at the 2.45-mile venue. Road racers Boris Said and Ron Fellows have fallen short in their bid to upset the series regulars. Busch, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr., are among those who have victories at the other road-racing venue on the circuit – Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway – but are winless in their attempts to conquer The Glen.

Which is why a win this weekend at The Glen would not only complete Newman’s trophy case, it would do so in fantastic fashion as it would also move him ahead of his fellow competitors in pursuit of a wild-card berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Just five races remain before the 12-driver field is set for the 10-race Chase, which will crown the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. And, as the series heads to The Glen for the second and final road-course race of the season, Newman is in the midst of a hotly contested battle for a coveted Chase berth.

He jumped from 19th to 15th in the point standings thanks to his win two weeks ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by his fourth-place finish at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway Sunday. Newman finds himself only 24 points outside the all-important top-10 and, as one of only three drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory, he finds his chances of making the 12-driver, 10-race Chase either by climbing inside the top-10 or via a possible wild-card berth certainly within reach.

But as good as his chances seem to look, Newman heads to Watkins Glen in a precarious position as only the top-10 are locked into the Chase, which begins Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Chase positions 11 and 12 are wild cards and are awarded to those drivers between 11th and 20th in points who have the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same amount of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

Stewart holds the 11th-place wild-card spot thanks to his victory at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and his current point standing of 11th. But he will miss the race this weekend at Watkins Glen due to an injury sustained in a Sprint Car accident Monday night at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. Martin Truex Jr., currently 14th in the point standings, holds the 12th-place wild-card spot thanks to his win at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and his nine-point advantage over the 15th-place Newman.

Newman will likely inherit Stewart’s wild-card spot this weekend but could solidify his place in the standings by earning another victory in the next five races, or by climbing into the top-10 in points.

So, Newman and his team, led by crew chief Matt Borland, will look to continue their trend of strong finishes with their eye on taking The Glen’s winding road to victory lane. They know what a second win would mean in their bid to make the Chase. And, for Newman, it would fill the lone void in his personal trophy case.


This weekend AJ Allmendinger is slated to race the No. 47 SCOTT Products Toyota Camry for JTG Daugherty Racing in the Cheez-It 335 At The Glen. This is his third time behind the wheel of the No. 47 car.

In four starts at Watkins Glen International, the 31-year-old has one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

The California native's finishes at the road course include 11th, 13th, fourth and eighth respectively since his first visit in 2008. His best start is second place (8/15/11).

Allmendinger's average finish is 9.0 and his average start is 15.3. His average running position of 14.2, ninth-best and his driver rating of 92.4, eighth-best.


CONTROLLING HIS LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT:  "I am excited about Watkins Glen (International), but I do not want to be overly excited," AJ Allmendinger said. "We have a really good starting package with our No. 47 SCOTT Products Toyota Camry. Of course, the track will change over the weekend with the rubber build up.

"When we tested there last week, we had good speed," continued Allmendinger. "This is one of my favorite tracks and that is why I am trying to maintain my excitement level. I don't want to be overly confident and we will take it as it comes. We have the potential of having a really good weekend."

ROAD COURSE RACER AT HEART: "My background is road course racing," Allmendinger said. "Watkins Glen is more of a commitment and is different than Sonoma (Raceway). You cannot bend your fenders at Watkins Glen and you have to take care of your equipment. It is a place I always enjoy racing. We were up to speed with our SCOTT Products Toyota Camry at the test. We will see where we shake out on Sunday. We feel good about it."

TEAM EXCELS ON WINDING ROADS: "JTG Daugherty Racing has excelled at road courses," Allmendinger said. "Marcos Ambrose drove for them a few years ago, but he is the type of guy that is fast no matter what he is in. Since Marcos was there, the team has done a great job of continuing to build good road course cars. Unfortunately, during the last road course race at Sonoma Raceway, they had mechanical problems before the green flag that took Bobby Labonte out of the race. They had pretty good laps times during practice. The car had speed and it's a shame Bobby did not get to race. Hopefully, we can build off of what we learned at the test and bring home a solid finish."

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS:  "I enjoy being around the guys at JTG Daugherty Racing because they are fun to be around," Allmendinger said. "I've had a great time bonding with them. It is important to build good relationships. We are testing Atlanta Motor Speedway today and we are trying to figure it out. Being a single-car team, they don't have a lot of test days. So, we are gathering as many notes as we can to try to narrow down the gap of what we have to work on."

DAUGHERTY ON TESTING WITH ALLMENDINGER AT WATKINS GLEN LAST WEEK: “We did some testing with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen International," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty said. "It is going to be a great opportunity for us. He is an excellent road racer and I know our guys are really excited for it. We have kind of a road racing lineage from when our NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team started because of having Marcos Ambrose in our car, who is also an excellent road racer.

"Being able to put AJ in the car is going to be a great shot in the arm for our team because it is a unique race and he is a unique talent that plugs well into what we are trying to do," continued Daugherty. "We learned some things when we tested with set-ups and fuel-runs. We have seen fuel mileage play a very important role at road course races and Watkins Glen in particular. We are pleased about the opportunity and look forward to going back there this weekend with AJ in the car. We are hoping to get our No. 47 SCOTT Products Toyota Camry up front.”



Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart broke both major bones in his lower leg in a Sprint Car accident Monday night and will miss Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen, putting his prospects of qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in jeopardy.

"Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sustained a broken right tibia and fibula in a Sprint Car crash Monday night at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa," said a statement released by Stewart-Haas Racing, which Stewart co-owns.

Stewart, 42, was taken to a local hospital immediately after the accident and underwent surgery, according to the release.

A replacement for Stewart at Watkins Glen has not been determined. SHR canceled a team test scheduled for Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart currently is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings with one victory, placing him in the first of two provisional Wild Card positions. Missing one race -- or more -- will make it difficult for Stewart to retain a Chase-eligible position and opens the door for teammate Ryan Newman, who is third in the Wild Card standings.

There are five races left before the Chase field is set at Richmond.

According to a report in the Des Moines Register, Stewart was leading the 30-lap feature of the Front Row Challenge with five laps left when Josh Higby's car spun in Turn 4 and took out the top-three drivers in the running order -- Stewart, Tasker Phillips and Tony Shilling.

Conscious and responsive after the accident, Stewart was placed on a stretcher and transported to the hospital in an ambulance.

The race continued, with Brian Brown beating NASCAR Nationwide Series rookie phenom Kyle Larson to the checkered flag.

"I didn't see it happen," Larson told the Register. "I just saw cars going everywhere. I had to duck through the infield, and luckily I missed it."


Let's start with two assumptions.

First, anyone with two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories this season is going to make the Chase.

Yes, I know there are theoretical scenarios that could knock Kasey Kahne, Sunday's winner at Pocono, out of the top 12. But those prospects are so remote that they won't stop Kahne and crew chief Kenny Francis from taking risks in the next five races to try to accumulate victories before the Chase starts September 15 at Chicagoland Speedway.

The other two-win drivers, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, are even more firmly ensconced in their provisional Chase positions.

Second, no driver without a win is a lock to make the Chase, not even Clint Bowyer, who's currently second in the standings. A victory is the NASCAR Sprint Cup equivalent to a golden parachute. If you don't have one, and you go into free-fall with a couple of DNFs, there's nothing to prevent you from landing in non-Chase territory with a resounding splat.

For argument's sake, we're going to say that any driver in the top 15 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings with fewer than two victories is one the Chase bubble. Here's how I handicap their respective chances of qualifying for NASCAR's 10-race playoff:

Clint Bowyer. Points position: second. Points behind leader: 77. Points ahead of 11th place: 101. Victories: 0. Best chance for a win before the Chase: Richmond. Probability of making the Chase: 98 percent. The chances that Bowyer will miss the Chase are slim and none, but as long as Slim is still in town, the possibility has to be acknowledged. The Michael Waltrip Racing cars aren't as fast relative to the competition as they were last year, but that doesn't mean MWR can't find what Mark Martin calls "the missing piece" to the setup of the Gen-6 cars that's already well known in the Chevy camp. Bowyer can post mediocre finishes and still make the Chase. What he has to avoid are disasters. Accordingly, he and savvy crew chief Brian Pattie are likely to play things very close to the vest over the next five races. Task No. 1 is making the Chase. Afterwards, you can ramp up your program and try to win the title.

Carl Edwards. Points position: third. Points behind leader: 84. Points ahead of 13th place: 100. Victories: 1. Best chance for a win before the Chase: Bristol, Atlanta. Probability of making the Chase: 96 percent. No, Edwards is not shoo-in, despite his lofty position in the standings and the early-season victory he notched at Phoenix. Only an unmitigated catastrophe, however, could drop Edwards below 12th place and out of at least a Wild Card spot. The Ford camp is still searching for the complete package with the new Gen-6 car, but Edwards has shown speed in qualifying, even if he hasn't converted excellent starting spots into quality finishes of late. But he's running fast enough to qualify for the Chase.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Points position: fifth. Points behind leader: 116. Points ahead of 11th place: 62. Victories: 0. Best chance for a win before the Chase: Michigan, Atlanta. Probability of making the Chase: 88 percent. Junior is one win away from solidifying his claim to a Chase spot, but he's also one really bad finish away from nail-biting time. The most encouraging sign for the No. 88 team came Sunday, when Earnhardt was grousing about a fifth-place finish. All he really needs to grab a Chase spot is a respectable finish next Sunday on the road course at Watkins Glen and the sort of steady, consistent performances in the final four races that have become commonplace for Earnhardt and crew chief Steve Letarte this year.

Jeff Gordon. Points position: ninth. Points behind leader: 170. Points ahead of 11th place: 8. Victories: 0. Best chance for a win before the Chase: Watkins Glen, Bristol. Probability of making the Chase: 75 percent. Gordon made a statement Sunday at Pocono, where he got his runner-up finish the old fashioned way -- he earned it. Clearly, the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champ was delighted with the speed in his car, and that bodes well for the final five races before the Chase field is set at Richmond. Last year, Gordon dealt with the pressure of having to come from behind to clinch a Chase spot at Richmond, and that experience should help him again this season. The X factor for Gordon is the miserable luck that has prevented him from stringing good finishes together this season. As precarious as his position is, Gordon can't afford any more calamities.

Greg Biffle. Points position: 10th. Points behind leader: 173. Points ahead of 13th place: 11. Victories: 1. Best chance for a win before the Chase: Michigan. Probability of making the Chase: 60 percent. After a strong start to the season, Biffle's NASCAR Sprint Cup program has drifted into mediocrity. Despite a 10th-place run Sunday at Pocono, his average finish over the last five races is 20.0, and his career average at next Sunday's venue, Watkins Glen, is 23.8 -- even factoring in last year's sixth-place result. Biffle is on the cusp between a top-10 guaranteed Chase spot and a Wild Card, but he and crew chief Matt Puccia need to steady the ship to avoid the continued erosion of the Biff's points position.

Tony Stewart. Points Position: 11th. Points behind 10th place: 5. Points ahead of 13th place: 6. Victories: 1. Best chance of a win before the Chase: Watkins Glen, Richmond. Probability of making the Chase: 80 percent. Stewart has no weak tracks in the mix before the Chase field is set, and he thrives on the high stress of performing under intense pressure, as he proved so dramatically in winning the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup title. The Stewart-Haas cars have improved their handling and balance in recent weeks, and Stewart heads next Sunday to Watkins Glen, where he's a five-time winner. Don't let recent glitches at the Glen fool you -- Stewart is up to the challenge.

Brad Keselowski. Points position: 12th. Points behind 10th place: 7. Points ahead of 13th place: 4. Victories: 0. Best chance of a win before the Chase: Watkins Glen, Bristol. Probability of making the Chase: 40 percent. To qualify for the Chase on points, the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion likely will have to pass Biffle, Gordon or Kahne over the next five races, as well as jump ahead of Stewart. Keselowski is 46 points behind Matt Kenseth in seventh place, and finishing ahead of Kenseth by an average of more than nine points a race hardly seems likely. Therefore, Biffle, Gordon and Kahne are the only realistic targets. Another option for Brad is a win, which could come at any of the next five tracks. We like Keselowski at the Glen, where he's finished second in the last two races, giving us one of the highlights of the 2012 season with his last-lap battle against Marcos Ambrose.

Kurt Busch. Points position: 13th. Points behind 10th place: 11. Victories: 0. Best chance of a win before the Chase: Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta. Probability of making the Chase: 60 percent. But for an impatient moment at New Hampshire, Busch would be comfortably in the top 10. Crew chief Todd Berrier has provided speedy cars just about everywhere, and Busch has exhibited no qualms about driving them to the limit of their performance capacity. Collectively, 11 of Busch's 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins have come at the last four tracks in NASCAR's regular season -- Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond. The Chase is his oyster, if Busch can stay patient enough to find the pearl.

Martin Truex Jr. Points position: 14th. Points behind 10th place: 15. Points ahead of 15th place: 9. Victories: 1. Best chance of a win before the Chase: Watkins Glen, Atlanta. Probability of making the Chase: 50 percent. The MWR cars haven't had the speed of the Hendrick or Stewart-Haas cars of late, and that should concern Truex, whose closest pursuer for a provisional Wild Card spot, Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman, is only nine points back with five races left. Truex, however, got through his problem track -- Pocono -- with a respectable 15th-place finish, and he's optimistic about his chances at the five remaining tracks before the Chase field is set.

Ryan Newman. Points position: 15th. Points behind 10th place: 24. Points behind second provisional wild card: 9. Victories: 1. Best chance of a win before the Chase: Michigan, Richmond. Probability of making the Chase: 60 percent. The collaboration between Newman and crew chief Matt Borland has achieved critical mass, as Rocket Man's win at the Brickyard might suggest. Driving the same chassis he used at Indy, Newman charged to a fourth-place result at Pocono, establishing himself as a man on the move. Statistically, Richmond is Newman's best track among the five remaining before the Chase. He has 13 top 10s in 23 starts there and may need another to secure a berth in the Chase.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart underwent surgery on his right leg early Tuesday morning, Aug. 6 after suffering a broken tibia and fibula in a sprint car crash Monday night, Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Stewart did not sustain any other injuries.

The surgery served as a preliminary procedure to stabilize and clean the Grade 2 injury. A second surgery will be necessary. In the meantime, Stewart will remain hospitalized for observation.

Stewart was leading the 30-lap American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) feature when a lapped car spun in front of him. Stewart hit the lapped car and flipped.

Stewart’s injury will prevent him from competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event Aug. 9-11 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. Veteran racer Max Papis will serve as the interim driver for Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen. Papis tested the No. 14 Chevrolet on July 30 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.

Papis has made 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, with a career-best finish of eighth in 2009 at Watkins Glen. He has competed in Formula One, Indy car, sports cars and other NASCAR divisions, including the Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series and Canadian Tire Series. He is a three-time CART race winner and a seven-time winner in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, which includes a Daytona Prototype victory at Watkins Glen in the 2004 Sahlen’s Sports Car Grand Prix. Papis won the 2004 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship with co-driver Scott Pruett and is a two-time winner of the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona (2000 and 2002). Papis, 43, is from Como, Italy, and is a political science graduate of Milan University. He resides in Mooresville, N.C., with his wife, Tatiana, and sons, Marco and Matteo.



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