Current Nationwide Series points leader Austin Dillon will drive the No.14 Chevrolet for Stewart Haas Racing this weekend at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), said the team Monday afternoon.
Dillon, who will also compete in Saturday’s inaugural race for the Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio where he participated in a test session for NASCAR earlier in the year, finished 11th in the June race at MIS for Richard Childress Racing.
The Nationwide Series points leader becomes the second driver to drive Tony Stewart’s No.14 in wake of the three-time Cup champion’s sprint car crash in Iowa on August 5 in which he suffered a broken fibula and tibia. Max Papis drove the N0.14 to a 15th place finish Sunday at Watkins Glen.
“I’ve watched Austin for many years and at each stage of his racing career he’s been successful,” Stewart said in a release. “He’s proven to be a very fast learner, and he’s able to adapt quickly. Being the youngest champion in the history of the Truck Series is proof of that.
“His background in dirt racing is an asset, and off the track we share many of the same interests, specifically, hunting and fishing. I know he’ll perform well at Michigan and I’m just as confident in his ability to properly represent Mobil 1 and Bass Pro Shops throughout the race weekend.”
While the team’s plans for this weekend at Michigan have been announced, SHR has yet to determine a long-term replacement driver for Stewart as he recovers from two surgeries on his broken leg.
Stewart was released from a North Carolina hospital Sunday evening after having a second surgery on his broken fibula and tibia. Doctors estimate the normal recovery time for such an injury to be at least four to six weeks.