It’s official: Tony Stewart to miss Bristol race, Jeff Burton to once again drive No. 14

5 Comments

Tony Stewart will miss this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third consecutive race Stewart has skipped in the aftermath of the tragic racing incident with sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. nearly two weeks ago.

As was the case at this past weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway, veteran Sprint Cup driver Jeff Burton will replace Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet.

“Tony Stewart has decided not to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway,” said a statement released by team officials.

The rest of the statement read:

“Veteran driver Jeff Burton, a winner of 21 Sprint Cup races, will pilot the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in place of Stewart for the second straight week.

“Burton subbed for Stewart last weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Burton has 40 Sprint Cup starts at Bristol, which include a victory in the 2008 Food City 500.

“The driver change pertains only to Bristol. Stewart’s plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”