Austin Dillon to drive Stewart’s No. 14 at Michigan

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NASCAR Nationwide Series championship leader Austin Dillon will take over the injured Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet for the Pure Michigan 400 this coming weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

In addition to his full-time NNS duties with Richard Childress Racing, Dillon has competed in seven Sprint Cup races this season. His most recent one was the Brickyard 400, in which he finished 26th.

Dillon will be the second different driver to fill in for Stewart as he recovers from breaking his right tibia and fibula in a sprint car crash last Monday night in Iowa.

SHR announced yesterday that the three-time Cup champion had been released from the hospital. Open-wheel and sports car veteran Max Papis finished 15th in Stewart’s car on the road course at Watkins Glen International.

“I’ve watched Austin for many years and at each stage of his racing career he’s been successful,” Stewart said in an SHR team statement. “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 [Camping World] 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.”

The statement also said that SHR has not yet determined an interim driver for the No. 14 car at the Aug. 24 event at Bristol Motor Speedway.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.