Stewart-Haas working to line up replacement drivers for rest of season

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In short order, Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli is hoping to have interim drivers for the injured Tony Stewart finalized through the remainder of the season.

“We’re certainly looking at trying probably in the next three to four days, before we get to Bristol – everything will be ironed out for the rest of the year,” he said on Friday at Michigan International Speedway.

“We’ve had hurdles that we’ve had to get through so we are looking at that and we’re working on that. It will be two drivers probably the rest of the year…Just try to get them guys to try to build some chemistry and get the best finishes we can.”

Zipadelli said that Austin Dillon, who is replacing Stewart in the No. 14 SHR Chevrolet this weekend in the Pure Michigan 400, is a potential option going forward as Stewart recovers from breaking two bones in his right leg in a recent sprint car crash.

“We don’t have anything concrete yet,” said Zipadelli. “We’re looking at that other option and just seeing how many races that they can do. It looks like one more race at least for Austin through the rest of the year with us.”

In the meantime, Dillon is preparing for a “double duty” weekend that will also see him compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course tomorrow.

The NNS championship leader tested on Thursday at Mid-Ohio and expects to see “a pretty wild race” on the tight, winding road course.

“There are some blind corners and some elevation changes and some really slow corners where people are going to make up ground and mistakes are going to be made,” he said. “My goal always is to finish laps in these races and that will always bring positions to you.”

As for his goals for Sunday at Michigan, Dillon said that “trying to put ourselves in position at the end of the race to get a Top-15 [finish] would be great.” Earlier today, he qualified 27th for the 400-miler.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.