Drivers anxiously line up to replace Tony Stewart and Max Papis gets the 1st call

  • Article by: JENNA FRYER , AP Auto Racing Writer
  • Updated: August 8, 2013 - 7:05 AM
hide

FILE - In this June 7, 2013, file photo, Max Papis stands in the garage before driving practice laps in preparation for the NASCAR Nationwide series auto race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Papis got the call from Stewart-Haas Racing and will replace Tony Stewart, the three-time NASCAR champion, this weekend at Watkins Glen International, where Papis will make his first Sprint Cup Series start since 2010. But it will be Papis' 13th career start at Watkins Glen.

Photo: Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At least a dozen road course ringers waited for the phone to ring when word spread that Tony Stewart had broken his leg in a sprint car race at Iowa.

Max Papis called Stewart-Haas Racing and told the team he was available to replace the three-time NASCAR champion, and he'll be the replacement this weekend at Watkins Glen International.

It will be Papis' first Sprint Cup Series start since 2010, but it will be his 13th career start at Watkins Glen. More important, he's got some familiarity with the car he'll be racing this weekend: Papis was the test driver for SHR last month as part of the team's R&D program at Road Atlanta and the slender Italian said he joked the seat was a natural fit.

"I didn't talk to Tony, I sent him an email when I was testing his car telling him that his lap belt fit me," Papis said Tuesday. "It was actually funny stuff. I don't tell you the answer."

His time with the team this weekend is likely a one-off as SHR will probably go to an oval specialist the remainder of the time Stewart is sidelined. But Papis jumped at the opportunity, even though he was scheduled to run the Grand-Am race Saturday at Road America.

He was part of the winning effort in his Grand-Am class two weeks ago at Indianapolis, and was grateful to be considered by SHR for this weekend's opportunity.

"Obviously this, I don't look at this like a career-changing (opportunity)," he said. "I'm just going to go out there and enjoy every lap I have, enjoy every second I have with the guys, and keep that seat warm for Smoke until he's going to come back. And who knows? Maybe in the future we're going to have some laughs to share about what I did in this car or anything. You never know.

"Sometimes if you push for opportunities, they don't come, and sometimes things come because of reasons," he continued. "The things that I'm the most proud of is the fact that I'm even considered (for) this opportunity. There are hundreds of guys out there that can drive this car, but I always say it's not about the money you make, it's not about anything that you do, but it's about the story you write. And I guess that so far I've been writing a pretty decent story to get a call from Stewart-Haas Racing."

___

NEWMAN BENEFITS: Tony Stewart left Pocono Raceway ranked 11th in the Sprint Car standings holding the first wild card in the Chase for the championship field.

His injury has blown the race wide open with five races remaining to set the 12-driver field.

It's not clear how many races Stewart will miss — Stewart-Haas Racing has said they'll know more after his second surgery on his broken right leg — but they no longer consider him a factor to make the Chase.

The biggest benefactor, ironically, is teammate Ryan Newman.

Newman became a Chase contender two weeks ago with his win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but at 15th in points needed a lot of help in front of him to claim the second wild card. He should gain ground once Stewart misses his first race Sunday, and competition director Greg Zipadelli said the SHR focus now shifts to Newman.

"Well, our focus has always been getting (Stewart) and (Newman) in the Chase, they both obviously had opportunities to make the Chase," Zipadelli said. "Our focus was to give them equal attention. I think obviously now that the 39 is our only chance, we will do whatever we can to help. I don't know that it's any more than what we have been doing, but we'll certainly do our best to work together as a team, and if there's anything they need, we will certainly do our best to give them what they need to have that opportunity."

___

STAYING PUT, PROBABLY: Four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti and team owner Chip Ganassi have an understanding. As long as Franchitti feels his No. 10 car can run with the leaders, he wants to come to work.

Franchitti has every intention of clocking in next year. The 40-year-old Scotsman said during last weekend's visit to Mid-Ohio he "definitely" would like to drive for Ganassi in 2014. A deal may be a formality, but it doesn't appear imminent. Franchitti and Ganassi have worked on a series of one-year contracts since Franchitti returned to the circuit full-time in 2009 after a miserable stint in NASCAR.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 7:25 PM
Carolina
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 6:00 PM
Orlando
Detroit 7:00 PM
Minnesota
New York 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Utah 7:30 PM
Dallas
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Boston 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Chicago 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Arizona 6:30 PM
Florida
San Jose 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Anaheim 7:00 PM
St. Louis
NY Islanders 8:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Vancouver
(2) Florida State 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
Sporting Kansas City 7:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close