August 19, 2013 – NASCAR.com is reporting that Mark Martin will move from Michael Waltrip Racing to Stewart Haas Racing effective immediately to take over the reigns of Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet while “Smoke” continues to recover from injuries suffered in a Sprint Car accident a couple of weeks ago.
Martin, 54, was scheduled to finish the season splitting time with Brian Vickers in the Aaron’s Toyota No. 55 for Michael Waltrip Racing. Vickers has just been signed to compete in that car full-time in 2014 and will now begin his tenure immediately. Martin will run the No. 14 at all remaining races except for Talladega, where Austin Dillon will sit in for the second time this season.
Dillon charged back from an early race spin and wound up 14th at Michigan on Sunday, keeping the car in the hunt for the Owner’s Championship.
“After consulting with Tony’s doctors and speaking with Tony, we agreed it was best for him to focus on his recovery,” Greg Zipadelli, SHR’s competition director said in the NASCAR.com article. “For the No. 14 team, our focus is on positioning them for a run at the owner championship. Mark Martin and Austin Dillon give us the best opportunity to do that, and we certainly appreciate Michael Waltrip Racing and Richard Childress Racing for making Mark and Austin available to us.”
Martin’s plans for 2014 are unclear. For now, however, he has some big shoes to fill and there will be lots of eyes upon him as he returns to the Chevrolet camp from Toyota.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/NASCAR