Tony Stewart not expected to return soon

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — While Tony Stewart recovers from a broken leg, his team is still figuring out how to move on without him.

“I’m working under the assumption that he’s out for the next month or so or longer,” said Greg Zipadelli, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing. “He went to the doctor’s this week, he had a decent visit. No setbacks. Basically, very simple instructions — stay in bed with your leg up over your heart for the next seven days.”

Stewart broke his right leg in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway. He was released from the hospital last weekend.

Austin Dillon is racing in Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway this week, but the schedule beyond that is unclear.

“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,” Zipadelli said Friday. “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 was asked if Dillon is one of the options for the rest of the year.

“Yeah, obviously Austin’s done a great job in the Truck Series and Nationwide Series,” Zipadelli said. “We are talking about more races. We don’t have anything concrete yet. 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.”

Max Papis drove the No. 14 to a 15th-place finish Sunday at Watkins Glen.

The 23-year-old Dillon, who won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title two years ago, competes this year in the Nationwide Series and holds the points lead.

Zipadelli said he had a chance to see Stewart on Wednesday and Thursday.

“He’s in great spirits and they changed some of his medicines and things of that nature,” he said. “He’s going through a little bit of a transition period, but like I said the doctor’s appointment went well, or as good as it can. He said the next 7 to 14 days will tell a lot. ... It’s going to be a really slow process.”

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