WATKINS GLEN, NY (WFXG) - Tony Stewart's broken leg has gotten more conversation than any other story this weekend at Watkins Glen. The man that many felt was invincible spent his weekend in the hospital watching his team try to fill the void that he created.
In case, you were living under a rock last week, Stewart was involved in a Sprint Car crash last Monday that left him with two broken bones in his left leg. The injury has sparked the debate as to whether NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers should be driving in other racing series outside NASCAR.
"We all know Tony loves to do those races. We know that that's his golf game, that's his hunting, his fishing, all the things that the rest of us do," said Stewart-Haas Racing Director of Competition Greg Zipadelli of his team owner's extra racing ventures. "You know, there is a difference in the amount of responsibility we have and obligations to other people, and that's where I think it gets sticky."
Stewart is one of the few remaining "old school" racers on the circuit. In the day, a race car driver would jump into anything that moved if it involved a checkered flag for the fastest car at the end. Stewart was looking at running over 100 races this season in various racing divisions before his accident.
"There are only a few left, like Stewart, like me, like maybe Mario Andretti," said Max Papis who filled in for Stewart in Sunday's Chez-it 355 at Watkins Glen. "You go and drive a Sprint Cup car, you go and drive a sports car, you go and drive a midget the day after, and that's a little different."
Papis did a good job filling in for the SHR team notching a 15th place finish after taking the ride on very short notice.
Despite the strong run by Papis, the team is still facing many questions regarding who will fill Stewart's seat till he returns. With Stewart still in the hospital, the remainder of the season remains a question mark for the No. 14 team.
"We've got a few candidates and we're talking to a few people," said Zipadelli on their fill in driver search. "We've got a lot of people that have obviously reached out. We're not sure if we can put one person in until Tony gets back or we're going to have to do multiple people."
With so much money on the line from sponsors and so many people depending on a team's success for their livelihood, does Stewart's injury spark teams to discuss limiting their driver's outside activity?