Dillon To Sub For Stewart After First Talladega Caution
Tony Stewart will start his second race of the season on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, but will give his seat up to Ty Dillon following the first caution.
The maneuver permits Stewart to collect driver points as he hunts for a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, while allowing him to not risk hurting his healing back. If Dillon takes the checkered flag at Talladega, it counts as a win for Stewart.
“We’ll start the Talladega race to get the points but, understanding the style of racing and the higher potential of getting involved in an incident, we thought it best to minimize the amount of time I’m in the car,” Stewart said. “I’ll return full-time at Kansas and enjoy every moment I can my final year of Sprint Cup.”
To qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Stewart must win a race, and finish the regular season in the top 30 in points. He is currently 40th in points (22), trailing 30th-place Matt DiBenedetto by 101. In comparison, Kyle Busch trailed 30th place by 179 points last year when he returned in the 12th race of the season. Stewart missed the first eight contests of 2016.
Stewart finished 22nd in his return at Richmond and completed all 400 laps.