Martin Mulling His Options

Mark Martin

Mark Martin says he's examining his options, but he doesn't know what he'll be driving next season at this point. (Photo Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Mark Martin says he’s been contacted to drive Tony Stewart’s car but calls any such move "complicated."

"It’s more complicated than it looks at face value," Martin said Friday about driving the No. 14 car while Stewart recovers from a broken leg suffered in a sprint car crash last week in Iowa.

Greg Zipadelli, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, said earlier Friday at Michigan International Speedway that he was looking at two drivers for Stewart’s car for at least the next month and "probably the rest of the year."

Zipadelli said Austin Dillon, driving Stewart’s car this weekend, was scheduled to drive one more race with the team.  Zipadelli did not name who the second driver will be.

Martin is in his last season driving for Michael Waltrip Racing with his contract expiring.  Brian Vickers, who has shared driving duties with Martin the past two seasons, will drive Martin’s car full-time starting next year.

That could make Martin available to drive Stewart’s car immediately, giving Vickers the chance to run the remaining races for MWR to prepare for next season.

There are several roadblocks, though.  A key challenge is that Martin’s ride is with Toyota and Stewart’s car is a Chevrolet.  Both Martin’s car and Stewart’s car are battling to get into the Chase for the owner’s title.  There also are sponsor considerations and other such contracts.  If Vickers were to take over for Martin, then he would need approval from Joe Gribbs Racing since he’s running the Nationwide schedule for that team.

It’s easy to see why Martin says the possibility of him taking over Stewart’s ride is "complicated."

There are just as many questions about what Martin will do next season.

"The reason I haven’t talked about 2014 is because I felt like the landscape was probably going to change, and it’s starting to change rapidly," he said.

Martin says other competitors have asked if he’s going to share driving duties with Kyle Larson for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next season after the team decided not to retain Juan Pablo Montoya after this year.  EGR has not made any announcement on who will drive that car next season.  Kyle Larson told Motor Racing Network on Friday that he’s focused on his Nationwide campaign.

Martin seems a logical selection but might not be a candidate.

"I promise no one has talked to anyone on my side from Ganassi," Martin said.  "I know that it’s really churning out there.  There hasn’t even been the first discussion about that.  I’m as interested as you guys are about what Chip Ganassi has up his sleeve."

One thing Martin can say for certain is that he won’t drive full-time in Cup next year.

"I wouldn’t (run full-time) for the world," he said.  "I do love my schedule now."

Related Topics:

Mark Martin, NASCAR Sprint Cup

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