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Bristol, Tenn. • While team co-owner Tony Stewart is sidelined at home nursing a broken right leg, Stewart-Haas Racing is charging full steam ahead with aggressive plans for 2014.
SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli said Friday the team is moving forward in its pursuit of 2004 NASCAR champion Kurt Busch, who has been offered a seat in a new ride that would expand the organization to four cars next season. The push for Busch is being made by team co-owner Gene Haas, who Zipadelli said only wants Busch for the seat that apparently would be funded and sponsored by Haas' CNC machine company Haas Automation, Inc.
"As far as Kurt's deal, that is moving forward," Zipadelli said. "We spent time this week talking about buildings and expanding. So as far as that part goes, we're pretty much committed. If we can get it all worked out, we're going to add that link."
Meanwhile, Rodney Childers informed his Michael Waltrip Racing team he wouldn't be returning in 2014 to crew chief Brian Vickers. Although he has nothing officially lined up, it appears to be a mere formality until he finalizes a deal to move to SHR next season to crew chief Kevin Harvick.
"It's actually not 100 percent done, but I think everybody has a good idea what it is," Childers said.
The flurry of activity for SHR comes as Mark Martin prepares to drive the No. 14 Chevrolet on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway as the latest replacement for Stewart.
The three-time NASCAR champion is out for the rest of the season after breaking his leg in two places in an Aug. 5 sprint car crash in Iowa.
Zipadelli has spent the last three weeks lining up driver replacements first was Max Papis at Watkins Glen, then Austin Dillon last week at Michigan and a deal was worked out to get Martin freed from his commitments with MWR, where he shared a seat with Vickers, to replace Stewart everywhere except Talladega going forward.
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