The 40-time winner in the Cup series stepped into Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet for 12 of the last 13 races in 2013 while Stewart recovered from a broken leg suffered in a sprint car accident.
Martin is now 57 and has been retired for two seasons. The former Roush Fenway Racing star has let everyone know his retirement is permanent. He won’t replace Stewart to begin 2016 after he suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident Sunday.
NASCAR on NBC analyst and Martin’s former teammate, Jeff Burton, also chimed in. Burton substituted for Stewart in two races in 2014.
The Daytona 500 is in 17 days and Stewart-Haas Racing said a substitute driver has not been finalized for the No. 14.
This will be Stewart’s third season in four years that he has missed extended action in the Sprint Cup. The year after his broken leg, Stewart missed three races following the sprint car accident where Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr.