With Regan Smith (right) set to sub for Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford as Almirola recovers from injuries suffered in a vicious crash at Kansas last Saturday, a look back at some of the more notable substitute drivers in the history of NASCAR's Cup Series is in order.
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Papis, a former Formula One driver, last subbed for Tony Stewart in 2013 on the road course at Watkins Glen International in 2013. He finished 15th.
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Dillon now has his own full-time ride in the Cup Series, but back in 2013 when he also subbed for Stewart, he did not. He drove two races in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet while Stewart was out with a broken leg, with a best finish of 14th at Michigan.
Vickers, like Smith, is a veteran Super Sub. He drove three races in place of Denny Hamlin in 2013, and also subbed for Stewart in 2016 when both of those drivers were out with back injuries.
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Ty Dillon, Austin's younger brother, was declared "a rock star" after subbing for Stewart, inujred this time with a broken back, for three races in 2016. Dillon also finished up a fourth race at Talladega, making a mid-race seat swap change with Stewart on Lap 52 in a mere 80 seconds without losing a lap on the track.
Jones, now a Cup rookie driving the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota full time, subbed for the injured Kyle Busch in 2015 and was fast right off the bat.
Bowman subbed for Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 10 races last season while Earnhardt was recovering from a concussion. He posted three top-10 finishes, with a best finish of sixth at Phoenix after he also earned the pole there.
, LAT Images www.latimages.co.ukNigel Kinrade
One of the most likable guys in the Cup garage, Smith is ready and willing to step in for Almirola after doing the same for Stewart at Watkins Glen in 2014, for Kurt Busch for three races in 2015, and for Kyle Larson at Martinsville, also in 2015.
But his first relief call came in 2012, when he subbed for Earnhardt Jr. for two races when Earnhardt was sidelined by a concussion.
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Now a FOX Sports NASCAR television analyst, Wallace nearly pulled off an incredible upset victory while subbing for the injured Steve Park in 2001 at Rockingham. Wallace sat on the pole and led 101 laps before Joe Nemechek passed him late for the win, forcing Wallace to settle for second.
Waltrip had one of the strangest sub experiences in 1977 when the call went out mid-race for a relief driver for Donnie Allison at Talladega -- after Allison apparently drank too much water too fast during a pit stop and became ill on an extremely hot day. Waltrip jumped in Allison's car on Lap 164 and drove it all the way to Victory Lane. Even though Allison was officially credited with the win, Waltrip said: "It still feels good to see the checkers drop -- even if it's in someone else's car."
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When Mike Skinner got knocked out by a concussion in 2001, Gordon got in his car for Watkins Glen and nearly won on the road course before a battery failure did him in. Then, in a race rescheduled for the end of the year because of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Gordon won the first race of his career in the season finale at New Hampshire while still subbing for Skinner.
Jarrett may be the ultimate Super Sub. After Robert Yates Racing spent much of 1993 and '94 searching for subs to fill in after the untimely tragic death of Davey Allison and the near-fatal crash involving Ernie Irvan at Michigan, they turned to Jarrett in 1995. The supposed fill-in position became permanent when Jarrett did well, and he went on to win the 1999 Cup championship while driving for Yates.
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Gordon had to be talked into coming back to fill in for Earnhardt Jr. for eight races last season, less than a year after announcing his retirement. Now a FOX Sports NASCAR analyst, Gordon was vacationing in south of France when team owner Rick Hendrick (above, left) literally came calling -- long distance on the phone.
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Now the full-time driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, McMurray was virtually unknown in 2002 when Sterling Marlin, then Ganassi's top NASCAR driver, broke his neck while leading in the series points standings. In just his second career Cup start at Charlotte, McMurray won the GM-UAW 500 -- launching his own Cup career.
The three-time Cup champion was without a ride when Dale Earnhardt broke his collarbone and suffered cuts and bruises in a wreck at Pocono in 1979, leaving car owner Rod Osterlund looking for a relief driver. Pearson stepped up and won the Southern 500 four races later for the 105th and final win of his storied career.
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Nothing tops the story of Lund, who helped save driver Marvin Panch from a burning sports-car wreck and then was tabbed to sub for Panch and Wood Brothers Racing in the 1963 Daytona 500. Then Lund went out and won it in one of the sport's greatest stories and upsets.