With Bubba Wallace getting ready to substitute for the injured Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, it’s a good time to look back at some prominent NASCAR drivers who’ve played fill-in roles for others.
Ragan spent 26 races in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in 2015 as a replacement for Brian Vickers, who was out with blood clots. Ragan also was behind the wheel of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for nine races while Kyle Busch was sidelined.
Getty Images Chris Graythen
Following Davey Allison’s death in a helicopter crash at Talladega in 1993, Irvan took over the No. 28 Robert Yates Racing Ford.
Getty Images Bill Hall
After Tony Stewart’s sprint car crash in Iowa in 2013, Martin drove the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in 12 of the final 15 races of the year.
NASCAR via Getty Images Todd Warshaw
Following Kyle Busch’s crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona, Crafton ran the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the 2015 Daytona 500.
Getty Images Brian Lawdermilk
When Denny Hamlin (right) broke his back in a last-lap crash at Auto Club Speedway in 2013, Vickers (left) replaced him at Texas, Kansas and Richmond in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Getty Images Streeter Lecka
In 2015, Moffitt drove six races as a replacement for Brian Vickers in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.
Getty Images Jerry Markland
When Ernie Irvan’s career was cut short by a crash in 1999, Nadeau ran the final 12 races of the season in the No. 36 MB2 Motorsports Pontiac.
Sporting News via Getty Images The Sporting News
The third-generation driver was another replacement for Tony Stewart after his sprint car crash, driving two races for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Here, Dillon goes airborne in Stewart’s car at Talladega.
Getty Images Rob Carr
The popular Virginia driver piloted the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota for four races in 2013.
Getty Images Jerry Markland
The eventual 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion ran one Monster Energy Series race in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota while Kyle Busch was sidelined.
Getty Images Kena Krutsinger
When a piece of metal in Denny Hamlin’s eye kept him out of the Auto Club 400 in 2014, Hornish filled in for him.
Getty Images Todd Warshaw
The Italian racer ran Watkins Glen in 2013, when he subbed for an injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.
NASCAR via Getty Images Jared C. Tilton
In 2003, Skinner was one of five drivers to pilot the MB2 Motorsports Pontiac. Skinner had 11 starts in the car after the team’s primary driver, Jerry Nadeau, had a near-fatal crash at Martinsville in the spring.
ZUMA Press Bob Leverone/Sporting News/Icon
Now a television announcer, Burton drove the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet for two races in 2014.
NASCAR via Getty Images Brian Lawdermilk
Arguably the most experienced of the super subs, Smith (right) filled in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. for two races in 2012, Tony Stewart in one race in 2014, three races for Kurt Busch last year and one for Kyle Larson, also last year.
MCT via Getty Images Jeff Siner
After Kurt Busch was released by Roush Fenway Racing prior to the penultimate race of the 2005 season, Wallace filled in at Phoenix and Homestead. Wallace also ran 10 races for Robert Yates Racing after Ernie Irvan’s near-fatal crash at Michigan in 1994.
Getty Images Robert Laberge
Kenseth’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start came in 1998 at Dover, where he subbed for Bill Elliott, who missed the race because of his father’s funeral.
Getty Images David Taylor
Sterling Marlin (center) broke his neck in 2002, and his replacement in the Chip Ganassi-owned Dodge was McMurray (right), who shocked the world when he won in his second Cup start in the fall race at Charlotte.
Getty Images Jamie Squire
In 1963, Lund (center) pulled Marvin Panch from his burning Maserati sports car at Daytona, saving Panch’s life. As a reward, the Wood Brothers let Lund drive the No. 21 Ford that Panch was scheduled to drive in the Daytona 500. Lund not only drove in the 500, he won.
ISC Archives via Getty Images RacingOne
Pressed into duty after the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001, Harvick piloted what was the No. 3 but became the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet through the 2013 season.
Getty Images Jonathan Ferrey
FOX Fantasy Auto Form a Racing Team, Compete for Prizes