View Full Version : Sources: Stewart granted release from Gibbs, will move to Haas

07-08-2008, 11:36 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart has been granted a release from the final year of his driving contract with Joe Gibbs Racing after ten seasons with the team, sources close to Stewart confirmed for ESPN.com Tuesday night.

Stewart will formally announce his departure from the team Wednesday.

On Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway, Stewart will formally announce a move to Haas/CNC Racing as co-owner and driver, sources close to Stewart said.

Haas/CNC, which currently fields the Nos. 66 and 70 Chevrolets, will be renamed Stewart Haas Racing in 2009.

Sources close to both sides told ESPN.com the deal will make Stewart the highest-paid driver in NASCAR.

Sources also said the Stewart Haas cars will carry different numbers. The No. 14, made famous in IndyCar racing by Stewart's hero, A.J. Foyt, is available, but sources would neither confirm nor deny that as his choice.

Sources said Stewart will own a 50 percent stake in the organization, but his financial investment in attaining it was not disclosed.

As ESPN.com's David Newton initially reported, Office Depot will have a role in sponsoring Stewart's car.

Ryan Newman remains the lead candidate to drive Stewart Haas' second car, sources said, though no deal had yet been finalized Tuesday night.

Stewart Haas will continue to receive chassis and engines from Hendrick Motorsports. Haas/CNC's current drivers, Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter, are ranked 36th and 44th, respectively, in the owner point standings.

If the team's performance fails to improve its points position during the second half of 2008, Stewart's champion's provisional will guarantee him a slot in the field for the first five races next season, presuming NASCAR doesn't change the rule.

During his tenure at JGR, which began in 1999, Stewart has recorded 32 victories, a pair of Sprint Cup championships and more than $68 million in winnings. Stewart has reinvested his wealth in racing. He owns multiple sprint car teams and a trio of racetracks, including Eldora Speedway. http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/news/story?id=3479199

07-09-2008, 06:57 AM
Glad to see Toyota lose a star driver. He just wasn't happy at Gibbs since Kyle BUsch came and they moved to Toyota.

07-09-2008, 10:46 AM
^^^ He was more unhappy about driving a Toyota, i really dont think he cared about Kyle Busch

07-09-2008, 12:47 PM
A lot of new driver changes next year