Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tony Stewart to Retire After 2016, Clint Bowyer Named Replacement

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will retire from driving the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet following the 2016 season. Stewart will be replaced behind the wheel by Clint Bowyer, though he will remain co-owner of the four-car SHR squad and after his retirement will dabble in other forms of motorsports.

Stewart, 44, made the announcement Wednesday at SHR’s shops in Kannapolis, North Carolina, during a press conference with his partner, team co-owner Gene Haas.

“It was a choice that was 100 percent mine,” Stewart said. “There wasn't any pressure from anybody. If anything, it was the opposite. I had more people trying to talk me out of it than anything. You know, I think it's a scenario where everybody in their career at some point makes the decision that it's time for a change, and it's nothing that you plan. I think it's just ‑- I think it happens. I think deep down you know when it's time to do something to make a change like this.”

Although ending his full-time career as a driver after 2016, Stewart said he will now have the opportunity to do the occasional race in modifieds, dirt cars or even the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck series. Plus, he’ll get to watch Haas build his Formula One team from the ground up. (