leaves Joe Gibbs Racing
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was granted a release from the final
year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, it was announced
today. After 10 years with the team, including two
championships, Tony Stewart will move on and to HAAS CNC Racing
as a part-owner and driver, ensuring his future in NASCAR long
after his driving days are over. According to reports, the HAAS
CNC Racing team will change its name in 2009 to Stewart Haas
Racing. Speculations in the media claim that Tony Stewart will
change his car number to #14, in honor of his hero A.J. Foyt, as
well as have Old Spice and/or Office Depot as his main sponsors.
Gene Haas, the owner of the two-car team, is serving a two-year
prison sentence for tax evasion since January and the team was
devastated in May by stiff NASCAR penalties for bringing illegal
cars to a race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Another rumor has it
Ryan Newman will be the second driver of Stewart Haas Racing.
Tony Stewart's contract with JGR ran
through 2009, but the Gibbs family finally gave the NASCAR
driver a way out, after numerous attempts to resign Stewart to JGR failed. The team is expected to replace Tony
Joey Logano, with Home Depot staying on board as the sponsor.