It is widely rumored that in 2009, two time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart will leave the NASCAR powerhouse Joe Gibbs Racing for one of the cars of Haas Racing.
If one looks at the facts, leaving JGR makes little sense. Tony has earned two championships, 32 wins, and enjoys one of the most stable, consistent driver/crew chief relationships in NASCAR history. Stewart has been with Gibbs since his rookie season in 1999. Does Tony have no loyalty? Is he unhappy? Is HE CRAZY?
It all started last season when the rumors began that Joe Gibbs Racing would move from Chevrolet to Toyota. Stewart, a long time Chevrolet man, was quiet about the move—too quiet. So as 2008 moved along, the rumors surfaced that Tony Stewart was looking. But what was he looking for?
For all that Tony Stewart is, he is a competitor. If you read the headlines closely, you will find out that he is not just going to drive for Haas, he is becoming part owner.
Stewart Haas Racing will be the Tony Stewart we come to remember. As he finishes his career here—successfully I might add—he will take on the challenge of becoming one of the elite owners in NASCAR. His teams will grow to battle the Hendricks and Roush teams on into the middle of the 21st century.
Along with a much wanted reunion with Chevrolet, this move is more about the Tony of the future than the Tony of right now. While the move seems like a risky move for the driver, for Tony the owner, it makes all the sense in the world.