Tony Stewart Will Leave Joe Gibbs Racing for Team Ownership

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2008

According to ESPN and Jayski, the deal is done.

Tony Stewart has in fact been released from his contract at Joe Gibbs Racing, where he has driven for the past 10 years, to become an owner driver with the Stewart Haas race team.

It's expected that Stewart, 39, will make the announcement Thursday in Chicago.

Sources are saying the car numbers of both cars at Stewart Haas will change.  It's believed that No. 14, made legendary by AJ Foyt, will be used but nothing has been confirmed.

Also yet to be confirmed is whether or not Ryan Newman will in fact be the second driver.  Stewart already has sponsorship with Office Depot and possibly Old Spice next season.

Tony Stewart will own 50 percent of the team, but financial specifics are not yet known.

The Haas cars, currently driven by Johnny Sauter and Scott Riggs, are 44th and 36th in points.  No word on what car Stewart himself will be driving.

In his 10 years with Gibbs, Smoke has collected 32 wins, 10 poles, 124 top fives and 199 top 10s.