Tony Stewart to Leave Joe Gibbs Racing: Is This Best for Everyone?

Taylor GramAnalyst IJuly 9, 2008

Joe Gibbs Racing has just announced that they will release Tony Stewart after this season when his contract goes up. My question to everybody: Is this the best for both sides?

If you're Joe Gibbs you lose Tony Stewart, one of the biggest names in NASCAR, to potential opposing teams. If you're Stewart, you leave one of the top teams in NASCAR and now have to find a job somewhere else.


Tony Stewart

There was speculation at the beginning of the season that Tony Stewart might leave JGR to form his own team, join another team, or retire. Stewart definitely has the money to build his own team, and the experience.

He owns Tony Stewart Racing which races in USAC Midget and Sprint Car divisions and World of Outlaws Sprint Car series. Combined he has eight championships from his four drivers, one of which is the current reigning champion. He also owns three dirt car tracks, one which he owns fully.

Stewart has two NASCAR titles under his belt and is searching for more, although he says that if he ever wins Daytona he will retire. He has one of the biggest endorsement deals with Home Depot, and a top five fan base. Tony Stewart has it all, so why leave?

This is a question only Stewart can answer himself. Maybe he wants change, maybe he wants money (though that's doubtful).

When he leaves Gibbs he will be leaving a team that is up and coming with drivers such as Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Where can he go to get better teammates?

The only answer would be Hendrick Motorsports, home of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Casey Mears. But due to NASCAR's restrictions regarding how many drivers a team can have, Hendrick would have to kick someone to the curb, and I bet you can't guess who his first pick would be.


Joe Gibbs Racing

Joe Gibbs Racing has drivers Kyle Busch (points leader), Denny Hamlin, and the soon to be ex, Tony Stewart.

Gibbs has tackled everything he could dream of: Super Bowls, Championships, and all the money in the world. So how dominating will he be without Stewart? Plenty.

Joe Gibbs has young drivers and great behind the scenes people working for him. Kyle Busch is looking to win a NASCAR title this year and how much better will he get as he matures?

Gibbs managed a feat that was put down last year by Michael Waltrip—racing Toyota cars. Toyota crashed and burned last year with the help of Waltrip racing, and was beaten down by Chevy, Ford, and Dodge. Then things turned around when Gibbs had his crew working on it and his drivers behind the wheel.


So what's the verdict? This can't be that bad for either team.

Tony Stewart will land on his feet and will receive a car from any team he wants in NASCAR. As for Gibbs, well, he has a lot to look forward to. He might lose his best driver, but there are plenty behind him ready to take the spot.