It's Official: Tony Stewart Becomes Owner of a NASCAR Team

Mike DiMauroSenior Writer IJuly 10, 2008

In a live press conference today at Chicagoland Speedway, Tony Stewart announced that he would be a co-owner and driver for Stewart Haas Racing in 2009.

After making the announcement, the press asked him and Joe Custer questions, regarding who the second driver will be to what the car numbers would be, and if he had the capability of being an owner/driver.

Stewart said that he does own three race tracks and his teams on the dirt tracks are championship leaders in all three levels of that series.

Stewart becomes the third owner/driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup to join the sport since 2006. Robby Gordon owns his No. 7 car, which made a debut in 2006. Last year, with the backing of Toyota, Michael Waltrip became an owner/driver and he drives the No. 55 car and owns the No. 00, 44, and his 55.

There has not been a lot of success with drivers that own their own teams. Look at Robby Gordon and Michael Waltrip for example. They are struggling now but someday, they could have great teams. Robby Gordon even was going to pull his Sprint Cup team and race in the Indy League if the appeal didn't get overturned.

The last time that an owner/driver went into victory lane was in 1998 with Ricky Rudd's No. 10 Tide Car. The last time that an owner/driver won the championship was Alan Kulwicki in 1992. The year later, Kulwicki was killed in a plane crash.

When the reporters asked Stewart how successful his team was going to be, he had no guarantee about any wins or championships right now. We'll have to wait and see starting in 2009.