Tony Stewart officially announced his retirement from full time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing during a press conference at Stewart-Haas Racing headquarters in Kannaoplis, N.C. yesterday. At the same time, Stewart confirmed Clint Bowyer would replace him behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet for the 2017 racing season.
Stewart laughed and joked his way through the press conference, sarcastically saying he will be the second driver for Gene Haas’ upcoming Haas F1 team and noting NASCAR “still has to deal,” with him as a team owner. He also made it clear that the decision to retire from Cup was his entirely, and he did not base it on performance, his leg injury in 2013 or the accident that ended in the death of Kevin Ward Jr.
“It’s the right thing,” Stewart said. “It’s not performance‑based, it’s just time to do what we’re doing. I still fully anticipate we’re going to get things turned around. If I didn’t feel that way, I wouldn’t waste my time next year for anybody.”
Smoke fans will be happy to learn he isn’t retiring from racing entirely. Tony’s hoping to stay competitive in his final Sprint Cup season next year, and didn’t rule out racing in events like the 24 Hours of Daytona if the opportunity arises. He also said he hasn’t ruled out doing a few NASCAR Xfinity or Truck Series races in the future.
Check out the video below from FOX Sports to hear some of the remarks Tony made during the press conference.