I never saw this one coming.
Tony Stewart is switching to Ford starting in 2017.
Stewart-Haas Racing has been a Chevrolet team since Stewart came on board in 2009.
SHR currently gets engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports. The team plans to begin building ot’s own cars and will get Ford Engines from Roush-Fenway Racing.
“Obviously, for 20 years I’ve been under the GM banner,” said Stewart. “I was very honest when I spoke to our employees this morning. I never would have dreamed that we were going to be having this conversation today.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say I’ve been on Twitter since 9 this morning reading what everybody’s been writing. I respect everybody’s views on it, but this was a decision that was made because of the passion that I see with Ford and their commitment to Stewart-Haas Racing in the future.”
The deal has been in the works for about 6 months according to Stewart,
Ford hasn’t won the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship since 2004 with driver Kurt Busch. And that is something the car maker is looking to change.
“We don’t race to race—we race to win, and we race to learn,” said Dave Pericak, the head of Ford’s racing division.
There were 11 Fords in Sunday’s Daytona 500. The highest finisher was Joey Logano in 6th.
“We’re excited about it, and we see this as a lot of growth for Stewart-Haas Racing, said Stewart.
What do you think about Stewart-Haas switching to Ford?
Tony Stewart’s fate rests in the hands of an Ontario County, New York Grand Jury who will decide whether Stewart should face charges in the death of fellow racer Kevin Ward, Jr.
The District Attorney handling the case reportedly has a 2nd video of the incident that he wants the grand jury to see. That video has not been released to the public.
Despite facing possible indictment Stewart will race in this week’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Many would expect nothing more of Stewart than for him to continue to do his job as driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet, and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing.
But the Stewart haters don’t feel the same way. Read the comments on Twitter and you’ll find many who have already tried and convicted him.
The truth is that no one knows when the storm will be over for the three-time NASCAR champion. And no one knows how things will turn out.
One thing is for certain: there has been no shortage of opinions from so-called legal experts on social media, radio and TV. Some say there is no doubt that Stewart will stand trial, and most surely faces certain conviction. Others say the grand jury will find no fault and he will walk away a free man.
If indicted should Stewart continue to race? That is a question for the driver himself, as well as his sponsors, NASCAR and it’s fans. If you have an opinion on this I would like to hear it.
So far NASCAR and Stewart have handled the situation well. It is highly unusual for a NASCAR star to be experiencing any kind of run-in with the law. NASCAR is so unlike The NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball where criminal behavior and trouble with the law are commonplace.
I’d like to know where you stand on this. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
Tony Stewart found himself behind closed doors at an Australian police station following a scuffle with a race track owner there.
Stewart was in Australia to compete in a Sprint Car race when he became involved with track owner Brett Morris over a safety issue when water began seeping onto the tracks surface.
As the discussion became more heated Stewart allegedly hit Morris with his helmet. The track owner retaliated and Stewart reportedly suffered a black eye.
Stewart says he is embarrassed by the situation.
â€œThere was an altercation at the racetrackâ€ said Stewart as he took a break in tasting at Daytona Thursday. â€œWe went down to the police station, we gave them a statement. They told us after the statement that we were free to go back to the hotel room and free to get on the plane the next day.â€
It is not yet clear whether any charges will be filed.
Tony Stewart Proved That an Owner-Driver Can Win
In winning Saturday Nights’ Sprint All Star Race Tony Stewart proved that an owner-driver can still get the job done in NASCAR.
Tony Stewart combined sheer will and determination to win with a fast, well-handling car to pull off a late race pass for the win.
Stewart scored the first win ever for his Stewart-Haas Racing and won $1 million in prize money by passing Matt Kenseth with just 2 laps to go – Stewart would lead to the checkered flag.
Tony Stewart and his crew chief Darian Grubb have learned a secret to making Stewart’s No. 14 Chevy fast off the corners, and Stewart isn’t interested in sharing that secret.
When his crew chief was asked what they had done to make the car so fast at the end of the race Stewart cut in and said: “You tell them that, I’ll kill you.”
With NASCAR headed back to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 next Sunday Tony Stewart likes his chances to repeat. Stewart said he had a better car back at the shop than the one he won with Saturday night.
Stewart’s win left some Dale Earnhardt Jr fans puzzled. Stewart gets his cars and engines from Hendrick Motorsports, and one Junior fan wanted to know if Stewart’s cars were being built by the same people who were building Dale Jr’s cars.
It was pretty unusual that Rick Hendrick would call Tony Stewart on a cell phone in Victory Lane. Is Stewart-Haas really just buying equipment from Rick Hendrick, or does Hendrick have a stake in the team?
Daytona 500 Winner Endorses Obama
This is NASCAR after all – where Barack Obama enjoys slightly less popularity than Kyle Busch.
Here’s the email:
Join me in supporting Barack. My family and I have given this election a lot of thought.
Our country is in a rough spot, and we’re going to need some serious change. There’s only one candidate ready to deliver it — and that’s Barack Obama.
Every day I talk to someone else who’s never voted for a Democrat, but now they’re voting for Barack Obama. They realize that Barack understands what we’re going through here in North Carolina. And they’re ready for change.
So I’ve made up my mind, and I’m ready to get involved. I know that I could never have won a race without my pit crew, and I know Barack can’t win this one without us.
Can you sign up to volunteer this last crucial week?
When I talk to folks about why I support Barack, I just tell it like I see it.
There’s been a lot thrown at him this election, and he’s stayed calm, positive, and focused. I know a little something about how important it is to stay cool under pressure.
And with all the dangers in our world today, that’s the kind of rock-solid leadership our country needs.
These days, I run a small country ham and pork skins business. Barack Obama will fight for a fair economy where small businesses like mine have the freedom to grow, and he’ll defend the Second Amendment to protect the hunter’s way of life.
But the most important reasons I’m speaking out for Barack Obama are named Robert and Meredith, my two children. My wife Lisa and I talked it over, and honestly, we know in our gut that their future is more secure if Barack Obama is president.
At the end of the day, there’s just nothing more important than that.
That’s why I’m going to talk to my neighbors this week, and I’m asking you to do the same. This election in North Carolina is going to be one of the closest ever, and we all need to lend a hand.
I’ve been in a lot of races in my life. But this may be the most important one of all. So let’s all get in gear and win it together.
P.S. — I know what it means to run an aggressive race, but I also know what it means to compete with integrity. Have you gotten one of these pre-recorded calls that are flooding our state smearing Barack Obama’s character and questioning his patriotism? That’s crossing the line, and North Carolinians deserve better. Help fight back by canvassing this week to tell your neighbors the truth about Barack.
Junior Johnson has 50 wins in NASCAR – including the 1960 Daytona 500.
On top of that he has 132 wins as a NASCAR owner. The driver’s who have raced in Junior Johnson’s race cars reads like the induction list for the NASCAR Hall of fame. Here’s some of the drivers who have driven for Junior Johnson:
Â· Bobby Isaac
Â· Curtis Turner
Â· Darel Dierenger
Â· A. J. Foyt
Â· Fred Lorenzen
Â· Gordon Johncock
Â· LeeRoy Yarbrough
Â· Donnie Allison
Â· David Pearson
Â· Cale Yarborough
Â· Richard Childress
Â· Darrell Waltrip
Â· J. D. McDuffie
Â· Geoff Bodine
Â· Neil Bonnett
Â· Davey Allison
Â· Terry Labonte
Â· Davey Allison
Â· Bill Elliott
Â· Sterling Marlin
Â· Jimmy Spencer
Johnson has 6 NASCAR championships as a car owner. Three with Cale Yarborough, and three with Darrell Waltrip.
Johnson is the man who brought the R. J. Reynolds sponsorship to NASCAR.
Today Johnson is a successful North Carolina businessman who sells his own line of country ham, pork rinds, as well as Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon – a legal moonshine.
The Last American Hero is a movie on Junior Johnson’s life. it’s based on the biographyÂ by Tom Wolfe.
In 1956 Johnson was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for illegal moonshining. He was pardoned by Ronald Reagan in 1986.
This is the only current or former driver I’ve heard of endorsing Obama. I was really surprised to hear it. I’ll leave my endorsement out of it. I’ll just say that I’ve already voted, and I hope you do the same.
Filed under: Dale Earnhardt, Kyle Busch, Media, NASCAR Charities, NASCAR Owners, Silly Season, Tony Stewart
Dale Jr Swears it was an Accident
Jimmie Johnson might have won the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Sunday, but it was once again Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kyle Busch grabbing headlines amid controversy.
“If I wanted to do it, I would do it really, really good.” ~ Dale Jr on the Kyle Busch crash
It looked like the same wreck the 2 drivers were involved in the last time they came to Richmond – but this time it was Kyle Busch who hit the wall, not Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Busch and Earnhardt were locked in a heated battle for the lead midway through the race when the 2 cars touched sending Kyle’s Toyota into the wall.
Junior insisted the crash was accidental — but he seemed to leave plenty of room to read between the lines in his comments.
When asked if he had intentionally put Busch into the wall, Dale Earnhardt Jr said “I really ain’t never wrecked anybody on purpose. But if I wanted to do it, I would do it really, really good.”
“If I wreck somebody, I ain’t going to leave him in good enough shape to come back and get me in the same race, so that wasn’t really my intentions.”
Kyle Busch felt that he knew exactly what happened. “Junior got in there a little too hot, a little close to me , and smoked the tires,” said Busch, who left the Richmond with the points lead.
One reporter asked Busch if he thought the wreck was payback from the spring race at Richmond.
“Was that revenge?Â Who knows?” Busch replied flatly.
Dale Earnhardt Jr finished the race 4th — while Busch was credited with a 15th place finish.
Do you think it was revenge?
Rolling Stone Rolls with Smoke
Tony Stewart had a calm look on his face, even as he walked away from a smoldering race car with his helmet in one hand, and the steering wheel in the other.
“… made a trip with Stewart to the Talladega Dirt Track to watch Stewart’s driver Redneck Jody race.”
Mike Guy, one of Rolling Stone’s preeminent writers, tagged along with Smoke for 4 weeks this spring in order to bring the magazine’s readers an inside look at NASCAR’s 2 time champion.
Guy had access to Stewart that few reporters – few people – ever get. He flew with Tony on the Citation jet, rode in Tony’s beat up Hummer as the two made their way to Smoke’s Indiana home at dawn, made a trip with Stewart to the Talladega Dirt Track to watch Stewart’s driver Redneck Jody race, and even sat in the motor home with the driver and his posse as they ate ravioli and doughnuts moments after Junior wrecked him and took him out of the race.
One night when Guy and Stewart arrived back at Smoke’s house in Indiana – which the magazine writer describes as more like an extended stay hotel than a home – someone opened the refrigerator only to discover there was no food. Nothing but a can of tangerine wedges – marinated in rum, and a 6 pack of Schlitz.
Smoke offered Guy, who doesn’t drink, the tangerines, never telling him about the rum marinade. By the time he plopped the first one into his mouth it was too late. I’m sure Smoke got a laugh out of that.
Once, Guy tried to console Stewart following a mediocre race at Phoenix. “Good race,” says the writer. In typical Tony Stewart fashion the driver responded “Oh you think so? Because I think it sucked.”
One thing that Guy found was that even the ever calm Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, had some harsh words for Stewart. Yet Hunter also said that it was drivers like Tony Stewart that made the sport what it is today.
Mike Guy’s article is an entertaining story – even if you’re not a fan of Smoke. It’s worth the price of the magazine just to hear what Tony said about Kurt Busch. Or you can read the article online at RollingStone.com.
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Tony Stewart will be driving the No. 14 Chevrolet sponsored by Office Depot and Old Spice in 2009, according to Jim Utter, a reporter with the Charlotte Observer and That’s Racin’.
Why No. 14? Tony Stewart’s racing hero is A.J. Foyt, 4 time winner of the Indianapolis 500, and 1965 winner of the Daytona 500. Foyt is one of only 2 drivers to win both races – Mario Andretti is the other.
A.J Foyt drove the No. 14 for much of his career in open wheel racing. Is that the only reason Tony chose the No. 14? Probably not, but I would say it had some influence.
Haas CNC Racing, which is becoming Stewart Haas Racing, applied for the trademark on the No. 14 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for purposes of NASCAR racing and merchandising on July 2, 2008.
Stewart is set to make an official announcement at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday.
There is still no word on a teammate for Stewart. “You want a guy who has every intention every year and a realistic intention of saying, I expect to make the Chase. I want somebody that expects to win races and expects to be a contender to be a championship every year, and if they don’t have those intentions, that’s not a guy that I want driving my race cars,” said Stewart.