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Races [?] that Mobil 1 is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Daytona 500 - 2/26
Races that Haas Automation has been the primary sponsor in 2017:
Atlanta - 3/5
Las Vegas - 3/12
Phoenix - 3/19
Races  that Rush Truck Centers is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Auto Club - 3/26
Kentucky - 7/8
Indianapolis - 7/23
Texas - 11/5
#14 team was #70: when Tony Stewart became half owner of Haas CNC Racing, making it Stewart-Haas Racing, the team changed the #70 team to the #14 and the #66 to the #39, starting in 2009
Contract Status: Driver: 2018+; Primary Sponsors: Mobil 1 2017+; Rush Truck Centers 2017+;
#14 Team / Driver News
Rush Truck Centers sponsoring Bowyer at Auto Club Speedway: Sunday marks Bowyer's first appearance driving his #14 Ford carrying the decals of Rush Truck Centers. The Texas-based company is using its partnership with SHR and Bowyer to reach out to NASCAR fans as one way to recruit the technicians it needs to operate the largest network of commercial truck and bus dealerships in the country, with locations in 21 states.[More](3-21-2017)
Mediation set for case filed against Tony Stewart: Glenn Norton has been appointed mediator in the case involving the late Kevin Ward Jr., and Tony Stewart. The mediation session is scheduled for April 18 in St. Louis, Missouri.[More](3-14-2017)
Stewart-Haas Racing still needs sponsorship: Stewart-Haas Racing still needs sponsorship for the majority of races for Clint Bowyer and a significant number for Danica Patrick.[More](2-26-2017)
Lawsuit against Stewart still moving forward: A required mediation session is set for April 18 in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. against Tony Stewart, according to a court filing Thursday. The Ward family has asked for unspecified damages against Stewart, who was not indicted by a grand jury, and has said in court documents he didn't see Ward until just before Ward, on foot, attempted to make contact with his car during an Empire Super Sprints race Aug. 9, 2014 at Canandaigua (NY) Motorsports Park. Stewart's court filings show Ward's toxicology report indicates Ward used marijuana within five hours of the race. Also Thursday, Stewart's appeal was officially withdrawn in a related case, where a federal judge ruled that Stewart's insurance company does not have to cover any legal fees or settlements because ESS races were not listed among the series in his policy.(ESPN.com)(2-5-2017)
Stewart pleased with move to Ford; #14 team needs sponsorship: The move from Chevrolet to Ford during the offseason was more than just an undertaking of putting new body panels on the cars for Stewart-Haas Racing. As part of the switch, SHR now solely relies on building its own chassis (the car frame) instead of getting chassis from Hendrick Motorsports. That change by itself meant adding people to the payroll and a lot more work to get ready for 2017. Team co-owner Tony Stewart seems pleased with how his team has converted to a new fleet of cars. Speaking at the Ford Performance racing support center, Stewart said Wednesday he feels confident his team has been organized well enough to make the switch without losing a beat. SHR doesn't build engines. It will move from Hendrick engines to Ford supplier Roush Yates Engines. Stewart said he felt the transition so far was smoother than he thought it would be when the team made the decision to change, a decision it did not take lightly considering Stewart's long relationship with General Motors and the quality cars and engines SHR had in winning the 2011 title with Stewart and the 2014 title with Kevin Harvick.
Even great performance doesn't always translate into sponsorship. While SHR will field four cars in 2017, Clint Bowyer, stood in front of a Mobil 1-branded car during the event even though Mobil just has a few races with Bowyer next season. The team has not announced an anchor sponsor for the majority of races for Bowyer, who replaces Stewart in the #14 NASCAR Cup car. "We're still working, still looking for sponsors for the 14 car so feel free to bring whatever you've got," Stewart told the media. The Bowyer car would run without sponsorship, if necessary, or with the Haas Automation logos of team co-owner Gene Haas on the car. Even with Ford support (manufacturers give teams money in addition to engineering support), Stewart said sponsorship is vital.(ESPN.com)(1-19-2017)
Haas involved in purchase of Concord, North Carolina building: A Concord building developed by racing legends Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon has sold for $11 million. The 180,000-square-foot commercial and industrial structure, called Motor Speedway Commerce Center, remains in the NASCAR racing family. It was bought by a West Coast investment buyer, Pegh Investments, which is owned by Gene Haas, a principal in the Kannapolis-based Stewart-Haas Racing. The building, located at 6301 Performance Drive, is currently split between the corporate office and distribution center for Lionel and distribution space for Fanatics Retail Group. The structure was built in 1997 by a joint-venture group including Earnhardt, Gordon and Ken Barber. It's built on 16 acres within sight of the Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Charlotte Business Journal)(12-31-2016)
Will Tony Stewart open Columbus ranch for hunting? Retired NASCAR driver Tony Stewart could be opening his Columbus (IN)-area ranch for some commercial deer and turkey hunting, potentially becoming one of the first hunting grounds to take advantage of a law passed earlier this year legalizing high-fenced hunting in Indiana. Hidden Hollow Ranch, Stewart's 414-acre property west of Columbus, would host guided deer and turkey hunts for groups of up to 12 paying guests, who would likely stay overnight at the residence, according to a Bartholomew County zoning application. County zoning officials voted 4-0 on Dec. 19 to allow conditional use of the property for a bed-and-breakfast-like hunting and fishing facility. It's unclear who would be invited to hunt on Stewart's property, or whether the hunting parties would be open to the public. The application noted that most hunts would accommodate five or fewer guests. Each hunter would have to hold a license to hunt, according to Denise Derrer, spokeswoman for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. Stewart's representatives were not immediately reachable for comment.(full article at the Indianapolis Star)(12-26-2016)
Congrats to Clint and Lorra Bowyer on the birth of their daughter, Preseley Elizabeth on Friday. Bowyer tweeted the news Friday afternoon. Presley joins brother, Cash.(12-10-2016)
Stewart to help broadcast Jason Leffler Memorial Race: Racing icon Tony Stewart teams with SPEED SPORT and Ralph Sheheen to broadcast the Jason Leffler Memorial Race presented by Great Clips, which airs Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7:00pm & 10:00pm/et on MAVTV. The $20,000-to-win special event is co-sanctioned by USAC and the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series, bringing some of the biggest names in racing to Wayne County (Ill.) Speedway. Stewart, a multi-time champion across several styles of racing from NASCAR to IndyCar to USAC sprints and midgets, joins Sheheen to call the action with Tony Bokhoven delivering all the news trackside. Leffler, a three-time USAC midget champion who went on to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR, died from injuries sustained in a sprint car crash in 2013. The race in his memory also helps to raise funds for his son, Charlie. "I was honored to know Jason and to race with him, so I am happy to be able to share a little of his story through the broadcast of this race," Stewart said. "The SPEED SPORT team does a tremendous job bringing events like this to television every week and it was definitely a fun experience to work with them."(Speed Sport)(12-8-2016)
Motorsports Industry Honors Tony Stewart with Sizeable Charitable Donation On His Behalf to EB Research Partnership: To honor three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart as he retires from his 20-year NASCAR driving career, the motorsports industry came together in unprecedented fashion at the season-ending NASCAR Awards Banquet by making a $1.8 million contribution on Stewart's behalf to the EB Research Partnership, the largest global non-profit dedicating to curing EB. EB, or Epidermolysis Bullosa, is a devastating skin disorder. Those with EB lack critical proteins that bind the layers of skin together. Without these proteins, the skin can tear apart, blister and sheer off, leading to severe pain, disfigurement and wounds that never heal. EB can also affect the body internally, causing blisters in the eyes, mouth, esophagus and the fusing together of fingers and toes. EB affects one in every 50,000 births and is not specific to any ethnicity or gender, but because it only affects an estimated 25-30,000 people in the United States, advancing research to combat this disease relies on the generosity of individuals and corporations.
The industry initially targeted a $1.4 million donation to the EB Research Partnership as a subtle nod to Stewart's #14 car number, which he drove to his third Sprint Cup title in 2011 and chose in honor of his hero and friend, the iconic A.J. Foyt who raced the #14 throughout his versatile career. However, widespread support for this initiative quickly gained momentum and the original $1.4 million target was easily surpassed.
"Tony wanted to have a very low-key sendoff during his final NASCAR season and he was pretty emphatic about it. He certainly earned a lot of recognition for all that he accomplished, and as an industry we felt it was important to honor him," said Mike Helton, vice chairman, NASCAR. "People know how passionate he is about motorsports, but he's equally passionate about helping others. On behalf of the entire motorsports industry, we felt this collective donation in Tony's name was a fitting tribute to all that he's accomplished during his NASCAR career."
Well known for his accolades on the racetrack, which includes 12 driving championships and victories in nearly every American-based racing series, Stewart is also known for his philanthropy. In 2003, he formed his own charitable foundation. Known simply as the Tony Stewart Foundation, the 501(c)(3) organization's goal is to raise funds primarily distributed to serving three specific groups - chronically ill and physically disabled children, animals that are endangered or at-risk, and drivers injured in the sport of motor racing. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $6.5 million to assist charitable initiatives for more than 150 well-qualified organizations throughout the United States. Stewart's work on behalf of the foundation crossed paths with his love for music earlier this year when he met Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. The two discussed their work in racing and in music, respectively, before the conversation dovetailed into their mutual commitment to charity. It was here where Stewart learned about EB from an impassioned Vedder, who co-founded the EB Research Partnership.
"When I first heard about it, it was quite hard to grasp the intensity of the condition," Vedder said. "It's about the most insane skin disorder you could imagine. And when you realize it also affects the internal organs, you see it as diabolical. It's very hard to describe until you meet the young folks with it, and they make you realize how much you take for granted. You also realize that these are some of the strongest, coolest, most admirable people on the face of the Earth." The tenacious and sometimes cantankerous demeanor Stewart carries at the racetrack vanishes when he is off the track and in the presence of children, especially those who face physical and mental challenges. Children fighting EB have a perseverance and strength that is unworldly, and it has resonated with Stewart. "The pain these kids face is constant, and yet they still find ways to stay upbeat," Stewart said. "You quickly realize that your idea of a bad day is nothing. It puts your life and the things you take for granted in perspective. But it also makes you mad, because this is a devastating disorder that no one should have to endure. Yet it exists, and after seeing it, you want to do anything you can to make it go away."
Stewart's $1.8 million donation to the EB Research Partnership will accelerate life-changing research and reduce the timeframe of getting results for children with EB, while ensuring treatments go to those in need as swiftly as possible. This donation on Stewart's behalf is an embodiment of all the philanthropic work Stewart has performed as a NASCAR driver. He never sought accolades for his work, but his charitable efforts have been noticed nonetheless.
Stewart was named "Most Caring Athlete" by USA Weekend in 2004 and in that same year was selected by The Sporting News as "NASCAR's 'Good Guy'" and received the NASCAR USG Person of the Year award. In 2008, NASCAR Illustrated bestowed upon Stewart its Person of the Year award, as Stewart's Prelude To The Dream all-star dirt Late Model race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, raised more than $4 million for charity during its eight-year run. In 2009, Stewart was nominated for the National Motorsports Press Association's (NMPA) Humanitarian and Spirit awards, each of which recognizes philanthropy. In 2010, Stewart again was a finalist for the NMPA Humanitarian award, becoming the only person to ever be nominated in back-to-back years. Making the 2010 selection even more noteworthy was that Stewart won and earned $100,000 for his Foundation. And in 2013, Stewart earned the prestigious NMPA Myers Brothers award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. "Tony's legacy on the track is known and respected, but his efforts off the track should be known as well, even though he'll never be the one talking about them," Helton said. "Tony Stewart is a true humanitarian, and this sport is better off thanks to him and all of his contributions. It's only appropriate that we, as an industry, can contribute to Tony's philanthropic endeavors."(SHR)(12-3-2016)
A.J. Foyt surprises Stewart: Tony Stewart has long had an admiration for A.J. Foyt and that admiration was on display during NASCAR's After The Lap program in Las Vegas. Stewart, who was holding court on the stage with the 15 other Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and hosts Rutledge Wood and Guy Fieri while reminiscing and telling tales from his NASCAR racing days. Wood stopped the chatting to bring out Foyt, a seven-time victor in NASCAR's premier series and four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. "This is the baddest man on the planet right here," Stewart said of Foyt. Foyt sat next to Stewart and the two told a handful of stories -- in a playful back-and-forth banter -- while the rest of the drivers listened on.(NASCAR.com)(12-2-2016)
Tony Stewart racing at Le Mans in 2017? Tony Stewart said his 2017 racing schedule is coming together, announcing two dates and hinting at other possibilities. Stewart, who has retired from driving in NASCAR but will compete in plenty of races in other series, talked about his 2017 schedule during Tuesday night's "Tony Stewart Live'' on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "The sprint car schedules are starting to come out, but the cool thing is I've kind of put it off a little bit because we've had some really interesting e-mails and phone calls from car owners,'' Stewart said on the show. "There's a possibility I might have an offer to go race at Le Mans next year, which I never thought I would have an opportunity to do that. I had a conversation with a car owner about possibly running this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona. There's a lot of cool stuff and the fun part is kind of not exactly knowing yet what we're going to do. I do have some races that are confirmed and scheduled. One of them is going to be at Texas Motor Speedway in April; we're going to run two nights with the sprint car at the Texas Motor Speedway dirt track. That's one I'm really looking forward to. As we start filling in the schedule, we'll start letting everybody know for sure. It's going to be full, I guarantee you.'' Stewart will compete in the Tony Stewart Presents the Texas Sprint Car Nationals April 7-8 at the dirt track at Texas Motor Speedway.(NBC Sports)(12-1-2016)
HScott Motorsports Will Not Compete in NASCAR in 2017 UPDATE: Harry Scott, Jr. announced in a team meeting that HScott Motorsports would not field a NASCAR entry during the 2017 season. Below is Mr. Scott's statement: "Over the past several months I considered a number of options for moving forward with the team. Regrettably there are no viable sponsor/driver options immediately available to allow the team to participate in 2017. One thing I learned about NASCAR is that it is a 'people business.' I will forever be grateful to the men and women who worked tirelessly to make HScott Motorsports successful. This includes our dedicated employees, sponsors and partners. We were fortunate to have the support of world-class sponsors like Brandt, DC Solar, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Pilot Flying J, and 5 hour ENERGY. Our racing program would not have been possible without the assistance of Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports, and Chevrolet. I love this sport and being part of it. I invested in NASCAR because I truly believe it represents the best racing competition in the world and the best people in all sports. Looking back, I will always be especially proud of the unprecedented success of our NASCAR K&N Series teams, including four consecutive championships and for the lifelong friendships that were forged over the last seven years. My hope is that we were able to develop drivers that will thrive at the highest levels for years to come. In a deal that was finalized late last week the #15 Charter, which was owned by HScott Motorsports, has been sold to Premium Motorsports (#55 & #98). The charter that was leased for the #46 team was sold by Premium Motorsports to Furniture Row Racing."(HScott Motorsports). So that means the 2nd FRR #77 with Erik Jone has a Charter for 2017. Premium Motorsports still has one Charter left (from the #15) to use, sell or lease in 2017.(12-5-2016)
UPDATE: Scott had leased a charter from Premium Motorsports owner Jay Robinson for Annett's #46 car in 2016. That charter was returned to Premium, who then sold it to Furniture Row Racing, which is adding a car for rookie Erik Jones next season. Premium then bought the single charter Scott owned for the #15 car of Bowyer.(ESPN)(12-6-2016)
Five-Hour Energy Statement about their future sponsorship: While its current Cup sponsorship of Erik Jones at Furniture Row Racing has been grandfathered in, 5-Hour Energy's ability to change teams in the future is unclear after Monster has signed to sponsor the series. Statement from Living Essentials (5-Hour Energy): "Living Essentials is not privy to any negotiated provisions of the agreement between NASCAR and its new entitlement sponsor, therefore we could not speak with any clarity on whether yesterday's announcement has any bearing on Living Essentials' primary sponsorship of Furniture Row Racing 5-Hour ENERGY car and driver Erik Jones. We value NASCAR as a marketing platform and have been a sponsor of races, media, promotions, teams and drivers. We will gather more information in the near future and expect to remain a part of the racing community."(ESPN)(12-2-2016)
Bowyer suing HScott Motorsports UPDATE settled: One day after finishing a frustrating season with HScott Motorsports, Clint Bowyer sued the team for at least $2.223 million, alleging it missed two monthly payments and a commission for bringing sponsorship to the team. Bowyer, through his business arm Clint Bowyer Racing Inc., filed the lawsuit for breach of contract and fraud Nov. 21 against team owner Harry Scott and HScott Motorsports in North Carolina Superior Court. Bowyer alleges in the lawsuit that Scott, who is expected to shut down the Cup team, is using money owed to him to pay other creditors and "repeatedly failed to make the scheduled payments" owed on the 20th of each month. "[Scott and the team] are in financial distress and in negotiations with various creditors to settle substantial debts ... all the while [they] refuse to pay [Bowyer] for services performed," the complaint states. In the lawsuit, Bowyer alleges that Scott has not paid money owed to him Oct. 20 and Nov. 20 for a total of $1.2 million and that he is also owed at least $1 million from sponsorship of at least five companies -- 5-Hour Energy, Maxwell House, Peak, Visine and AAA Insurance -- that Bowyer claims he brought to the team. "We are aware of the lawsuit," HScott Motorsports spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "Obviously we won't speak about the details of the suit, but I can say that overall it is frivolous and capricious. Bowyer obtained an order of attachment, which requires Scott to hold on to at least $2.223 million in property while the lawsuit makes its way through court.(ESPN.com)(11-28-2016)
UPDATE - settled: Joint press release from Clint Bowyer Racing and HScott Motorsports: Harry Scott, Jr., owner of HScott Motorsports, and Clint Bowyer and his company Clint Bowyer Racing ("CBR"), jointly announced today they have settled the recent lawsuit filed by CBR. Mr. Scott provided additional information to Mr. Bowyer, of which he was not aware, which satisfied him that the claims asserted against Mr. Scott should be dismissed. CBR and HScott Motorsports then reached a mutual and amicable confidential settlement as to the claims for the debt owed to CBR. "I am glad our race team and Clint Bowyer Racing were able to reach a quick resolution," said Mr. Scott. "I wish Clint the best of luck in his career moving forward." Mr. Bowyer also commented, saying, " I want to thank all the team members for their hard work all season. I'm looking forward to the 2017 season and beyond and wish Harry Scott all the best in the future."(HSM PR Ramsey Poston Twitter)(12-1-2016)
Stewart Notes of Interest:
o Sunday's race marks Stewart's 618th and final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 17th Sprint Cup start at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
o Stewart has career totals of 49 wins, 15 poles, 187 top-five finishes, 308 top-10s and 12,815 laps led in 617 Sprint Cup races.
His most recent Sprint Cup win came June 26 at Sonoma Raceway.
His last Sprint Cup pole came April 5, 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Stewart missed the final 15 races of the 2013 season, three races in 2014 and the first eight races in 2016.
o Stewart has three wins, four top-five finishes, seven top-10s and has led a total of 450 laps in his 16 career Sprint Cup starts at Homestead. His average start is 17.9, his average finish is 14.9 and he has a lap-completion rate of 97.9.
o Stewart has led 450 of the 4,277 laps available to him at Homestead.
o Stewart's third and ninth career Sprint Cup wins came at Homestead, where he swept the track's first two races in 1999 and 2000. Only one other driver has won back-to-back races at Homestead - Greg Biffle won three in a row from 2004 to 2006.
o Stewart's win at Homestead in 2011 came from the 15th starting position - the third-farthest back a driver has ever won from at Homestead. And his win in 2000 came from the 13th starting position - the fourth-farthest back a driver has ever won from at Homestead. Stewart, Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin are the only other drivers to have won at Homestead from outside the top-10. Biffle won the 2006 race after starting 22nd and Hamlin won the 2009 race after starting 38th.
o Race Rewind: In a race that went down as one of the best in NASCAR's long and storied history, Stewart won the 2011 season finale at Homestead and clinched his third Sprint Cup championship. He led four times for 65 laps in the No. 14 Chevrolet and defeated Carl Edwards by 1.306 seconds to score his fifth win of the season and his third in 13 career Sprint Cup starts at Homestead. Incredibly, Stewart passed 118 cars during the 267-lap race. He and Edwards both ended the season with 2,403 points, but Stewart's five wins in 2011 compared to Edwards' one win gave Stewart the tiebreaker advantage.
o Stewart won Sprint Cup titles in 2002 and 2005 and, with the 2011 crown, became the first driver-owner to win a Sprint Cup championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. In addition, Stewart became the ninth driver to win three or more championships, joining Richard Petty (seven), Dale Earnhardt (seven), Jimmie Johnson (six), Jeff Gordon (four), David Pearson (three), Darrell Waltrip (three), Cale Yarborough (three) and Lee Petty (three).(TSC/SHR)(11-20-2016)
Stewart says Homestead is his final Cup race...ever; cell phone stolen: #14-Tony Stewart, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed his final race as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor, his future plans, his legacy and many other topics. The transcript in part:
Q) HAS ANYTHING GOTTEN TO YOU SO FAR THIS WEEK?
Stewart: "I guess I will get to that, but the first part you said kind of struck a nerve because somebody reached out and touched me yesterday and stole my cell phone out of my pocket. I was like 'well that kind of brought it right back to my mind.' Yeah, it's been a hell of a start to the weekend to get your phone stolen. That was probably the biggest thing that was disappointing last night when I realized my phone was stolen was the fact that I was in the process of answering text messages from people. I got a flood of text messages yesterday and I think I'm going to have a phone by tomorrow. So, I'm sure when I turn it on it's going to be absolutely crazy when I turn it back on. It's been neat. People I haven't talked to for a long time, people that are friends that I haven't seen or heard of from a long time reached out this week and it's been pretty cool. Nothing in particular really struck a nerve, but it's just the overall support from everybody was really awesome."
Q) DO YOU HAVE ANY DESIRE TO GET BACK IN A CUP CAR FOR ANY REASON AFTER THIS SEASON? WOULD YOU FILL IN FOR ONE OF YOUR DRIVERS?
Stewart: "No, I'm good. This is it. This is the last one. I think I learned my lesson from Jeff (Gordon). Jeff tried to do somebody a favor this year and got roped into running half the season (laughs). Thank you Jeff for teaching me a lesson before I got roped into it. So, no, I'm not planning on that at all. We are going to be busy. In all honesty and I don't have a schedule set next year, but I just know the things that I'm planning, my schedule next year is going to be much busier than it already is this year. There is just not going to be room for it."
Q) WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU LOST YOUR CELL PHONE? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
Stewart: "My girlfriend and I, we were actually on our way Wednesday night to Miami in a hotel we were staying at there because we had the owners meeting yesterday. We saw some carnival deal, so we stopped and it was about the close, but we went back to it last night on our way back to here. We were just getting ready to leave and I realized it wasn't in my pocket. I had her phone, my phone and a couple of other things I was holding for her. When I was checking to see where it was at it was not there anymore. We had bumped into some people right before that and I'm fairly certain that is when it decided it went a different direction, but it was kind of fun because they have that Find My iPhone app. We went chasing people forever trying to find it. Until we realized they were in the parking lot and they got in the car and they were gone. I hit block on it and deleted it and now I've got to get a new phone, which is devastating because I do everything off of my cell phone. My life is on that cell phone, so I start my life over tomorrow (laughs)." (Team Chevy)(11-18-2016)
Harvick not happy with lack of Stewart 'credit': after qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday, #4-Kevin Harvick was asked:
Q) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TONY RETIRING IN TWO RACES AND WHAT HIS LEGACY IS GOING TO BE HERE?
Harvick: "It's not going to be what it should be because I don't think anybody did a very good job of giving him the credit that he deserved throughout the year at the race tracks and from a sports standpoint. That has been very disappointing from my standpoint. I know that Tony probably would say that he didn't want that but I don't think anybody has done a very good job of giving him the credit for the time that he has put in and had in the sport. A three-time champion, multiple race winner, IndyCar champion and winner and to auto racing in general. It's been pretty disheartening to me to see the lack of credit that he has gotten."(Team Chevy Qualifying Notes and Quotes)(11-13-2016)
Stewart-Haas Racing signs deal with Nike: Stewart-Haas Racing has signed a six-figure value-in-kind deal with Nike to outfit the team starting next season, when SHR switches manufacturers from Chevy to Ford. SHR did not previously have a sole apparel manufacturer and instead had different brands worn by team members. However, because of the switch to Ford, SHR will have to get all new apparel since Chevy's logo is on its current gear, and the team decided the time was right to go out and find one official partner. Nike will outfit the organization with various forms of apparel, and in return gets the exposure from the gear being worn publicly, plus signage on SHR's pit practice facility and weight room.
Meanwhile, [SHR VP/Sales & Marketing Mike Verlander] said that as part of the switchover from Chevy to Ford, SHR will also slightly tweak its logo. The new logo is not ready to be released, but Verlander said it will be a small change. SHR currently has a light blue logo, so switching to a darker shade to align with Ford's darker-blue logo is a possibility.(Sports Business Daily)(10-27-2016)
Roush Yates Engines preparing for Stewart Haas switch to Ford: One of the biggest stories of the 2016 NASCAR season played out early in the year with the announcement that Stewart-Haas Racing would switch from Chevrolet to Ford in 2017 - a move that caught most everyone off-guard. Now, with the season winding down, the countdown is on for that switch to become a reality and Roush Yates Engines is working behind the scenes to ensure it is up to the task of putting power under the SHR hoods. "Roush Yates Engines, right now, is in the process of increasing inventory and getting prepared," said Jeff Clark, Vice President of Sales for Roush Yates Engines. "We don't build the engines yet because technology is always changing but we are reviewing applications and potential employees - that will be more of a November/December item. And then acquiring the inventory, a lot of the parts in these engines require long lead-times. There are three, four, five or six months of lead time on these items, so we're trying to get the hard parts together and just prepare as much as possible for when it is go-time." Clark doesn't have an exact number of people the organization will need to bring on to fulfill the new workload but he knows they will be choosing from the best-of-the-best in the sport. He said they have received a lot of interest from engine experts looking to fill the void and that have led to numerous applications and resumes. He said management is poring over stats to determine how much the workload will increase to be ready for 2017.(Kickin the Tires)(10-17-2016)
Johnson comments on deal with Stewart-Haas; Hendrick backtracks: Jimmie Johnson described a less-than-ideal working relationship between Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing on Friday, prompting his team general manager to clarify how the teams shared information. Stewart-Haas has gotten its Chevrolet engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports since it began in 2009, but that relationship is poised to end. Stewart-Haas announced this year it would be switching to Roush Yates Engines that power Ford teams for next season. Johnson was asked before practice for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Kansas whether he would like his team to find another partner to replace Stewart-Haas racing next season. "Just to be selfishly speaking," Johnson said, "we didn't get their data. We didn't share their data. They had ours. So it was a fantastic situation for them. They had our best stuff and then they have a huge engineering staff and they can take Hendrick's best equipment and refine it." That counts as inflammatory stuff in the closely knit NASCAR garage. It also prompted Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt to climb out of Johnson's hauler a few hours later and clarify the relationship. The teams did share information with each other before Stewart-Haas announced its decision to leave, at which point communication was largely cut off. "That is the way it worked from the time I have been at Hendrick Motorsports," Duchardt said. "We received information from Stewart-Haas when we worked with them. When they made their announcement with Ford that changed things. But the bottom line is that as partners we exchanged data."(Associated Press)(10-15-2016)
Bowyer gearing up for 2017: #15-Clint Bowyer met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway Friday and discussed his outlook for next season as he joins Stewart-Haas Racing:
Where are you at competitively? How do you feel about where you are going next year and where you are at now?
Bowyer: "Certainly, it's always natural to start thinking about next year. You better be this time of year no matter if you are moving or staying the same and nothing changes. That is how far in advance you have to look in this sport and work. All the organizations are lining themselves us and gearing up for next year, all the while, there is a lot of racing left to do in 2016. Last weekend is a prime example. I look over and I see all the Stewart-Haas cars up front, qualified well, Danica (Patrick) was fast, all the cars raced well. Those are the things that you look at and get excited for next year. But, hey, you've got an opportunity to come back home and race and compete in front of your hometown crowd, like I said, there is plenty of racing to do and things to accomplish this year. We've got to cap it off well and start to get focused on next year. It is exciting. You get emails, like I was telling somebody last night, an email came across my phone and I look over and its #14 merchandise approvals for next year. You are like 'holy cow' it's becoming reality. It's fixing to pick up in a big way."(Team Chevy Racing)(10-15-2016)
Nature's Bakery sponsoring 25 races in 2017; Code 3 moving sponsorship to Patrick: Nature's Bakery is looking at slightly reducing the size of its deal with NASCAR Sprint Cup team Stewart-Haas Racing starting next year. However, the savings are likely to be redeployed toward activation around the program, and SHR already has a partner lined up to fill the open inventory. Nature's Bakery, the Nevada-based healthy snack maker that signed on last year to replace longtime Danica Patrick sponsor GoDaddy starting this season, was announced as having 28 primary paint schemes annually on Patrick's #10 Chevy. SHR VP/Sales & Marketing Mike Verlander confirmed that Nature's Bakery evaluated this season whether it needed to have that many races moving forward, because "some brands need to be at all of them, some don't need 28." This coincided with Code 3 Associates, an animal-focused non-profit that is one of outgoing SHR driver and team co-owner Tony Stewart's sponsors, wanting to switch over to Patrick. Her other primary sponsors, Aspen Dental and TaxAct, both have four primaries each. Verlander said Nature's Bakery is looking at going down by around three races next year because "28 to 25 doesn't really affect their proportionality of owning the lead sponsor role," which Nature's Bakery is intent on retaining.(Sports Business Daily)(10-13-2016)
ExxonMobil and Stewart-Haas Racing Extend Partnership with Multi-Year Deal: ExxonMobil announced it will be extending the Mobil 1 brand's sponsorship of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in a multi-year deal. Beginning next year, Mobil 1, the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR," will provide full primary sponsorships across SHR's four NASCAR premier series drivers. Kevin Harvick's #4 car, Danica Patrick's #10, Clint Bowyer's #14 and Kurt Busch's #41 will see Mobil 1 full primaries at various NASCAR premier series races throughout the year. At the same time, the Mobil 1 brand will remain an associate sponsor for all SHR drivers at all other races. "ExxonMobil and Mobil 1 lubricant technology have been integral to my success with SHR and my 2014 Championship, so I'm excited they're coming back," said Harvick. "I'm also honored to step in as the lead representative for the Mobil 1 brand both on and off the track."
Tony Stewart, who has represented Mobil 1 since the brand joined SHR in 2011, is retiring as a NASCAR driver at the end of the 2016 season. He will remain a brand ambassador for Mobil 1 in his role as a team owner, as he co-owns SHR with industrialist Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. Additionally, the Mobil 1 brand will be an associate sponsor of SHR's new NASCAR XFINITY Series for the 2017 season, where Cole Custer will run for rookie of the year. The company has been providing lubricant technology support to the team since 2011, which helped Stewart and Harvick earn premier series championships for SHR in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
"With two championships already, our partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing has been pushing performance limits since day one. Finishing this year and going into 2017, we're ready to add more wins and titles to the collection," said Kai Decker, global motorsports manager at ExxonMobil. "Our engineers are continuously working to advance our lubricant technology and SHR plays a large role in how we test our engine lubricants - ensuring consumers and race fans are getting the best product available."
After announcing the partnership in 2010, SHR and Mobil 1 engineers began working closely together to tackle racing challenges. The 2017 season continues a collaborative engineering relationship used to develop lubricant packages and push technology limits to new frontiers. This relationship helps the SHR team win races and ExxonMobil continue to improve the performance of Mobil 1 branded lubricants with improved power, fuel mileage, engine efficiency and reliability.
"We're thrilled to continue our partnership with ExxonMobil for the 2017 race season and beyond," Stewart said. "They've been an incredible partner. "The success we've achieved has been greatly helped by Mobil 1 lubricant technology and our engineers working hand in hand with their engineers."
Including the 2016 season, the partnership with ExxonMobil has led to significant on-track success for SHR, compiling two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles, 34 race wins, 140 top-five finishes, 266 top-10 finishes and 28 poles.
Along with its association with SHR, Mobil 1 is entering its 15th year as the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR." Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of the teams in NASCAR's top-three series.(ExxonMobil PR)(10-7-2016)
Stewart's frustration part of the reason for retirement: Tony Stewart admits he faces "a very steep, uphill battle" to avoid elimination Sunday from the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Dover International Speedway. But he also readily admits that there's only so much he can do, and the frustration that the driver plays only so much -- or so little -- of a role in a sport that has become increasingly reliant on engineering is one of the reasons he will retire from Cup racing after this season. "When we come off the truck [on Friday], we fight the same thing for three days and there's nothing I can do to fix it," Stewart told reporters Wednesday during a NASCAR-mandated media tour as part of his Chase obligations. "That's what's so frustrating for me as a driver. That is part of why I'm ready to do something different is because I can't make a difference anymore. I can't do different things with my feet and different things with my hands and run a different line and fix the problem. I used to be able to do that. I can't do that anymore. You just get so frustrated you can't see straight." The three-time Cup champion joked about trying to not get suspended for his final eight races if he said too much, acknowledging he is exhausted from trying to play a role of outspoken veteran in a sport where he believes the drivers are often afraid to share their feelings. "You can only beat the drum for so long and it can only fall on deaf ears for so long before you finally say, 'The people that need to make it better can't make it better,'" the 45-year-old Stewart said. Stewart said "I've had my fill of fighting the fight" as the driver to draw attention to issues of the way the sport operates." While Stewart plans to retire from Cup racing, he said he has told his sprint-car team management to be ready for him to run 40-50 races next season. He will have to wait until February to race because he will have the screws taken out of his back in December. He said his first race next year will be on pavement and will be in someone else's equipment but he wouldn't reveal more than that.(ESPN.com)(9-29-2016)
Stewart dismisses talk of possible return in 2017...but: Jeff Gordon retired at the end of the 2015 season, but when Gordon was needed as a substitute driver for #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., he quickly answered the call from team owner Rick Hendrick. So isn't it possible that after Stewart retires from NASCAR, he could potentially come back and - "No," Stewart said Wednesday, cutting off a reporter. "Let me help you not waste breath here. No, not doing it." Stewart then hedged a bit, saying if it was just for one week and his race team was in desperate need of a substitute, then "obviously I'm 100% dedicated to Stewart-Haas Racing and if that's what it took, I'd be there in a heartbeat." But he quickly added: "I don't want to come back and run five or six races." One reason, he said, is because of the increased demands. The sport's advancements in technology means there are troves of data to sort through after practices, and "that's time-consuming," he said. "I spend more time than I ever have looking at it now," he added.(USA Today)(8-4-2016)
Stewart willing to sub next year if needed: #14-Tony Stewart met with the media Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was asked the process Stewart-Haas Racing would use to find a replacement driver in the future, if needed:
Stewart: "We never thought of that actually. It is something that I thought about since the talk came about Jeff getting back in the car. We don't have a feeder system. We don't have an Xfinity team. We don't have anybody that's in our system to bring up if that is the case. We will talk about it at some point, but I am definitely open to that scenario if it were to happen down the road and we needed somebody, I would be open to doing what Jeff is doing this weekend."(Chevy Racing)(7-23-2016)
Tony Stewart wins at Sonoma: #14-Tony Stewart won the Toyota / Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway for his 1st win of the season, 3rd win at Sonoma, 8th road course win and 49th career win. It had been 111 races and 84 races run by Stewart since his last win, at Dover in June 2013. With the win and being 9 points out of the top-30 of drivers points, Stewart has a good shot of getting in the Chase. It was the first career win for crew chief Mike Bugarewicz.
#11-Hamlin took the lead on the final lap, went wide on the last turn, Stewart passed the #11 beat and banged with Hamlin who tagged the wall with Stewart racing to the win. Hamlin led the most laps, 33 of 110. Race favorite #47-Allmendinger finished 12th after having a late race penalty for an uncontrolled tire during a pit stop and having to restart in the rear of the field.
#11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #19-Edwards (pole winner), #78-Truex Jr., #4-Harvick, #18-Busch, #31-Newman, #5-Kahne and #41-Busch.
There were 12 lead changes among 8 drivers and 4 cautions for 10 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 80.966 mph.
Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
Monday, June 27 at 8:30am/et on FS1;
Tuesday, June 28 at 4:00am/et on FS1
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Sonoma Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-26-2016)
Stewart and Irvan Inducted Into Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame: Steve Page Sonoma Raceway's president and general manager introduced 2016 Wall of Fame Honorees Ernie Irvan and Tony Stewart before a crowd of vocal and enthusiastic fans and media. Page said, the Wall of Fame was started "a decade ago as a way to honor the legacy and thank those" who have contributed to the history of the circuit. Both drivers are two-time winners here. Page called the 1992 race, in which Irvan from the back of the grid "one of the most remarkable races" he'd ever seen. When asked about his part in the fast growth of NASCAR in the 1990s, Irvan said, "I'm just one part of it. Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and others " set the stage for the explosive growth the sport experienced. Stewart thanked Page with mixed emotions, "I've always looked forward to coming here," noting he marked the date in his calendar. And now looking ahead to last race, at the Sprint Cup level, he felt a bit sentimental. That said, Stewart who will retire from his ride at the team he co-owns with Gene Haas stressed that this was his last year in driving in Sprint Cup but not as a driver in other series, "I can't wait to start the second part of my career."(Sonoma Raceway)(6-26-2016)
Drivers ranked on ESPN World Fame 100: It started off with a simple question: Who's the most famous athlete in the world? Ben Alamar, ESPN's director of sports analytics, devised a formula that combines salary and endorsements with social media following and Google search popularity to create the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings. The names might be familiar, but where the planet's biggest stars land on the list could surprise you. The #1 athlete is soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. Motorsports drivers on the list include:
57. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR)
58. Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)
59. Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)
63. Danica Patrick (NASCAR)
75. Fernando Alonso (Formula 1)
77. Tony Stewart (NASCAR)
94. Kyle Busch (NASCAR)
97. Kimi Raikkonen (Formula 1)
Mobil 1 Motor Oil Gears Up for More "Three Wide" Action with Stewart-Haas Racing: Building upon the "Tony's Next Chapter" series, Mobil 1 motor oil, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR, is back with fresh digital content for NASCAR fans. The "Endless Road Trip" and "What's Your Take?" video series bring together #4-Kevin Harvick, #10-Danica Patrick and #14-Tony Stewart to provide fans a window into the playful relationship between the drivers, as well as a sense of their personalities when away from the racetrack. "Endless Road Trip" chronicles the between-race road trips of Harvick, Patrick and Stewart as they venture to several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series destinations. Each episode depicts the uniqueness and local culture of different U.S. regions. Altogether, the road trip distance reaches approximately 15,000 miles, representing the guaranteed engine protection for up to 15,000 miles between oil changes using Mobil 1 Extended Performance motor oil. The series launched before the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29 and will include seven installments:
" Charlotte - Coca-Cola 600 on May 29
" Michigan - FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 12
" Sonoma - Toyota/Save Mart 350 on June 26
" New Hampshire - New Hampshire 301 on July 17
" Indianapolis - Crown Royal Presents "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 on July 24
" Pocono - Pennsylvania 400 on July 31
" Richmond - Federated Auto Parts 400 on September 10
Fans can follow Harvick, Patrick and Stewart on the "Endless Road Trip" using #Mobil1RoadTrip on Facebook and Twitter.(Mobil 1)(5-28-2016)
Romain Grosjean could run a NASCAR race this summer UPDATE: Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean's debut in NASCAR could happen as early as this summer, after Stewart-Haas Racing revealed it is now working on a plan to get the Frenchman a race entry. "We may give it a go. I think it would be really cool," he said after sitting in a Sprint Cup car on the day he was announced as a Haas F1 driver. "It's definitely on our wish list," Joe Custer, chief operating officer of Haas F1 said. "We just have to make it work - whether it be this year, next year, whenever that is. We're not sure. He's made it clear that he wouldn't want his debut to be on an oval - where he's never done it before. There's so much going on. We have to figure out the testing opportunities and all the things that would make it a success." Either road course race on the Sprint Cup schedule would be ideal for the 30-year-old racer with Sonoma (June 26) and Watkins Glen (August 7) both during off weeks for F1. But while Sonoma falls at the end of the Canada/Baku back-to-back run, the Glen race falls in the middle of the F1's summer break between the German GP (July 31) and the Belgian GP on August 28. "I'm not sure when it would happen, but it's on our list," explained Custer. "We would like to have him test. He would be a rookie. I don't think there are any barriers to any of this. We just have to figure it out and get it on the schedule. Then, five cars or four cars? Or does he work with another team in the garage. All of that. We have to work out the details and have enough time to make it happen."(Motorsport)(5-9-2016)
UPDATE: Romain Grosjean believes that his best chance of making his NASCAR debut will come at the Sonoma road course race at the end of June. Grosjean expressed an interest in trying out NASCAR after joining Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas' new Formula 1 operation for its debut season in 2016. "When it's going to happen, I don't know. It's 21 races, it's quite a tight schedule already in Formula 1. Of course you don't want to start on an oval, I wouldn't feel very comfortable." Grosjean's best opportunities for a road course appearance come with the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma on June 26 and the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen on August 7. However, the race at The Glen would cut into F1's summer break. "That's a problem," Grosjean said. "Sonoma is better I think." Should Grosjean be able to make his debut though, it would not come with Stewart-Haas Racing. NASCAR rules only allow four cars per team and no exceptions for rookie drivers as used to be the case. A possible scenario for Grosjean would be racing with the SHR-supported HScott Motorsports team.(NBC Sports)(5-13-2016)
Stewart medically cleared; will return at Richmond UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart tweeted Thursday morning, "Well, the long wait is over. I'll be back in my @Mobil1 Chevy this weekend at Richmond. I can't wait to race again" and "The Dr's said my scans "looked much better than they thought they would after 3 months". So they cleared me".
AND: Tony Stewart has been cleared by his doctors and NASCAR to return to racing, effective immediately. He will drive the #14 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Chevrolet SS fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing throughout this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. Stewart missed the first eight races of the season after sustaining a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in a Jan. 31 all-terrain vehicle accident. The prescribed rehabilitation regimen instituted by his doctors following a March 9 evaluation proved successful, allowing the three-time series champion to return for his final Sprint Cup season. "As soon as the doctors said they were happy with my scans, I wasn't going to wait any longer to get back in my racecar," said Stewart, who announced last year that he would retire after the 2016 season. "I want to make the most of my last season in Sprint Cup, and I've been on the sidelines long enough." Following Richmond, Stewart will participate in a Goodyear tire test April 26-27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will then practice and qualify his #14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series' next event at Talladega Superspeedway. However, Stewart will only start the race before yielding the car to Ty Dillon, who split substitute driving duties this year with Brian Vickers.
"We're taking a strategic approach to my return," Stewart said. "Richmond is a track where I feel very comfortable and because it's a short track, the speeds are substantially less. The Goodyear test in Indy is sort of a controlled environment, allowing me to get more acclimated with my car at higher speeds. We'll start the Talladega race to get the points, but understanding the style of racing and the higher potential of getting involved in an incident, we thought it was best to minimize the amount of time I'm in the car. I'll return fulltime at Kansas and enjoy every moment I can in my final year of Sprint Cup.
"I appreciate everyone's patience and all the support they've given me the last couple of months, but the best medicine will come this weekend at Richmond when I finally get to go racing."
Richmond will mark Stewart's 591st career Sprint Cup start. Thirty-three of those starts have come at Richmond, where Stewart has three wins, four second-place finishes, 11 top-fives, 19 top-10s and has led a total of 950 laps. Richmond is home to Stewart's his first career Sprint Cup win, earned on Sept. 11, 1999 when he led 333 of 400 laps.(Stewart-Haas Racing)
UPDATE: "NASCAR received the appropriate medical clearance documentation allowing Tony Stewart to resume normal racing activities. We also have granted the request from Stewart-Haas Racing for a waiver for Tony to be eligible to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. As he begins his final season, we wish Tony the best of luck."(NASCAR)(4-21-2016)
NASCAR's Richest Teams and Drivers: Forbes has released its annual ranking of Sprint Cup teams and drivers based on earnings. Once again, Hendrick tops the charts. The top 10 teams and drivers and their estimated value:
Highest earning NASCAR teams:
Hendrick Motorsports $375 million
Joe Gibbs Racing $256 million
Stewart-Haas Racing $195 million
Richard Childress Racing $175 million
Roush Feneway Racing $155 million
Team Penske $140 million
Chip Ganassi Racing $75 million
Richard Petty Motorsports $55 million
Front Row Motorsports $26 million
BK Racing $24 million
Highest earning NASCAR drivers:
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. $23.5 million
#48-Jimmie Johnson $22.2 million
Jeff Gordon $21.6 million
#4-Kevin Harvick $15.5 million
#11-Denny Hamlin $15.1 million
#18-Kyle Busch $15.0 million
#10-Dania Patrick $13.4 million
#14-Tony Stewart $12.8 million
#19-Carl Edwards $12.1 million
#20-Matt Kenseth $11.9 million
Total earnings equals salary/winnings plus endorsements and licensing
In addition, Forbes estimates the actual cash value of a NASCAR charter to be $15-$17 million.(Forbes)(4-1-2016)
GM exec says Chevy's success forced Ford to get Stewart-Haas: Mark Kent, GM's director of racing, has described Ford's joining forces with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017 as a "bold move" but has pledged support to the team to season's end. Kent told Motorsport.com: "Ford hasn't won a drivers' or manufacturers' championship in over a decade. So obviously they've been looking at Chevrolet and realizing it takes great teams and great depth to be able to win championships. We've been able to win the last 13 manufacturers' titles and nine of the last 11 drivers' championships. So Ford realized they had to do something. They made a bold move." While Kent acknowledged the achievements of SHR, he stated that the team's use of Hendrick Motorsports equipment had also made the team susceptible to outside offers. "Satellite teams are obviously the easiest takeover candidates," he observed, "because they don't build their own chassis, don't build their own engines and so it's easier for them to switch alliances.(Motorsport)(3-25-2015)
Haas F1 Team Earns Points in Debut Race: the Haas F1 Team, owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Gene Haas [Stewart-Haas Racing #4, #10, #14, #41], made history before and after the 32nd Australian Grand Prix Sunday in Melbourne. The organization's debut in Round 1 of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship marked the first time an American team had competed in Formula One since 1986. And after ending a 30-year drought for an American squad in Formula One, Haas F1 Team ended another drought for an organization's maiden F1 race. After starting 19th, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished an impressive sixth, earning the team eight points in the constructor standings.(full post at haasf1team.com)(3-20-2016)
Penske expects to work closely with Stewart-Hass next year: Legendary team principal Roger Penske has welcomed Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford's NASCAR lineup for 2017, and suggested that there will "be some collaboration" between the two. Speaking to the media at the IndyCar Series opener at St Petersburg, Penske said the numerical advantage of more Fords was only one aspect of the potential benefit of SHR joining Ford's roster. "If you have four of one thing you're going to be better than if you had two, and I think what Ford looked at is the number of cars Chevy and Toyota had," said Penske. "They looked to expand their footprint. As far as we're concerned we feel good about it. If Ford is successful, it's gonna help us. With two cars, it's hard to carry the banner as we did last year."
On the potential for collaboration with Stewart-Haas, Penske added: "I think that we'll do what we've done with Roush, we've put cars in the windtunnel - our car and their car to see where we are. We'll do benchmarking, we have to race these guys every weekend. I don't think [Hendrick's star crew chief] Chad Knaus gives Stewart-Haas guys the playbook or vice versa. The things that will help overall, I think there'll be some collaboration in some way, and we're glad to see that.(Motorsport)(3-12-2016)
Hendrick will not look to replace Stewart-Haas business: Hendrick Motorsports won't look to replace the engine lease program and the chassis business it will lose when Stewart-Haas Racing moves to Ford starting next season, but it also does not plan to lay off any employees. Team owner Rick Hendrick said Sunday that the decision "kind of caught me by surprise" but it was no surprise that another manufacturer would go after SHR. It will make for an interesting year as SHR remains a customer but one that will start building its own chassis and leasing engines from Roush Yates Engines next year. Hendrick, speaking prior to the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, said his team is committed to working with SHR this year and will move on after the season. That doesn't mean looking for new people to sell chassis and lease engines. HMS leases engines to two-car organizations HScott Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing. It also supplies engines and support to JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. HScott Motorsports plans to remain a Hendrick affiliate next year, said team owner Harry Scott, whose team also has an affiliation with Stewart-Haas Racing this season. "We've been pretty much taxed to keep up with all the customers we have," Hendrick said. "I think what we're going to do now is turn our efforts inward and do more R&D and give us a chance to do more, really, research and development than we've been doing in the last couple of years because our guys have been flat-out. While the team will fulfill the terms of its contracts with SHR, Hendrick said he expects SHR to begin the process of working on its own chassis this year. Losing the SHR business likely would cost Hendrick tens of millions of dollars, but Hendrick said his company has the ability to compensate for the lost business.(ESPN.com)(2-29-2016)
Roush Yates already prepping for Stewart-Haas addition: The addition of Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford in 2017 will mean an increased workload for Roush Yates Engines, the company that supplies Ford power to teams in all three of NASCAR's national series. But it means much more than the 60 or so additional engines the supplier will have to produce, according to CEO Doug Yates. "For us, that's four more top-notch cars, opportunities to win races and championships," Yates said Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "But the work starts now because we've got to get ready for next year." Yates, son of famed engine builder and former team owner Robert Yates, said his company currently has approximately 250 engines in its fleet for Sprint Cup teams. "We'll start building them up but next year, with four cars will mean about 60 more engines... Today we build about 750 Cup, XFINITY and Truck engines a year. At our road race shop we build about 250 a year. Obviously we will have to add some people. We feel like we have a good process, we just have to add volume." The benefit, he said, is it will be "a good opportunity to allow us to bring on more resources for the R&D side, more testing, more engineers. Just add depth to every department. It's exciting.(NASCAR.com)(2-28-2016)
Stewart-Haas Racing switching to Ford in 2017: Ford Performance announced Stewart-Haas Racing will switch to Ford as its auto manufacturer partner starting with the 2017 NASCAR season. The multiyear agreement means that, beginning with Daytona Speedweeks in February 2017, the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing team will race the Ford Fusion with Ford engines prepared by Roush Yates Engines.
"We are thrilled to be able to add a championship-level team like Stewart-Haas Racing to our Ford NASCAR program," said Raj Nair, executive vice president and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Company. "Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have the same passion for winning that we do, and bring a strong stable of drivers and personnel that fit into what we're trying to do in the sport."
"We have said very clearly that we are not in NASCAR just to race, but to win races and championships," said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "We believe the addition of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017 will give our program a major boost in terms of being in contention for both drivers' and manufacturers' championships every year.
"We believe that our NASCAR engineering experience and tools match up very well with the expertise and personnel that Stewart-Haas Racing has in house right now, and that we will both benefit from this partnership going forward."
Stewart-Haas Racing will join a Ford NASCAR lineup for 2017 that includes Team Penske, Roush Fenway Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Front Row Motorsports. Roush Yates Engines is Ford's technical partner for NASCAR race engines.
Stewart-Haas Racing will continue its current manufacturer relationship throughout the 2016 season.(Ford Racing)
AND: Stewart-Haas Racing, winners of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 30 point-paying races, will campaign Ford Fusions beginning in 2017. The four-car team will compete with Ford engines prepared by Roush Yates Engines.
"I am proud of our association with Chevrolet as they helped build our organization into the team it is today," said Tony Stewart, co-owner, Stewart-Haas Racing. "This new partnership with Ford allows us to strengthen our position in the sport and ensure the long-term stability and success for everyone who is a part of Stewart-Haas Racing."
"Motorsports is an extremely challenging environment where in order to maintain success you have to constantly innovate. It's true in NASCAR and it's true in business," said Gene Haas, co-owner, Stewart-Haas Racing. "We've enjoyed great success with Chevrolet, but this opportunity with Ford allows us to evolve while continuing to compete at the highest levels of the sport."
"From the very beginning of Stewart-Haas Racing we have fostered an environment of competitiveness, performance, teamwork and family," said Brett Frood, team president. "This future partnership enables us to continue delivering across these silos and exceed our commitments to our fans, partners and employees."(Stewart-Haas Racing)
Transcript: Read what was said in Wednesday morning's press conference on the Stewart-Haas Racing Ford press conference transcript page.(2-24-2016)
Stewart announces retirement after 2016 season; Bowyer to replace in 2017: After 17 years competing at NASCAR's highest level, Tony Stewart has decided his 18th year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be his last. The three-time series champion will retire following the 2016 season, whereupon Clint Bowyer will take the wheel of the #14 machine beginning in 2017. Since 2009 Stewart has held the dual title of driver/owner at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). He co-owns the team with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. Stewart will join Haas as a fulltime owner in 2017, with Bowyer being Stewart's hand-picked successor to drive the No. 14 car.
"This is a moment every driver eventually comes to terms with, and I know this is the right decision for me," said Stewart, owner of 48 Sprint Cup victories, 15 of which have come with SHR. "2016 will be my last year in a Sprint Cup car, but it's not my last year in NASCAR. I love this sport and I love being a part of it, and instead of seeing me in a firesuit on Sundays, you'll see me in a pair of jeans, and maybe even a pair of khakis. I plan to make the most of my final year as a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and part of that is to ensure that when Clint Bowyer takes over the No. 14 in 2017, he has everything he needs to win races and contend for the championship. I'm very comfortable with this decision and what the future holds for me and Stewart-Haas Racing."
Bowyer is an eight-time race winner in the Sprint Cup Series and finished second in the 2012 championship standings.
"Today is an incredible opportunity and I'm proud and excited to take over the #14 in 2017," said Bowyer, the 2008 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion. "Whether it's racing him on Sunday or watching my dirt late model teams race at his famed Eldora Speedway, Tony and I share the same passion for racing. That makes this opportunity a perfect fit for me. I appreciate everything he's done for me and the sport of auto racing. These are big shoes to fill, but boy am I ever looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a champion's ride, and have Tony there with me along the way."
Haas, who formed Haas CNC Racing in 2002 before partnering with Stewart to create SHR in 2009, embraces the transition.
"Tony Stewart has been a game-changer for Stewart-Haas Racing and for motorsports," Haas said. "I always had an incredible amount of respect for what he could do with a racecar - any racecar, as he's been successful in everything he's ever driven. In getting to know Tony Stewart the businessman, I found a very smart person with excellent people skills. He's extremely valuable to our race team and a strong voice in our sport. His passion for motorsports is unmatched, and I'm proud that his future outside of the #14 Chevrolet remains with Stewart-Haas Racing."
The primary partners currently represented on the No. 14 Chevrolet include Bass Pro Shops, Mobil 1, Rush Truck Centers, Code 3 Associates, Coca-Cola, Jimmy Johns and Haas Automation. Announcements regarding the partnership lineup for the #14 team in 2016 and beyond will be made in the lead up to the 58th Daytona 500 on Feb. 21 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
"I have been blessed with fantastic partners throughout my racing career, and I take a lot of pride in the lifelong friendships formed and the great business successes we've been a part of," Stewart said. "I never would've accomplished all that I've achieved in racing if it weren't for the support of corporate America. They helped a kid from Columbus, Indiana, reach his dreams and I'll be forever grateful."(Stewart-Haas Racing)
Statement from NASCAR Chairman Brian France: "When I think of Tony Stewart, unmatched passion and a pure love of the sport come to mind. He has won championships and millions of fans. But he has given back so much more, and that's what I admire most. Today's news was bittersweet for all, but we know Tony will continue to be a big part of our sport in his roles as a team and track owner. On behalf of the entire NASCAR family, I thank Tony for his many years of excellence and competitiveness, and wish him nothing but the best in his final season as a driver in the Sprint Cup Series."
Statement from Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports for Chevy: "Tony Stewart has been a key member of our racing family for nearly 20 years. The majority of his race wins and championships-regardless of series-have been with our brands. Not only is he a championship-winning driver and team owner, he is an entrepreneur and gives back to numerous charities. Through his Tony Stewart Foundation, he pours his heart into causes that support children, animals and others in need of assistance. We value our long-standing partnership with Tony and look forward to joining his fans in celebrating his final season as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."(Chevy PR)(9-30-2015)
Stewart to retire after 2016 season UPDATE3: Tony Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion, plans to retire after the 2016 season, team and industry sources told ESPN's Marty Smith. Mired in one of the worst seasons of his career at 25th in the standings, Stewart will run one final season before handing over the driving duties of the Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Chevy to Clint Bowyer, sources said. #15-Bowyer is driving for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2015, but that team is closing operations after the season. He does not currently have a ride for 2016. Stewart won the Sprint Cup in 2002, 2005 and 2011. He missed out on the Chase for the Sprint Cup this year after posting zero wins and two top-10s leading up to the Chase. The 45-year-old Stewart is tied for 13th in career victories with 48. Stewart, who has 582 career Cup starts, missed the final 15 races of the 2013 season with a broken leg suffered in a sprint car accident. He missed three races last season after the sprint car he was racing struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., who had approached Stewart's car on foot at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.(ESPN.com / Motorsport.com)(9-27-2015)
UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a news conference for 1:00pm/et on Wednesday at the team's Kannapolis, N.C., headquarters, at which time driver and team co-owner Tony Stewart is expected to announce that 2016 will his last season behind the wheel. Gene Haas, Stewart's partner, will attend the news conference, the team confirmed.(FOXSports.com)(9-28-2015)
UPDATE2: Tony Stewart will step away from Sprint Cup competition following the 2016 season, NASCAR.com has confirmed from multiple sources. A press conference at Stewart-Haas Racing's North Carolina shop is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon to announce the plans, which will include naming Clint Bowyer to drive Stewart's #14 Chevy beginning in 2017. NASCAR.com will live stream the 1 p.m. ET announcement at NASCAR.com/presspass.(NASCAR.com)(9-28-2015)
UPDATE3 - wanted Larson? Tony Stewart desperately wanted Kyle Larson for the job [the #14 ride]. Larson is available in 2017, but the particulars of his current contract didn't fall into place with the timetable Stewart needed to execute his plan. Then Clint Bowyer became available and Stewart had his man. Bowyer will spend 2016 making laps with another team as he waits for Stewart to complete his retirement tour.(Associated Press)(9-29-2015)