Stewart-Haas Join Forces

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JOLIET, Ill. - Tony Stewart officially announced his plans to be an owner-driver with the former Haas-CNC Racing team in 2009 with the new entity known as Stewart-Haas Racing.

Stewart and Joe Custer, Haas-CNC's general manager, made the announcement Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway.

"Obviously this is a huge day for me; this is a huge turning point in my career," Stewart said.

"This was a long process. This was not something that was easy, by any means, and we did weigh our options … The opportunity to have ownership in our race team was something that was, in my opinion, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Stewart now owns fifty percent of the organization and plans to field a two-car team in 2009.

Details regarding teammates and sponsor have not been finalized, although Richard Childress Racing released the following statement regarding rumors of the Jack Daniels backing moving from RCR to Stewart's new team.

“Jack Daniel’s and Richard Childress Racing have a contract through the 2009 season. Any reports in the media to the contrary are simply not accurate.”

Stewart-Haas Racing will continue to be headquartered in Concord, North Carolina in the 140,000 square foot shop the current team is housed.

The move also brings Stewart back into the Chevrolet fold in NASCAR. Stewart has been driving Toyotas since JGR changed manufacturers at the start of the 2007 season.

Stewart will finish the final 18 races of this season in the Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Toyota after JGR officially granted the two-time champion's release from his contract earlier this week.

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