Nascar champion Tony Stewart announces retirement

Oct 05, 2015 Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart recently ended months of speculation over his career.  The 44 year old American announced his retirement from full-time competition after the 2016 season.

Ranked as one of the most popular and highest-paid drivers in NASCAR, Stewart clinched the coveted series title in 2002, 2005 and 2011 and has racked up 48 wins during his stellar career.

Speaking at a news conference, Stewart said:

“You know, I think it’s a scenario where everybody in their career at some point makes the decision that it’s time for a change and it’s nothing that you plan. I think it’s just‑‑ I think it happens. I think deep down you know when it’s time to do something to make a change like this.”

Nicknamed ‘Smoke’, Stewart has held the dual title of driver/owner at Stewart-Haas Racing, which he co-owns with Gene Haas since 2009. On retirement, Stewart will join Haas as a fulltime owner in 2017.  Stewart has also hand-picked Clint Bowyer as his successor to drive the No. 14 car.

“It’s always been fun. There’s been more challenges in the last couple years that have distracted from that a little bit, but it’s still fun. If it wasn’t fun, I would just walk away from it. I mean, I made my father a promise when we first started racing when I was eight years old, and he made me promise him that the day that I didn’t have fun doing it that I wouldn’t do it anymore, and I’ve never forgot that. I’m still enjoying what I’m doing.You know, it’s kind of a bittersweet day. I’m excited about it, but at the same time I’m sad about it, as well. I love what I do with NASCAR and I love what I do as a driver.”

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