Stewart to retire from Cup after '16, Bowyer named replacement

It's official: Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will retire from driving the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet following the 2016 season. 

Stewart will be replaced behind the wheel by Clint Bowyer, though he will remain co-owner of the four-car SHR squad.

Stewart, 44, made the announcement Wednesday at SHR's shops in Kannapolis, North Carolina, during a press conference with his partner, team co-owner Gene Haas.

Kevin Harvick posted to Instagram, "As the world learns about Tony retiring today I have to admit I've known about this for a while and really struggled to put my arms around what I think about it. I've seen Tony as my driver, my boss, and my friend but in the end I want to see him smile and be happy in his life. Tony has done a great deal for not only my family, but the sport that we all love! Proud to call you my friend!

Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer made the following statement:

"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.”

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