(CHARLOTTE, NC) - Two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart reportedly has been granted his release from Joe Gibbs Racing.
The Columbus, Indiana native will finish the year out with Gibbs before joining Haas/CNC racing next season.
ESPN reported late Tuesday night that Stewart will become a co-owner with the team to be renamed Stewart - Haas racing for the 2009 season. The deal reportedly will make Stewart the highest-paid driver in NASCAR.
Stewart had one year remaining on his contract with Gibbs Racing, where he had been since joining the NASCAR circuit in 1999. Stewart is expected to announce his departure from Gibbs Racing today with the announcement of the partnership with Haas/CNC racing expected Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway.
ESPN reports that Stewart will own a 50% stake in the organization and that Office Depot will have a role in sponsoring the car.
Haas/CNC currently fields the #66 and #70 Chevrolets currently driven by Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter. The team is supplied engines and chassis by Hendrick Motorsports and that relationship is expected to continue.
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