The organization will field a full-time, single-car team in the XFINITY Series with a driver and sponsor lineup to be announced prior to the conclusion of the 2016 season. The XFINITY Series team will be run from SHR’s headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
“In order to maintain the competitiveness that has earned SHR two championships since our debut in 2009, we needed an outlet to develop drivers and team personnel for the Sprint Cup Series,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. “People make the difference between winning and losing. An XFINITY Series team gives us added depth that will allow us to promote from within whenever necessary.”
SHR won its first Sprint Cup championship in 2011 with Tony Stewart and earned its second title in 2014 with Kevin Harvick. Since its inception in 2009, SHR has won 33 point-paying races, two non-point races and 28 poles.
“An XFINITY Series team has always been something we would consider when the time was right, and that time is now,” said Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. “Staying successful in this sport means staying ahead of the curve, and having an XFINITY Series team provides an in-house driver development program and a new channel for personnel to make a positive impact with our race team.”
“This is a natural progression of SHR’s growth and one that allows us to be more self-sufficient,” Haas said. “If you look at all the teams that are successful in Sprint Cup, they have a direct connection to the XFINITY Series where drivers, engineers, mechanics and pit crew members are developed. We’re an established team with a strong infrastructure that is ready for this endeavor.”
About Stewart-Haas Racing:
Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The team fields four entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart, the No. 10 Chevrolet for Danica Patrick, the No. 4 Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick and the No. 41 Chevrolet for Kurt Busch. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 200,000-square-foot facility with approximately 280 employees.
For those race fans that have been living under a rock this season, SHR will be leaving their technical alliance with Chevy and Hendrick Motorsports transitioning to Ford for 2017. Additionally, SHR has a developmental driver, Cole Custer, who has been driving a Camping World Truck entry from JR Motorsports, which is a Chevy Silverado. Having SHR transitioning to Ford in 2017 leaves Custer in a vulnerable position for 2017.
It is WOMR’s opinion that you may be seeing Cole Custer in the cockpit of the new Stewart-Haas Racing NXS entry in 2017. I will go one step further to say that the SHR XFINITY team will be primarily sponsored by Haas CNC and be numbered 00!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!