Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart announced that 2016 will be his last season as a driver.
“Next year will be my last year in the Sprint Cup Series,” Stewart said during a press conference at Stewart-Haas Racing. “It was a choice that was 100-percent mine. There wasn’t any pressure from anybody. If anything, it was the opposite. I had more people trying to talk me out of it than anything.”
While Stewart won’t be racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after next season, he said he plans to continue racing whenever his schedule allows.
“I’m still going to race. I’m not retiring from racing, just from the Cup Series,” Stewart said.
He said that could include racing a tour-type modified, racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or something else entirely. He said he hasn’t made any decisions or plans that far in advance.
Stewart raced Indy cars full time in 1997 and 1998 before making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in 1999. He captured the first of this three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships in 2002. He also won championships in 2005 and 2011. During that time, Stewart also raced sprint cars, midgets, and stock cars throughout the country.
“I’ve been very fortunate to do what I’ve loved to do for 37 years up to this point. Next year will be 38. There is not a barrier on it at the end of next year, just a little change,” Stewart said.
Read National Speed Sport News’ coverage of Tony Stewart’s retirement announcement for more details on the three-time champ’s past accomplishments and future plans.