Stewart-Haas Racing switching to Ford next season

Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:00pm EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - In a move that startled the NASCAR world and signaled a shift in the balance of power among manufacturers in the sport, Stewart-Haas Racing announced on Wednesday a switch from Chevrolet to Ford starting in 2017.

Stewart-Haas has been a Chevrolet team since three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart first partnered with Gene Haas to form Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009.

Since Stewart joined forces with Haas, SHR has purchased its engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports. Stewart won his third Sprint Cup title in a Chevrolet in 2011, and Kevin Harvick followed with a second title for Stewart-Haas in 2014.

But the relationship with Hendrick will end with the 2016 season and SHR will get its power plants from Roush Yates engines, which supplies other Ford teams in the Sprint Cup garage including Team Penske, Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports.

Stewart told reporters during a teleconference on Wednesday that Stewart-Haas will build its own chassis as part of the transition to Ford.

Stewart acknowledged he had mixed emotions.

"Obviously, for 20 years I've been under the GM (General Motors) banner," said Stewart, who left Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR)for Stewart-Haas one year after JGR switched from Chevrolet to Toyota.

"I was very honest when I spoke to our employees this morning. I never would have dreamed that we were going to be having this conversation today."

Stewart said it was strictly a business decision.   Continued...