ESPN is reporting that Tony Stewart is looking at potential sponsorships in anticipation of a partnership with Haas CNC.
While Stewart has one year left on his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, and hasn’t asked to be released yet, sources familiar with the matter think the move is coming.
The unnamed source said:
[Tony's] talking to every major sponsor that is available out there for this Haas deal. I don’t know if it’s done, but it sounds like it’s very close.
Ryan Newman is rumored to be a potential driver for the second Haas CNC car. Office Depot and Old Spice are considered to be the front runners as potential sponsors.
Office Depot will leave Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 99 Ford at the end of the season. Aflac will take over sponsorship of the No. 99 next season.
Joe Custer, who has been running Haas CNC while owner Gene Haas is in prison for tax evasion, didn’t comment on the situation.
Nothing can happen until [JGR] let[s Stewart] out of his contract. They hold all the cards. Go figure out what they are going to do. When he becomes available we want to talk to him.
Custer did, however, mention that the team wouldn’t be too thrilled with having Stewart as a partner if he were still driving for JGR.
It would be extremely helpful to have Tony Stewart or a franchise type player. Those folks have an enormous impact on a team. Would it help us? Yes. It would help us significantly.
SceneDaily features a commentary on Tony Stewart needing to make his decision, as he is holding up a lot of other moves in the Sprint Cup series.