Tony Stewart will announce he’s retiring following the 2016 season at a news conference Wednesday, The Associated Press has learned.
Stewart’s public relations representatives on Sunday declined an opportunity to comment.
Utter also noted Clint Bowyer is expected to take over Stewart’s driver’s seat for the No. 14 Chevrolet at Stewart-Haas Racing starting in 2017.
Tony Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and considered one of the all-time great drivers across all disciplines, will retire at the conclusion of the 2016 season, according to multiple reports.
Stewart, 44, has struggled badly the past two seasons, in large part because of wrecks in sprint cars, where he first gained fame.
The 44-year-old missed the end of that season after breaking his leg in a sprintcar crash, before also missing races past year following his involvement in a speedway accident that killed Kevin Ward Jr.
“Our focus is on finishing 2015 strong and getting as many of our drivers into the Chase as possible”, he said in August when asked about the possibility of Bowyer replacing Stewart.
In his racing career, Stewart has won numerous most prestigious races in motorsports. Stewart, 25th in points, missed the playoff this year along with teammate Danica Patrick. A grand jury cleared Stewart of any wrongdoing.
The three-time NASCAR champion will call it a career after next season.
Stewart is finishing the worst season of his decorated career, lacking a single top five finish with eight races to go in 2015. He left JGR after the 2008 season and has been driver and part-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing ever since.
But the last two seasons have been filled with heartache and hardship on and off the track for Stewart.