By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, Stewart-Haas Racing, will make the switch from Chevrolet to Ford in 2017, according to an announcement from the race team. SHR fields four cars in the Sprint Cup Series — the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick, the No. 10 of Danica Patrick, the No. 41 of Kurt Busch and the No. 14 of Tony Stewart that is being driven by Brian Vickers and Ty Dillon while Stewart is sidelined by a back injury. Clint Bowyer will take over driving duties of the No. 14 upon Stewart’s retirement from driving after the 2016 season.
“I am proud of our association with Chevrolet, as they helped build our organization into the team it is today,” Stewart said. “This new partnership with Ford allows us to strengthen our position in the sport and ensure the long-term stability and success for everyone who is a part of Stewart-Haas Racing.”
The announcement from SHR does not mention an alliance with any of the other Ford teams. As a Chevrolet team, Stewart-Haas has had an alliance with the four-car team, Hendrick Motorsports.
The deal between Stewart-Haas and Ford is a multi-year agreement that includes the use of Roush Yates engines. The team will be joining a Ford camp that includes Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Richard Petty Motorsports, Wood Brothers Racing and Front Row Motorsports.
“Motorsports is an extremely challenging environment where, in order to maintain success, you have to constantly innovate. It’s true in NASCAR and it’s true in business,” SHR co-owner Gene Haas. “We’ve enjoyed great success with Chevrolet, but this opportunity with Ford allows us to evolve while continuing to compete at the highest levels of the sport.”
Stewart-Haas Racing, in its current form, began in 2009 as a two-car team with Stewart and Ryan Newman as drivers. In the time since, the organization has claimed two Sprint Cup championships, in 2011 with Stewart and 2014 with Harvick.
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