The reason you haven't heard that before is because it didn't happen that way: He wanted to be released out of his contract, but Preachers bunch made him stay thru 2009. They did the same thing with Zippy a year later when he wanted gone.Hmm. Didn't know about this.
Anyways, I love Smoke, though. Hated him at JGR, HATED him when he took Carl Edwards title in 2011, but he came around on me.
Outside of the Toyota deal, Tony seems to have a lot of qualities you like in a driver. Pure talent, no bs, says how it is, etc.
If Tony stuck at JGR, or stayed with toyota, I bet he'd be one of, if not your favorite driver who ever ran with Toyota.
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Multiple sources close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity said Stewart told Gibbs officials that he'd like to be released from the final year of his current driving contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2009 season.
What options did he have? Pretty strange to keep a driver who doesn't want to drive for ya.
"He definitely has some options," JGR president J.D. Gibbs said. "To me it's no different than any of the the options he's had before. The reality is he's racing here through 2009. There's no ifs, ands or buts about that one. Our stance is he's racing for us through 2009."
They jerked the rug out from under him when they switched to Toyota. Probably could have had grounds to be released because he had contracts with Chevy.
Such a move would reunite Stewart with Chevrolet, which sources said was of the utmost importance to the driver, given that he's driven for General Motors for most of his career, and that GM sponsors Stewart's open wheel sprint car program.
Sources: Stewart talks to Gibbs about split to have own team By Marty Smith ESPN.com Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has begun discussion with Joe Gibbs Racing officials about his future with the company, ESPN.com has learned. And that future, sources say, is questionable...