HomeNASCAR NewsNASCAR Teams NewsSHR Shutting Down: An Incredible Journey Comes to End

SHR Shutting Down: An Incredible Journey Comes to End

SHR Shutting Down: Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), a strong force in NASCAR since its inception, is set to close its doors at the end of the 2024 season. Co-owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas announced the decision, bringing an end to a remarkable journey that has spanned over two decades and left an indelible mark on the sport. With 69 Cup Series victories and three drivers’ championships, SHR has been synonymous with competitive spirit and innovation. The team’s impact extends beyond the Cup Series, having achieved significant milestones in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. As SHR prepares to wind down its operations, the legacy of its achievements and contributions to NASCAR will be remembered and celebrated.

Stewart-Haas Racing Shutting Down

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), a two-time NASCAR championship team with 69 Cup Series victories since its formation in 2009, will close its organization at the end of this season. Co-owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas announced the decision Tuesday after nearly a year of rumors that their four-car Cup Series team was looking to sell its charters and either scale back or exit the stock car series completely. The news was delivered to the nearly 300 SHR employees late Tuesday afternoon. This year, SHR fields Cup Series cars for Josh Berry, Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson, and Ryan Preece. Berry and Gragson are in their first seasons with the team. SHR holds the 2025 option on Briscoe, who has not been contractually permitted to discuss future employment options even as rumors have swirled that SHR would close.

The team has faced a challenging rebuild since the retirements of Stewart, Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer. SHR’s last Cup Series win was in 2022 with Harvick, a year before his retirement. The team didn’t win a Cup race last season. SHR is also set to lose some of its support from Ford at the end of the season, although Mark Rushbrook, the global director of Ford Performance, told The Associated Press last week that he had no idea what SHR’s plans were beyond this year. The organization lost major sponsorship this season when Smithfield Foods exited NASCAR and Anheuser-Busch moved to Trackhouse Racing.

Stewart and Haas expressed gratitude for their team’s accomplishments over the years.

Stewart remarked, “It’s been an incredible journey, but it’s time for a new chapter.”

Haas added, “We achieved great things together, and I’m proud of our legacy in NASCAR.”

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History of Stewart-Haas Racing

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is a prominent NASCAR team co-owned by legendary driver Tony Stewart and industrial magnate Gene Haas. The organization is headquartered in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and competes in both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. As of the 2024 season, SHR fields cars for drivers Josh Berry, Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson, and Ryan Preece, with Ford serving as the team’s manufacturer.

Gene Haas initially entered the NASCAR scene as an associate sponsor for Hendrick Motorsports, supporting the team for several years. In April 2002, Haas took a significant step by announcing the formation of his own Winston Cup team, set to debut in the 2003 season. This move marked the birth of what would become one of NASCAR’s most formidable racing organizations.

SHR made its official debut in the NASCAR Cup Series at the 2002 Protection One 400 in Kansas. The following year, the team entered the Xfinity Series, competing in the 2003 Mr. Goodcents 300, also in Kansas. Over the years, SHR has expanded its presence in NASCAR, participating in a total of 1,137 races across various series. This includes 771 races in the Cup Series, 353 in the Xfinity Series, nine in the Camping World Truck Series, one in the ARCA Menards Series, and three in the ARCA Menards Series West.

The team’s competitive prowess is evident from its impressive track record. SHR has secured three drivers’ championships: two in the Cup Series (2011, 2014) and one in the Xfinity Series (2023). These championships highlight the team’s ability to excel at the highest levels of NASCAR competition. Additionally, SHR has accumulated a total of 98 race victories, with 69 wins in the Cup Series, 26 in the Xfinity Series, and one in the Camping World Truck Series.

Throughout its history, SHR has been known for its competitive spirit and successful partnerships with drivers and sponsors. Tony Stewart, a three-time Cup Series champion, joined forces with Gene Haas in 2009, bringing a wealth of experience and a winning mentality to the team. This partnership quickly bore fruit, with SHR becoming a consistent contender in NASCAR’s top series.

The team’s roster of drivers has included some of the sport’s biggest names, such as Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick, and Aric Almirola. These drivers have contributed significantly to SHR’s success, delivering numerous race wins and strong championship performances. Harvick, in particular, has been a standout performer, winning the Cup Series championship in 2014 and consistently competing at the front of the field.

SHR’s success is also a testament to its strong relationships with sponsors and manufacturers. The team’s switch to Ford in 2017 marked a new era of performance, with the Ford Mustang becoming a dominant force on the track. Key sponsorship deals with companies like Budweiser, Jimmy John’s, and Smithfield Foods have provided crucial support, allowing SHR to maintain its competitive edge.

Moreover, SHR’s impact extends beyond the track. The team has been a driving force in the sport’s growth and popularity, bringing new fans to NASCAR and contributing to the sport’s dynamic and competitive landscape. Through its commitment to excellence, innovation, and teamwork, Stewart-Haas Racing has left an indelible mark on NASCAR, cementing its legacy as one of the premier racing organizations in the sport’s history.

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Memorable Cup Series Moments

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has had numerous memorable moments in the NASCAR Cup Series, marking its journey with significant achievements and landmark victories. One of the early highlights came during Ward Burton’s tenure. In 2004, Burton secured the team’s first top-10 finish at Rockingham, signaling the beginning of SHR’s competitive presence in NASCAR.

A transformative period for SHR began in 2014 when Kevin Harvick joined the team, bringing his Budweiser and Jimmy John’s sponsorship from Richard Childress Racing. Harvick’s impact was immediate and profound. He won in just his second start with SHR at the spring Phoenix race, demonstrating the team’s potential. His success continued throughout the season, highlighted by victories at Darlington and the fall Phoenix race, where he led 239 of 374 laps, showcasing his dominance. Harvick’s victory at the final race of the season at Homestead was particularly momentous, clinching the second Cup Championship for SHR. This championship win cemented SHR’s status as a powerhouse in NASCAR.

The team’s transition from Chevrolet to Ford in 2017 marked another significant milestone. Despite the change, Harvick continued his winning ways, securing victories at Sonoma and Texas. The 2022 season brought one of Harvick’s most memorable comebacks. He broke a 65-race winless streak with a triumph at Michigan, followed by another victory at Richmond a week later. These wins underscored Harvick’s resilience and SHR’s enduring competitiveness.

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The No. 10 car, initially driven by Danica Patrick, also contributed to SHR’s storied history. Patrick made history in the Daytona 500, becoming the first woman to lead a lap in the prestigious race. She achieved several strong finishes, including an eighth-place finish at the Daytona 500 and solid performances at Martinsville Speedway, where she finished 12th in the spring race and 17th in the fall race. Patrick’s pioneering presence in NASCAR brought significant attention to SHR and the sport as a whole.

Aric Almirola, who took over the No. 10 car, continued to build on its legacy. In 2018, Almirola secured the No. 10 team’s first-ever win at the 1000Bulbs.com 500. His performance that season marked a significant improvement for the team, demonstrating SHR’s ability to develop competitive cars and drivers. Almirola’s win was a testament to the team’s commitment to excellence and resilience.

Chase Briscoe, driving the No. 14 car, added another chapter to SHR’s memorable moments. In 2021, Briscoe won his first Cup Series race at Phoenix, leading 101 out of 312 laps. This victory made him the 200th different driver to win a race in the Cup Series, a significant milestone in NASCAR history. Briscoe’s win highlighted the team’s ability to nurture and develop young talent, ensuring SHR’s competitive future.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s journey in the NASCAR Cup Series is marked by significant milestones, from early top-10 finishes to championship victories and historic firsts. The team’s ability to adapt, evolve, and succeed in the highly competitive environment of NASCAR underscores its legacy as one of the sport’s premier racing organizations. As SHR prepares to close its doors, the memories of these remarkable moments will endure, celebrating the team’s contributions to NASCAR’s rich history.

Truck and Xfinity Series Moments

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has not only made its mark in the NASCAR Cup Series but also achieved significant milestones in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, showcasing its versatility and commitment to nurturing young talent.

Stewart-Haas Racing made its debut in the then-Busch Series in 2003 with the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, driven by Jason Leffler. Leffler quickly made an impact, securing a pole at California and capturing a win at Nashville. This early success highlighted the team’s competitive potential and set the stage for future accomplishments in the series.

SHR took a hiatus from the Xfinity Series but reopened its program in 2017 with Cole Custer driving the car. Custer’s performance at the 2017 Ford EcoBoost 300 was a standout moment, as he led almost every lap and won the race, marking SHR’s second career Xfinity win. This victory was a testament to the team’s ability to bounce back and succeed in the series.

Custer continued to excel in the Xfinity Series, demonstrating consistency and skill. In 2023, he secured wins at Portland and a rain-shortened Chicago street race, showcasing his adaptability and prowess. Custer’s crowning achievement came later that year when he claimed his first Xfinity Series championship, solidifying his status as a top driver and underscoring SHR’s successful driver development efforts.

In 2017, SHR expanded its Xfinity presence by fielding a second car driven by Kevin Harvick. This move brought additional experience and talent to the team. In 2018, SHR partnered with Biagi-DenBeste Racing to field the No. 98 car for Harvick, Aric Almirola, and Chase Briscoe. This partnership further bolstered SHR’s competitiveness in the series.

Chase Briscoe, driving the No. 98 car, delivered remarkable performances, including his second career Xfinity Series win at Iowa Speedway. Briscoe’s success in the Xfinity Series paved the way for his promotion to the Cup Series in 2021, demonstrating SHR’s ability to develop drivers capable of competing at the highest levels of NASCAR.

In the Camping World Truck Series, SHR also made significant strides. In 2014, 16-year-old Cole Custer, son of longtime SHR executive Joe Custer, made history by becoming the youngest pole winner in the series at Gateway Motorsports Park. This achievement highlighted Custer’s raw talent and the team’s ability to identify and nurture promising young drivers.

Custer’s success continued as he secured the pole at New Hampshire and went on to win the race from the pole, becoming the youngest driver to win a Truck Series race. These milestones not only showcased Custer’s potential but also underscored SHR’s effective development program, which has consistently produced competitive drivers across various NASCAR series.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s moments in the Xfinity and Truck Series have significantly contributed to its reputation for fostering young talent and achieving success across multiple racing platforms. From Jason Leffler’s early triumphs to Cole Custer’s record-setting performances and championship win, SHR has demonstrated a consistent ability to excel and innovate.

The team’s strategic partnerships and keen eye for driver development have ensured a steady stream of victories and memorable moments, reinforcing SHR’s status as a premier racing organization. As the team prepares to conclude its operations at the end of the 2024 season, the legacy of its accomplishments in the Xfinity and Truck Series will remain a testament to its impact on the sport and its commitment to excellence.

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News in Brief: SHR Shutting Down

As Stewart-Haas Racing prepares to conclude its journey at the end of the 2024 season, its legacy in NASCAR is secure. From its early successes with drivers like Ward Burton and Jason Leffler to the championship triumphs of Kevin Harvick and Cole Custer, SHR has consistently demonstrated excellence and competitiveness across various racing series. The team’s ability to adapt, innovate, and foster young talent has solidified its status as one of NASCAR’s premier racing organizations. While the news of its closure marks the end of an era, the memories of SHR’s remarkable moments and significant contributions to the sport will continue to inspire and resonate within the NASCAR community for years to come.

ALSO READ: Stewart-Haas Racing to Shut Down After 2024 Season

Saksham Chitransh
Saksham Chitransh
Saksham Chitransh is a Motorsports journalist specializing in NASCAR coverage for Slicksandsticks.com. With a keen focus on NASCAR teams, Saksham has penned insightful articles on prominent entities such as Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Team Penske etc. His in-depth analysis and passion for motorsports bring a unique perspective to the world of racing journalism.


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