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Reports: Tony Stewart to retire after 2016 season

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 - Practice

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 26: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 26, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Multiple reports Sunday night state that Tony Stewart will retire after the 2016 season. first reported it and ESPN also reported it. Both reported that Clint Bowyer would replace Stewart in 2017 at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference Wednesday with Stewart and co-owner Gene Haas.

Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup champion, first raced in NASCAR’s premier series in 1999 and is tied for 13th on the all-time wins list with 48 series victories.

He last won in 2013 at Dover.

Stewart, 44, has faced various tribulations the last two years. He missed 15 races in 2013 after he suffered a broken right leg in a sprint car race in Iowa. Stewart missed three races last year after he was involved in a sprint car accident that killed Kevin Ward Jr. A grand jury cleared Stewart of any wrongdoing. Ward’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Stewart.

Stewart made his NASCAR debut in 1996 in what is now the Xfinity Series. He also was the IndyCar Rookie of the Year in 1996 and won the IndyCar title in 1997. Stewart was Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year in 1999. Stewart won Sprint Cup championships in 2002 and 2005 for Joe Gibbs Racing and 2011 for Stewart-Haas Racing.

The Indiana native is a two-time Brickyard 400 winner. Although Stewart has not won a Daytona 500, he has 19 career wins in various series at Daytona International Speedway, ranking second only to Dale Earnhardt, who won 34 races there.

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