Two seasons after winning its second championship as a team, Stewart-Haas Racing will make drastic changes in the garage for the 2017 season. After a 13-year relationship with Chevrolet, the four-car team will switch to Ford.
According to a release from the team, SHR will partner with Roush Yates Engines to build cars beginning in 2017.
“I am proud of our association with Chevrolet as they helped build our organization into the team it is today,” Tony Stewart, the team’s co-owner 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.”
NEWS from SHR
— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) February 24, 2016
This is a massive move for the Ford garage. With Roush Fenway Racing not putting any drivers in the Chase last season and only the two-car team of Team Penske truly competing for a title, SHR adds to the stable of championship drivers.
Meanwhile, this is yet another debilitating move for Chevrolet. Furniture Row Racing has already made the move over to Toyota this season, but SHR is a much larger loss due to the volume of cars. In total, five cars and four championship drivers will be absent from the Chevy garage.
“From the very beginning of Stewart-Haas Racing we have fostered an environment of competitiveness, performance, teamwork and family,” said Brett Frood, team president. “This future partnership enables us to continue delivering across these silos and exceed our commitments to our fans, partners and employees.”
— Chicken Bone Alley (@CBoneAlley) February 24, 2016
SHR has already released huge news this week with Ty Dillon and Brian Vickers splitting time in the No. 14 car over the next four races. Next season will already see huge change with Stewart stepping down as Clint Bowyer moves from HScott Motorsports to Stewart-Haas.
Gaining the four-car team signals a change in the guard for Ford, with only Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing remaining as championship contenders. Coming off a weekend where only four Ford cars finished in the top 10 in the Daytona 500, expect a noticeable swing in seasons to come.