Tony Stewart has been linked with a move to Haas CNC Racing next year, despite having a valid contract for 2009 with Joe Gibbs Racing.
According to a number of reports, Stewart's position at JGR is in doubt for next year as he is said to be working on a deal to become a driver and team owner for struggling Sprint Cup Series squad Haas CNC Racing.
The double champion is said to be interested in following in the footsteps of other Cup drivers who have recently set up their own teams in the top two series of NASCAR, although most of them have not enjoyed great success so far.
Haas CNC Racing currently run engines supplied by Hendrick Motorsports, something that would add to Stewart's interest in the move. A report in Sports Illustrated even claimed that Rick Hendrick himself would be involved in making the deal happen.
However JGR's vice-president JD Gibbs is adamant that Stewart's position with the team for next year is not currently being reviewed and that they are focused on winning races and championships through to the end of 2009.
"There has been much speculation regarding the future of our driver, Tony Stewart," Gibbs said in a statement. "Tony is currently here through 2009, and from a Joe Gibbs Racing standpoint, we hope he drives for us longer than that and retires here.
"Tony is a great partner and a huge asset to Joe Gibbs Racing. Right now we are focused on winning races and winning the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships under his current contract."
Stewart has yet to win a Cup race this year, although he won the first two Nationwide Series races of the season for Gibbs.
After being a strong contender in the Daytona 500 he is expected to challenge for victory again in the second restrictor-plate race of the year at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend.
He currently ranks as joint sixth in the drivers' standings with Denny Hamlin, while his other teammate, JGR newcomer Kyle Busch is second in the points, having led the series for a number of races earlier this season.
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