Stewart-Haas Racing will field a NASCAR Xfinity team in 2017, the organization announced Monday.
The driver and sponsor for the team will be announced before the season is over.
“In order to maintain the competitiveness that has earned SHR two championships since our debut in 2009, we needed an outlet to develop drivers and team personnel for the Sprint Cup Series,” Greg Zipadelli, SHR’s vice president of competition, said in a statement. “People make the difference between winning and losing. An Xfinity Series team gives us added depth that will allow us to promote from within whenever necessary.”
The team will operate from SHR’s Kannapolis headquarters.
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“An Xfinity Series team has always been something we would consider when the time was right, and that time is now,” said SHR co-owner Tony Stewart. “Staying successful in this sport means staying ahead of the curve, and having an Xfinity Series team provides an in-house driver development program and a new channel for personnel to make a positive impact with our race team.”
Said co-owner-Gene Haas: “This is a natural progression of SHR’s growth and one that allows us to be more self-sufficient,” Haas said. “If you look at all the teams that are successful in Sprint Cup, they have a direct connection to the Xfinity Series where drivers, engineers, mechanics and pit crew members are developed. We’re an established team with a strong infrastructure that is ready for this endeavor.”