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Tony Stewart: 5 reasons to stay, 5 to go

Five reasons to go

Ownership rocks

Jeff Gordon put up some paychecks to buy an equity stake in what became Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 team at Hendrick Motorsports and it has worked out quite well, thank you. They should change Johnson's car number to 401k.

He earned it

Stewart, a former Indy Racing League and NASCAR Sprint Cup (twice) champion, is one of the best American racers ever. Those guys get paid.

Complete the portfolio

Stewart owns a blossoming sprint car team and stakes in several tracks, including full ownership of Eldora (Ohio) Speedway where his annual charity race has become a pay-for-view event. A NASCAR team fills the toy chest.

Hendrick Motorsports

NASCAR's most successful team supports Haas CNC. That foster child relationship might improve to full-fledged adoption with Stewart in the crib.

Chevrolet

Stewart had a long relationship with the manu­facturer before Joe Gibbs Racing switched to Toyota this season. He has contracts with Chevrolet to support his sprint car teams.

Five reasons to stay

Ownership stinks

Bill Elliott (above), Ricky Rudd, on and on. Michael Waltrip is just starting to make it work after bringing in a billionaire as a partner. It is not a wise option for someone still with good years left behind the wheel. Focus on Sprint Cup title No. 3.

Haas CNC

Seriously? This cannot be the destination. Flotsam, jetsam. How's running 25th for the last three years of a career going to taste?

Joe Gibbs Racing

The team has helped Stewart win two titles and is one of NASCAR's strongest, most respected organizations. It's the flagship of Toyota's burgeoning Cup program.

Fight xenophobia

It would be unfortunate if the son of the heartland was feeling pressure being the marquee driver for a Japanese company.

Instant karma's gonna get you

He leveraged a Chip Ganassi offer in 2003 into what is reported to be NASCAR's richest base contract. At least finish the swollen deal.

Tony Stewart: 5 reasons to stay, 5 to go 04/26/08 [Last modified: Saturday, April 26, 2008 12:25am]
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