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Gibbs switches to Toyota in '08


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That's right. Tony Stewart is about to start wheeling a rice burner around the track. Say bye to the Chase Tony. You won't see it again for another couple years at the EARLIEST!

Gibbs expected to announce deal with Toyota at new conference - August 30, 2007

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Joe Gibbs Racing has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday and several published reports say the team will announce it has signed a deal to field Toyotas in the Nextel Cup series.

The reports, citing unidentified sources, said JGR will end its 16-year relationship with General Motors and give Toyota its first big name team in Cup.

Team officials refused comment on the report Thursday but did confirm the news conference and that drivers Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin are expected to be at the announcement.

``That is not something we can talk about,'' Les Unger, Toyota's motorsports manager, said Thursday. ``Anything on this subject at this point needs to come from the team.''

The Gibbs team has worked with GM since 1992, competing first with Pontiacs and then with Chevrolets. Stewart has won two Cup titles during that period, while former team driver Bobby Labonte also won a title for Gibbs.

A GM spokesman said the company would have no comment other than to say that it never discloses details of ongoing negotiations with its teams.

Gibbs will field three Cup cars next year, including one for Kyle Busch, who is leaving Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 2007 season. Busch recently agreed to a three-year contract with Gibbs.

Stewart is signed through 2009, but JGR president J.D. Gibbs said the team is hoping to sign him to an extension. Hamlin is under contract with the team through 2010 and is also working on an extension.

Toyota, which has competed and had some success in the Craftsman Truck Series for several years, moved into both the Cup and Busch series' this season. But the company failed to sign with any of the existing top teams and its entries have struggled just to qualify for the races and have come up with only a handful of top-10 finishes.

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Smoke just lost some money. I would assume his endorsement deal with GM is now kaput.

I'm sure Toyota is just salivating at the prospect of having Tony Stewart star in a great number of their own commercials, which will pay every bit as good, if not better than Chevy's did.

Smoke :blowup2: (I always thought this was a fitting smiley for him) ain't losin' a dime in the long run here IMHO. In fact I'm willing to bet his bank account will swell after it's all said and done!

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