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NASCAR Industry Reacts to SHR Shutting Down

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What’s Happening?

Tuesday was a somber day for many across the NASCAR industry, as Stewart-Haas Racing announced it would shut down after the 2024 season. Many, both involved in the organization itself and those in the industry, gave their thoughts on the news, with many thanks and well wishes all around.

  • Stewart-Haas Racing was founded as Haas CNC Racing in 2002. Tony Stewart bought into the team in 2009 to rebrand the team as Stewart-Haas Racing. Since then, they have won 69 races and two Cup Series Championships.
  • Unfortunately, the team has fallen on hard times, and both Stewart and Haas have become heavily involved in other business ventures outside of SHR. On Tuesday, the two announced that the team would shut down after 2024, much to the dismay of virtually everyone involved in the sport.
  • Fans were saddened when SHR announced it was shutting down. While this had been expected for a long time, fans are still saddened by the move.

SHR Employees and Drivers

The employees at Stewart-Haas Racing, including drivers, crew chiefs, and everyone in between, are the most directly affected by this shutdown. Here is what some of them had to say.

Chase Briscoe thanked all of the SHR employees for their work during his tenure. Regarding the news, he said, “I never thought this day would come.”

Josh Berry responded by turning the focus to the rest of the season. He and his team are committed to doing their best for the rest of the year, even with the uncertainty of 2024 looming.

Rodney Childers sent out a couple of cryptic tweets before the official announcement that, looking back, now seem to indicate he knew it was coming. First, he responded to Marcus Lemonis’ question about what he would focus on this week.

He also commented on the effort of his pit crew at Charlotte, calling them “Good people with huge hearts.”

Childers echoed a sentiment similar to Berry’s when the announcement became official. They will fight on and continue to race as hard as they can throughout the end of the season.

Riley Herbst was complimentary of what SHR had done for him as a person and a race car driver. Herbst has driven for them in the Xfinity Series since 2021.

Defending Xfinity Series Champion, Cole Custer called the news “Heart breaking”. However, he also committed to fighting for the rest of the season.

Jess Smith, the VP of Brand and Digital Strategy at SHR, is grateful for her time there. She complimented the people she worked for and what her team could do.

Another member of the SHR social team, Hannah Gentlesk, spoke very highly of her time at SHR. However, she was incredibly sad to see the team shut down.

Jennifer, another SHR employee, calls SHR “Home.” She hopes everyone at SHR, including herself, will find a new opportunity elsewhere.

Those Outside of SHR

Jeff Gluck offered an important perspective on the topic. He highlighted that the closure of SHR means that 300+ people will be out of work looking for new jobs, which makes for an incredibly difficult day for all involved.

Denny Hamlin also gave his thoughts on the closing. He said that everyone in the sport should thank SHR for what they have done and for all of the things they contributed to the sport.

SMI President and CEO Marcus Smith and Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis both echoed Hamlin’s sentiment.

Kaulig Racing Team President Chris Rice also chimed in. He agreed with Hamlin and said that SHR “Made the sport better”.

Kevin Harvick, who won the 2014 Cup Series Championship with SHR, shared his thoughts on the “Happy Hour” podcast. He said, “It’s unbelievable that we went from 4ever to 4ward to for sale in 6 months”.

Regarding how it impacts the employees at SHR, Kevin Harvick said, “It’s going to be a war for the people.” There will undoubtedly be a lot of behind-the-scenes movement at multiple race teams this off-season as SHR employees find new opportunities.

It was a sad day for everyone in the industry to see not only an organization shut down but also co-workers, friends, and maybe even family affected by this. The only thing to do for SHR is to finish the season as strongly as possible.

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