What they’re saying about Tony Stewart’s retirement

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Tony Stewart’s announcement that he will retire from Sprint Cup racing following the 2016 season drew a number of statements from both the motorsport world as well as from social media.

Here’s some of the more noteworthy comments:

NASCAR chairman/CEO Brian France: “When I think of Tony Stewart, unmatched passion and a pure love of the sport come to mind. He has won championships and millions of fans. But he has given back so much more, and that’s what I admire most. Today’s news was bittersweet for all, but we know Tony will continue to be a big part of our sport in his roles as a team and track owner. On behalf of the entire NASCAR family, I thank Tony for his many years of excellence and competitiveness, and wish him nothing but the best in his final season as a driver in the Sprint Cup Series.”

Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis: “As a promoter, fellow Hoosier, and race fan, I love and respect Tony Stewart. He is an elite racer, a feisty, authentic, fun, independent person, and one of the most generous people I’ve ever known. His NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship run in 2011, and the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in particular, will forever be one of the most amazing individual drives I have ever seen and a memory I will keep forever. Motorsports will not have one of its greatest drivers ever competing after 2016, but, thankfully, we will still have Tony – his huge personality and his genuine love of racing around.”

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage: “I’m not surprised that Tony will retire from NASCAR Sprint Cup competition after the 2016 season because it is something he’s talked about doing in our conversations over the last six or eight years. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing will miss him behind the wheel. I think he always viewed Cup racing as a job that helped him fulfill his passion for racing on dirt tracks, running world-famous Eldora Speedway or owning the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series. I don’t know anybody that loves racing more. He’s a sure-fire, first ballot shoo-in for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”

Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports Jim Campbell: “Tony Stewart has been a key member of our racing family for nearly 20 years. The majority of his race wins and championships—regardless of series—have been with our brands. Not only is he a championship-winning driver and team owner, he is an entrepreneur and gives back to numerous charities. Through his Tony Stewart Foundation, he pours his heart into causes that support children, animals and others in need of assistance. We value our long-standing partnership with Tony and look forward to joining his fans in celebrating his final season as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.”

Many others, including several NASCAR drivers, race tracks and of course fans, took to Twitter to express their thoughts (we’ll add more posts as they become available throughout the day):

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