Tony Stewart to retire after 2016 season

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[FILE] Tony Stewart drives the #14 Office Depot car during Sprint Cup Series practice at Talladega Superspeedway May 4th, 2014.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Tony Stewart will announce he’s retiring following the 2016 season at a news conference Wednesday, The Associated Press has learned.

Stewart-Haas Racing said Sunday night that Stewart and team co-owner Gene Haas will hold a news conference at the team shop this week. The topic was not disclosed, but a person familiar with Stewart’s plans told AP the three-time NASCAR champion will announce his planned retirement.

The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because Stewart hasn’t publicly disclosed his plans.

Stewart did not return a request for comment from AP.

His planned departure, first reported Sunday by Motorsport.com, is not a surprise. Stewart will be 45 next season, has not won a race in over two years and has been privately working on finding a successor.

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