Stewart-Haas Racing will expand into XFINITY Series in 2017

Stewart-Haas Racing will field a single-car NASCAR XFINITY Series team in 2017, the organization announced Monday afternoon.

The XFINITY Series team will be run from SHR’s headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina, the team said.

Earlier this year, the team announced it would switch from Chevrolet to Ford for next year.

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"In order to maintain the competitiveness that has earned SHR two championships since our debut in 2009, we needed an outlet to develop drivers and team personnel for the Sprint Cup Series," said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. "People make the difference between winning and losing. An XFINITY Series team gives us added depth that will allow us to promote from within whenever necessary."

 "An XFINITY Series team has always been something we would consider when the time was right, and that time is now," said Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. "Staying successful in this sport means staying ahead of the curve, and having an XFINITY Series team provides an in-house driver development program and a new channel for personnel to make a positive impact with our race team."