ALGER, Wash. – Shane Stewart will not return to CJB Motorsports following the conclusion of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season.
The news was confirmed in a press release sent out Wednesday by the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series previewing upcoming events in Washington.
“We weren’t meshing together,” said Chad Clemens, co-owner of CJB Motorsports. “It’s business. Shane knows the deal. We know the deal. He’s a great guy. Great family. But we’re not meshing as a team. When that happens you have to make changes and that’s pretty much what we chose to do.
“I felt like I gave him plenty of time, you know I didn’t hold it from him for another month or two or whatever and throw it on him. I gave him enough time, out of respect to him, to say, ‘Hey listen, we’re going in a different direction’ and that’s what we chose.”
Stewart joined CJB Motorsports this year after five years with Kyle Larson Racing. Expectations were high for the combination, but the results simply haven’t come for Stewart and CJB Motorsports.
The team currently sits seventh in the World of Outlaws point standings and Stewart has scored one win this year, which came in June at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in Tennessee.
Stewart recently lost crew chief Barry Jackson, who will be working with affiliated KI Crossbow-sponsored driver Kerry Madsen for the rest of the season. Jackson will still be available to help, especially when Madsen is racing with the World of Outlaws, Stewart said, but the it’s up to him and his crew to set up the car and figure out the shock package.
Jackson went off the road to get a head start on the 2020 season, Clemens said. The team felt working with Madsen and his team for the rest of the season would be a good test to try different things for next year. Jackson will be back with the CJB Motorsports No. 5 car next year.
CJB Motorsports has yet to decide on who will replace Stewart next year and Stewart has not landed a deal for 2020 as of yet either. A decision on who may replace Stewart at CJB Motorsports may come in the next 30 to 60 days, according to Clemens. The team is also exploring the possibility of a second car that may run about 60 races next year.
“That’s sort of just talk,” Clemens said about a second car. “Nothing etched in stone.”
For the remainder of the year, Clemens said he would like to see Stewart win races, be in the top-five and gain some confidence for himself.
“Hopefully we can finish the year strong and we can all kind of separate and go our own ways on good conditions, good faith and chalk it up as a good experience that we’ve all learned a lot from,” Stewart said.
“The thing is, sprint car fans, sprint car mechanics, owners, you’re only as good as your last race out here,” Stewart said. “My name hasn’t been mentioned too many times this year. And that’s one thing I’ve got to concentrate on and get good strong finishes. And get my name back up to where it used to be. And where it should be. And where it needs to be. That’s just one thing I’m going to try and focus on real hard and try to accomplish.”