Gene Haas is worth hundreds of millions of dollars as the owner of Haas Automation, a company that makes CNC machines, and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. Busch will join Stewart-Haas in 2014 with sponsorship from Haas Automation in a deal initially brokered by Haas without input from business partner and team co-owner Tony Stewart.
“(Stewart) has a lot of power,” Haas said Tuesday when announcing the deal. “I have to admit, I have some power, too. … He was taken aback a little bit by it.
“But I think he saw it wasn't a bad idea. In retrospect it looks like it's going to be a great idea. If we don't win any races next year, hey, I'm going to look like an idiot. I take gambles, I made a decision, and I think I'm going to be proven right. I think we're going to win a lot more races than anybody ever thought possible.”
The 2004 Cup champion signed the multiyear deal Monday, and Haas admitted that Stewart wasn’t excited about when first told because the team will have to build infrastructure to handle a fourth team.
The organization had announced in July that Ryan Newman would not return next season because the company wasn’t ready to expand while also hiring Kevin Harvick from Richard Childress Racing.
Haas said he first began talking to Busch about four weeks ago at a General Motors dinner. Then Stewart broke his leg Aug. 5 in a sprint-car accident and Haas continued to move on the deal while Stewart was pretty much unreachable.
“Tony broke his leg,” Haas said. “I didn't have really a chance to talk to Tony about it at all since he wasn't really talking to anybody. So I kind of did this on my own, probably overstepped my authority a tick there. I'm not used to having too many authorities to work with.
“I've been pretty much on my own. I did realize that Tony might be a little bit upset about it. He was a little upset.” Sporting News
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