Gibbs looks to extend Stewart contract, denies deal to leave GM
SONOMA, Calif. -- J.D. Gibbs would like to sign Tony Stewart to an extension that will keep the two-time Nextel Cup champion at Joe Gibbs Racing at least through 2011.
Stewart's contract at JGR runs through 2009.
But with a talented stable of young talent in the developmental pool and Stewart joking about retirement several times this season, the president of JGR would like to find out just what his marquee driver wants.
"Hey, we want Tony to be here for a long time,'' Gibbs said before Sunday's race at Infineon Raceway. "If he said at the end of '09 I'm done, officially done, hey, we understand that. Let's go get a plan.
"The reality is, I think he wants to go [on]. How long does he want to go? I want all of those guys on the same page.''
Gibbs denied reports that he has a deal to leave General Motors for Toyota.
"I've got to be honest,'' he said. "That's just not true. That's speculation. We're sitting down with the GM guys [in a few weeks]. We've had conversations with them. I don't think any GM team has signed a deal yet. That was kind of frustrating.''
JGR has been with GM for 16 seasons between Pontiac and Chevrolet. While Gibbs plans to discuss a new deal, he never ruled out talking to Toyota.
Gibbs also didn't rule out talking to driver Kyle Busch, who became a free agent when it was announced Dale Earnhardt Jr. would replace him at Hendrick Motorsports next season.
"There'll be a time to go through that process,'' Gibbs said. "Right now we're just focused on our three teams. If the time is right down the road to look at other stuff we'll do that.''
David Newton covers motorsports for ESPN.com