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Supercross' James Stewart joins Joe Gibbs Racing, eyes NASCAR

October 25, 2011 | 12:27 pm

Two-time supercross champion James Stewart signed a multiyear contract to ride for Joe Gibbs Racing's Yamaha motorcycle-racing team with plans to eventually try NASCAR stock-car racing.

BubbaStewart, 25, will make his Gibbs debut Jan. 7 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, where the AMA Supercross Series traditionally kicks off its season.

Supercross is the stadium version of off-road motorcycle racing, or motocross. Stewart won his supercross titles in 2007 and 2009. He also won the AMA Motocross championship in 2008.

With 42 supercross wins in his career, Stewart is third on the all-time list behind Jeremy Grath (72) and Ricky Carmichael (48). Carmichael already has taken up racing cars and trucks in NASCAR, and Stewart previously had expressed a desire to one day drive in NASCAR.

"My goal in supercross is to pass Jeremy McGrath's record," Stewart said in a statement Tuesday. "I also had an interest in car racing and we are going to explore my potential in that sport through the NASCAR side of the operation."

Gibbs, of course, is a major team in NASCAR, with drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano driving Toyotas in the premier Sprint Cup Series.

The team led by NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs started its supercross/motocross team, JGRMX, in 2008. It is led by Gibbs' son Coy.

"Landing a talent like James is certainly a huge step up in our program," Joe Gibbs said in a statement.


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Photo: James Stewart after winning the 2009 AMA Supercross Championship. Credit: Garth Milan / Red Bull