Tony Stewart has announced that he will retire following the 2016 season. The three-time NASCAR champion announced his decision Wednesday at the team shop in North Carolina.

"Next year will be my last year in the Sprint Cup Series. It was a choice that was 100 percent mine," Stewart said. "I think deep down, you know when it's time to do something different."

Stewart is one of the most accomplished and popular champions to ever compete in NASCAR. He has won three premier series titles as a driver (2002, 2005, 2011) and two as an owner (2011, 2014) and has accumulated 48 victories

It was announced that Clint Bowyer would replace Stewart at SHR, beginning in 2017.

More From 600 ESPN El Paso