Reports: Tony Stewart to retire after 2016

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Three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will reportedly retire after the 2016 season.

Motorsport.com first reported the news that Stewart, 44, is set to vacate the No. 14 car and Clint Bowyer will take over in 2017. Stewart's retirement would come a year after another icon's departure. Jeff Gordon is retiring from driving full-time after the 2015 season.

Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday afternoon with Stewart and team co-owner Gene Haas.

Stewart, who won the 2002, 2005 and 2011 Sprint Cup titles, has struggled over the past two seasons. In 2013, he missed the last third of the Sprint Cup Series season after suffering a broken leg in a sprint car accident. In 2014, he missed three races after he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint car accident in upstate New York. Stewart was not charged with a crime. Ward's family filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Stewart this August.

Stewart is currently 25th in the Sprint Cup standings. He finished 11th at New Hampshire on Sunday.

He came to the Cup Series in 1999 with Joe Gibbs Racing. He won two championships with the team and left after the 2008 season. He was given a 50 percent stake in Stewart-Haas Racing and became the first owner-driver in NASCAR since Alan Kulwicki to win the Cup Series title when he won in 2011. He beat Carl Edwards that season via tiebreaker. Stewart won the final race to tie Edwards on points and won the championship because he had more wins.

Stewart has 48 career Sprint Cup series victories and is also the 1997 IndyCar Series champion. He's also the owner of Eldora Speedway, a dirt track in Ohio where the Camping World Truck Series now hosts an annual race.

Bowyer has long been rumored to take over the No. 14 if Stewart decided to vacate it. He's leaving Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the year as the team shuts down. According to Motorsport, Bowyer is expected to drive for HScott Motorsports in 2016. The team has an equipment affiliation with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Bowyer is currently 16th in the Cup standings after he was penalized 25 points for an inspection violation at Chicago. Stewart-Haas Racing fields cars for Stewart, 2014 champion Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!