Tony Stewart spoke with NASCAR on NBC’s crew during the never-ending rainstorm at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. Naturally, the topic of the Indianapolis 500 came up and Stewart had some interesting things to say about the world’s most famous race.
Unfortunately for race fans the biggest bit of news is we won’t see Stewart at the 2019 Indy 500. The native Hoosier cited his desire to be competitive and not half-ass his return. Stewart also praised the caliber of IndyCar drivers and teams. “You’re not going to just stroll in here like the 70’s and 80’s and you know do a good job,” Stewart told Rutledge Wood. Tell that to Fernando Alonso, Smoke.
The Good News
We may see Tony Stewart in an IndyCar in 2019. Stewart has professed his desire to run an oval as a tune-up for an Indy 500 run and he mentioned that could happen in 2019.
“So I would want to run an oval race this coming year  to get ready for 2020 you know if I’m going to do it.”
He says he's not looking at doing it in 2019, but 2020 remains a possibility. pic.twitter.com/q5eJ3MQtVk
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 9, 2018
Who Could He Drive For?
During his interview with NBC on Sunday Stewart mentioned that Marco Andretti wants him to make a run at the 500 in an Andretti car. Stewart should desperately want to run for Andretti as well. The team has won 3 of the last 5 Indianapolis 500 mile races.
Stewart also mentioned that Bobby Rahal emailed him about potentially running for Rahal Letterman Lanigan. Stewart turned to the camera and told Bobby he just saw the email, he doesn’t do email so he’ll have to get back to him.
In the past, Roger Penske has given Stewart an open invite to pilot one of his cars in the 500. It would certainly give Stewart a legit shot to win but Penske waivered on running him in 2019 and likely will in 2020 as well because that’s what Penske does when it comes to potential one-offs. Stewart also mentioned he thinks Chip Ganassi would give him another shot as well.
Whatever team Stewart chooses to go with will be a team capable of winning the race. He has no shortage of suitors, now he just needs to commit. At 49 no one would advise you to resurrect your IndyCar career but Tony Stewart has made a career out of not listening to people.
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