Momentous schedule changes have forced racing out of Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May. In fact, the historic facility will sit mostly vacant until July 4 when the BC39 USAC dirt contest, Indianapolis Grand Prix, NASCAR Xfinity race, and NASCAR Cup Brickyard 400 run one after another. The action-packed weekend is set to be one of the year’s busiest, and one driver could potentially take on each race in a historic quadruple-header at IMS: Tony Stewart.
Stewart hasn’t raced in NASCAR since 2016, and he hasn’t turned a wheel in IndyCar since 2001, though he’s relatively fresh on dirt. He’s time and again expressed his interest in driving a modern Indy car and, according to a quote from IMS President Doug Boles, “Smoke” could get his wish if he’s given the right opportunity.
“I just sent a text a little while ago to a certain racecar driver in Columbus, Indiana (Stewart’s hometown), that if there’s one driver on the face of the earth that could compete in all four of the races that will happen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in one week, (he’s it),” Boles said on a conference call Thursday. “I got a text back from him with a ‘thumbs up.’ He said, ‘You get me the good rides, maybe I’ll consider it.’”
It wouldn’t be the first time Stewart took on an impressive endurance challenge at IMS. He contested the “Memorial Day Double” some 19 years ago, in which he raced the Indianapolis 500 during the day and flew to Charlotte that night to drive in NASCAR’s annual 600-miler. This, though, would be the greatest test of diversity as he’d compete on the facility’s 2.5-mile paved oval, 2.4-mile road course, and quarter-mile dirt track all in the same weekend.
At present, Stewart has plans to run the NASCAR Xfinity race on the IMS road course. Given the fact he owns a Cup team and could presumably field another car, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him at the Brickyard 400. It likely wouldn’t be a problem finding a midget for him to run in the BC39, so the only piece of the puzzle left would be finding an IndyCar ride.
IMS and IndyCar owner Roger Penske has been known to talk with Stewart in the past and as recently as 2018, he allegedly offered him a ride at the Indy 500. Whether or not that would be the case here is unclear, but never say never to someone with as much experience and drive as the three-time NASCAR Cup champion.
Got a tip? Send us a note: [email protected]
h/t: Indy Star