It was at the unveiling for the Ford Mustang NASCAR stock car out of all places where Tony Stewart expressed his desire to run another Indy 500 and have a chance at winning the biggest and oldest automotive race in the world.
As we all know Tony Stewart is a pure as they get racer and wants to win in everything he climbs into and an IndyCar at Indianapolis is no different.
"If I go, I'm not going to just run it, I don't want to be a sideshow like Danica (Patrick) was at Indy this year. If I go, I want to go feeling like I've got the same oppurtunity to win that everyone else in the field does."
Stewart said that he would like to run one or two races before Indianapolis to really get the feeling of an IndyCar for the first time in almost twenty years. But we will just have to see how the 2019 IndyCar schedule builds out as the only race on an oval before Indianapolis in Phoenix, Arizona was dropped for 2019. It is rumored that Richmond Raceway has been the favorite to replace Phoenix, a place where stewart has had plenty of stock car experience. When Stewart ran the IRL (Indy Racing League) from 1996 to 1998 the schedule consisted of all ovals and no road or street courses.
"It's an insult to the guys who do it every week to show up and think your going to be as good as those guys are. They're on their game. They know their cars. They know how they need their cars to feel in practice to be good in the race. It's foolish to think you can just show up and be competitive and have a shot to win."
So Tony is not going to take a shot at Indy unless he can get a competitive team to do it in. So who would he drive for?
Well it just so happens that Mr Indy 500 himself, The Captain Roger Penske who has won the Indiapolis 500 seventeen times including this year with Will Power, said that fielding Stewart in one of his cars at Indy would be "one of the biggest dreams of my life."
Penske said "one of the biggest dreams of my life would be to get Tony Stewart in one of our Indy 500 cars. Obviously we've got obligations now. We've got four cars running next year and to run a fifth would be pretty tough, but who knows over the next couple of years what happens. Just the fact he said he'd like to get in one was a real honor for me."
Penske had offered to run Tony at Indy in 2013 but Stewart declined the offer stating there was not enough time to prepare properly. But Penske really would look forward to having Stewart in one of his cars.
"I'd love to have him in a car but he knows better than I do that timing is everything. To me, if there was a time that we could fit it in and work for him and work for us, he'd be the first guy I'd call."
Stewart's best finish at Indy was 5th in 1997 driving for Team Menard. But he would like to better that with a win someday.