IndyCar are keen to attract NASCAR drivers to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and have offered to tweak the start time of the race to allow them to compete in that race and the NASCAR event on the same day.
Roger Penske is keen to have NASCAR driver Tony Stewart – who won the IRL championship in 1997 – compete in the race. Stewart last raced in the Indy 500 in 2001:
I remember watching Tony Stewart race the Indy 500 and then the Coca-Cola 600 (I think it was still called that back then) back when I was first getting into racing. I always respected him for competing in both of those very long and demanding races, and it was a shame when he stopped doing it. Would love to see him have another go at it again after all these years.
Meanwhile, V8 Supercars are racing in Austin on the same date at the Coca-Cola 600 and the first weekend of the Indy 500, and they’re trying to lure American drivers over …
@prisoner-monkeys Another unfortunate timing for an event by Austin then. I don’t want the track operation to be deemed unfavourable financially because of these.
On another note, I’m sad to see one of the top 3 motorsport event in the world – kind of – suffer. I mean it must have to, if it wanted to lure NASCAR drivers to spice up the show. As far as I remember, I saw more empty seats during last year’s Indy 500 than on any of the NASCAR races – although NASCAR also rumoured to be struggling to avoid stagnation in ticket sellings. Still it seems to do better than IndyCar. I guess IndyCar still feels the after-effects of the CART/IRL split in terms of audience activity. Dan Wheldon’s death did not help either, I think – NASCAR was way more serious about safety after the late Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001.
There’s even a petition now:
Another unfortunate timing for an event by Austin then. I don’t want the track operation to be deemed unfavourable financially because of these.
I believe they’re only looking for a handful of drivers for the event, and want drivers from all manner of disciplines, not just NASCAR and Indycar.
So Stewart isn’t interested but Keselowski might be:
“Ford doesn’t have a presence in IndyCar racing, but if they did, I’d be knocking on Roger’s door and he’d be knocking on mine.”
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