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Roger Penske Makes Tony Stewart Indy 500 Ride Offer at NASCAR’s Award’s Banquet

December 1st, 2012 at 2:14 PM
By Mark Eddinger

On Friday night NASCAR held its season ending awards ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort and the champion car owner, Roger Penske, offered Tony Stewart a ride with his race team at the 2013 Indianapolis 500. However, since the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is run on the same day it isn't feasible for a driver to race both events.

'Pictures_019' photo (c) 2005, Carey Akin - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Where's Stewart?" Penske asked from on the stage. "How about doing the double at Indy this year? You available? If he wants to do the double, I'd put him in it. We've talked about it before. I guess I made it official tonight."

Stewart did not make a immediate response but when taking about the subject last January cited the fact that he is committed to NASCAR as the reason why he hasn't attempted to race both events since 2001. He also said that there just isn't enough hours in the day to compete in both races even though it is his childhood dream to win the Indy 500.

Tony Stewart has ran the Indianapolis 500 five times with his best finish being fifth in 1997. He has twice ran the double in the same day. In 1999 he finished ninth at Indy and fourth at Charlotte and in 2001 he was sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte. He has won NASCAR's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice.

In order for the two races to be possible to be raced by the same driver in the same day, IndyCar and NASCAR would have to work together and schedule the races far enough apart like they used to do. The current schedule does not leave enough time to make the start of the Coca-Cola 600.

"You could put something that could be pretty good," Penske said. "But I said earlier that it's hard to get the two series together on anything, and you'd have to make it work so he could get back and forth and make it be meaningful for our team. It wouldn't be worth it for him or for us if it wasn't for a full effort."

Penske has owned cars that have won the Indianapolis 500 15 times, the last came in 2009 with Helio Castroneves.

Tags: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Coca-Cola 600, Helio Castroneves, indianapolis 500, indianapolis motor speedway, indy 500, Motorsports, NASCAR, roger penske, Tony Stewart

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