Monday, December 3, 2012

Penske Says He'll Give Stewart Indy 500 Car if He Wants One

Stewart in Indy 500 would boost event
If Tony Stewart wants to run the Indianapolis 500 next season, Roger Penske will give him a car.

Penske twice Friday night offered Stewart the chance to enter next year's race and insisted he's serious about the opportunity.

"Where's Stewart?" Penske asked during his speech accepting the Sprint Cup trophy during NASCAR's season-ending awards ceremony. "How about doing the double at Indy this year? You available?"

The banquet room at Wynn Las Vegas Resort broke out into laughter, but Penske later insisted he was serious.

"If he wants to do the double, I'd put him in it," Penske said. "We've talked about it before. I guess I made it official tonight."

Stewart was not immediately available for comment.

Penske-owned cars have won the Indianapolis 500 15 different times, but not since Helio Castroneves' 2009 victory.

The Indy 500 is Stewart's favorite race, but he has not entered it since 2001.

NASCAR's three-time champion twice attempted to run both the Indy 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day: In 1999, he was ninth at Indy and fourth at Charlotte, and in 2001, he was sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte.

He hasn't tried Indianapolis since, and has seemingly let go of his childhood dream of winning the 500. He has twice won the Brickyard 400, NASCAR's race at storied Indy.

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