Nov 16, 2012; Homestead, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart (14) during practice for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Stewart would bring to the 500 what Patrick doesnt

I realize how this might sound coming from the guy who just said the Indy 500 is better off without Danica Patrick, but I loved Roger Penske hi-jacking the NASCAR awards ceremony to offer Tony Stewart a ride in the Indy 500.

In one public comment Roger Penske managed to do what few have been able to done, generate positive publicity and prove the Indy 500 still has credibility and holds a place in the sporting world that NASCAR drivers crave. With all the excrement hitting the fan this off season with the firing of Randy BernardPenske masterfully reminded people of just how awesome the Indy 500 is.

In case you didn’t hear Penske looked at Stewart and made the comment “I know we took your spot this year, but you’re a car owner, you’re a race driver, you’re a track promoter. How about doing the double at Indy this year? Are you available?” While it may have been a joke Penske later assured reporters that no, he had in fact been discussing it and wants to make it happen.

Since then ABC offered moving up the race’s start time to accommodate Tony Stewart, or any other NASCAR driver, who wants to do it. Chevy provides engines to both Indycar and NASCAR, there is some sponsor overlap, for the first time since Robby Gordon did it in 2003.

While Stewart hasn’t responded publicly as of my writing this a number of other drivers have said they’d take Penske up on his offer including NASCAR driver Brian Vickers, who at this point only has nine Cup races on his schedule (And his Month of May is clear)  tweeted out this.

There’s have been a number of efforts to get NASCAR drivers to race at Indy in the May, not July. A lot of it has just generated fan discussions but allegedly Vickers was trying to get a seat in 2012. In 2011 Jimmy Vasser tweeted out this picture of a “contract” Jimmy Johnson signed promising to run the 2012 Indy 500 “If I have my wife’s approval.”

Yes, I said Indycar is better off without Danica Patrick. Yes, a number of Danica Patrick’s fans took exception to that comment. I feel the need to explain why I’m excited about the possibility of Stewart running the Indy 500. Smoke has one thing that Danica Patrick doesn’t have: credibility. Stewart owns Eldora Speedway, three Cup championships, one IRL championship and 47 NASCAR wins. Danica Patrick has one top-level win against a short field.

I’m not saying that Patrick doesn’t have credibility, it’s just that she doesn’t have near as much as Stewart. At this point in her career her media savvy has overshadowed her one win. Stewart has credibility as a champion and a passionate advocate for his sport. Patrick isn’t there yet. Also there’s a petition for Smoke to do the double, no such outpouring of support for Danica. That, and Penske didn’t offer her the ride, probably for a good reason.

I’d welcome Stewart doing the double, as would most Indycar drivers, Vickers too. Let’s take it one step forward A.J. Allmendinger supposedly has a Cup ride lined up and is in need of a redemptive moment, doing the double could make people forget about his drama last year. There could be fast cars available KV Racing, Ganassi Racing and Schmidt Hamilton Racing. As a fan I want to challenge those owners to not just find drivers to put in those seats, but find the biggest names you can and remind people what is the greatest spectacle in racing.

If you would like to voice your support for Tony doing the double go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website and sign the Smoke 2 Indy petition.

Tags: Brian Vickers Indy 500 IndyCar NASCAR Tony Stewart

  • Bryant Douglass

    Please take your comments else where. There is no need for you to come on to my website and berate my writers for no reason. If you have personal issues with Matt, take it up him but not on my website.

    • PhilipJames

      How about asking why Matt has a hateful fixation on Danica? Is he really a misogynist or just immature? fearful of any woman that doesn’t appear to be giggly and compliant as he seems to want? he is over the age of 15… right?

      • Bryant Douglass

        How about this… you get off my website unless you can say something positive. I don’t tolerate the hateful messages and ignorance. You’re nothing special and you’re just making yourself look like a moron.

  • Ray Snut

    Real classy Phil. You’re the kind of Danica fan that give the rest of us a bad name. As Danica herself has said many times regarding the ‘haters’ “everybody is entitled to their opinion.” Since you aren’t smart enough to respond to Matt with a well thought out argument, you resort to calling him names. That doesn’t do you, Danica or the rest of Danica Nation any good. Trust me, I speak from experience.

    • PhilipJames

      Really…. how do you answer a dolt other than treat him like one. Making an intelligent argument to counter Matt’s problem with Danica – since he continually takes shots at Danica – would make no difference with that dolt and I recommend that he should stick his head back up his butt where the oxygen can’t destroy any more brain cells as he can’t have many left.

      If he wants to take unwarranted shots at Danica, he can expect to get crapped on.

      • Matt Schafer

        So here’s the thing. This fansided opportunity is something I make time for because I love Indycar racing, I was a journalist for a long time at places with a much higher profile than this. (No offense Bryant, I really do appreciate and enjoy writing for fansided.) I’ve won Associated Press awards, had stories syndicated across the world. I’ve covered races from the press box before. I don’t say this because I think it makes me important or special it would be nice if you understand I look at fansided an opportunity to express my opinion, and hope people enjoy reading it, not build a career or a platform.

        As far as me being a “Danica Hater,” I don’t, I’m just unimpressed. She can still impress me, she’s young and has plenty of time to show her skill. I’m happy to see that she’s in NASCAR not coming to coming to Indycar because I think she would overshadow everything else that month. I do think Stewart or Vickers would be better choices because Stewart is a three time NASCAR champ and Vickers is respected for what he’s done on the track.