NASCAR: Tony Stewart confirms return with Stewart-Haas Racing

Tony Stewart hasn’t competed in a NASCAR race in over three years, but that is set to change this July at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Xfinity Series.

The last time three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart competed in a NASCAR race was at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the season finale back in November 2016.

The 45-year-old Columbus, Indiana native, who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing along with Gene Haas, won’t be back in the Cup Series, but he is set to return to NASCAR for the first time since that race.

Stewart is set to compete in the Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 4, and he is set to do it driving a Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing.

This race, the Pennzoil 150, is set to be the first Xfinity Series race around the 13-turn, 2.439-mile (3.925-kilometer) road course in Speedway, Indiana after the race was moved from the track’s four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) oval, where it had been held every year since it was added to the schedule in 2012.

Here is what Stewart had to say about the opportunity to get back behind the wheel, according to NASCAR.

“Everyone knows what Indy means to me, so I can’t think of a better place to race on Fourth of July weekend. It’s going to be cool making history by turning left and right in a stock car at the Brickyard, and the racing will be full of action and contact. Any time you can drive any race car at the speedway is special, and you know I’m going for the win. The date is already circled on my calendar.”

Stewart hinted at a NASCAR return last October when he tested a Cup car at Circuit of the Americas with Haas Formula 1 drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean ahead of the United States Grand Prix at the track.

He last competed in the Xfinity Series in the 2013 season opener at Daytona International Speedway, a race he won. He has 11 wins in 94 career starts at NASCAR’s second highest level.

Details regarding Stewart’s car number, crew and primary partner have not yet been confirmed and are expected to be revealed closer to the race date.

Stewart-Haas Racing only field one full-time entry in the Xfinity Series after fielding two last year for Cole Custer and Chase Briscoe. Briscoe drives the #98 Ford for the second consecutive year while Custer was promoted to the Cup Series to replace Daniel Suarez behind the wheel of the #41 Ford.

Briscoe sits in second place in the championship standings through the season’s first three races with a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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The Pennzoil 150 is the 17th of 33 races on the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule, and it is set to be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET on Independence Day, Saturday, July 4. Tune in to watch Tony Stewart get back behind the wheel for his first competitive NASCAR action since November of 2016.

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