Driver crossovers between NASCAR and IndyCar isn’t a new concept, and with the level of talent in both, several drivers could find themselves doing one in the near future.
Drivers such as Tony Stewart, Dario Franchitti, Jimmie Johnson, and Kurt Busch have all made the crossover between NASCAR and IndyCar in the past. And with the talent level in both leagues as high as it is, the list of potential candidates to follow their lead continues to grow.
This year alone, two notable drivers have either announced plans for a crossover or already taken a dip into the other series. This past February, IndyCar driver Conor Daly competed in the Daytona 500 with The Money Team Racing, narrowly making the race before finishing in 29th place. He has also competed in two Cup Series road course races since last October.
And in bigger news, 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson announced plans to compete in the 2024 and 2025 Indy 500s with Arrow McLaren. Larson is set to run the Memorial Day Double, competing in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. Only four drivers have ever pulled it off.
Here are a few drivers who may be best suited for a crossover in the near future.
NASCAR/IndyCar crossover candidates: No. 1 – Josef Newgarden
Leading off the list is none other than two-time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden. Since arriving in the series in 2012, the 2023 Indy 500 champion has proven his versatility as a driver, consistently bringing home wins on road courses, street courses, and ovals.
With NASCAR’s push for a more a more diverse schedule, including more road courses, plenty of options are present for Newgarden when it comes to the race(s) he may want to run.
In the past, Newgarden has stated that he has interest in competing in NASCAR down the road. He mentioned one race in particular in which he would want to compete, that being the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Should Newgarden want to run more than one race, look out for him to potentially run at a road course, such as Circuit of the Americas, or another short track, such as Richmond Raceway.
Being a Team Penske driver, he’d likely be able to run a fourth Team Penske entry. It would not be the first time that the team have fielded a fourth car, as they entered the No. 33 Ford for Austin Cindric in multiple races in 2021.