Tony Stewart keen on Indy 500 return

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There’s no room in the Penske Inn. And there’s no room in the IndyCar cockpit for a driver who has ‘let it go’ over two decades of racin’ door-slammers. Remember why Sam Hornish left? He was tired of starving himself only to still give away a 40-50 lb weight advantage to Danica. Unlike F1, IndyCar weighs the cars empty.....Have you ever driven a go-kart vs a driver that much lighter? It’s an incredible advantage. Don’t get me wrong...I’m a big Stewart fan and would love to see him come back. But, I’ll believe it when I see it.
 
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Penske would be better served to bring Helio back for the 500. He's a proven winner, and 3 time champion. Helio has both the skill and desire to become a 4 time champ.
 
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Originally Posted By: billt460
Penske would be better served to bring Helio back for the 500. He's a proven winner, and 3 time champion. Helio has both the skill and desire to become a 4 time champ.
That’s a lock.
 
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Here's a wild idea: Tony Stewart gets a drive with the new McLaren IndyCar team for the 500. He would be valuable to help them with setup and doing high-level coaching with Fernando Alonso.
 
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If he comes back, he'll find the level of competition is higher than he's ever experienced in IndyCar. He won't be running against Dr. Jack or the likes of Milka Duno. The IndyCar field is the deepest it has been for a very long time, and real bumping has returned to the 500. If Penske wanted to bring back a cheeseburger-loving driver to run the 500, he'd have better odds of winning by lifting has banishment of Montoya, who's only three years removed from his last win. But, Stewart would be a great addition to the field, and it sounds like he understands the challenge that would be involved and would want to do it the right way. There are some issues to address, but IndyCar is on an up cycle, and one of the few top series that has a clear, unified direction, and smart management in charge.
 
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Originally Posted By: A_Harman
Here's a wild idea: Tony Stewart gets a drive with the new McLaren IndyCar team for the 500. He would be valuable to help them with setup and doing high-level coaching with Fernando Alonso.
As much as I love Tony, he has nothing to offer Fernando. Tony’s been retired for a while now, out of an IndyCar forever while Alonzo is still an ‘A’ driver in F1 + he obviously ran an IndyCar 500+ miles just last year. It may be the other way around.
 
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Kurt Busch hadn’t run an Indy car race, ever, and finished 6th in his only Indy 500. He’s taller than Tony and weighs 20 lbs less in terms of what I see when they are in racing “form”. Busch would have been a contender if his gearing was a bit taller. The top 5 that year had the field covered, and continually pulled away because they went slightly taller on the top gear. Compared to most of the field that shows up but has no chance to win and don’t even sniff the front of the field, Tony already is way ahead of them having lead in at least 3 Indy 500’s and should have/could have won 3 of them. Info from just a few looks at the internet... Indy 500 Pole sitter, IRL champion, hasn’t run in 17 years, only raced in 5 Indy 500’s and is still 54th in total laps led in the history of the 100+ years of the race, hasn’t qualified out of the top 10. 3 time NASCAR series champion and lord knows how many Sprint car wins/championships. Is there another driver with an Indy car series championship and NASCAR championship? The guy can flat out drive. He’ll be focused as heck for this opportunity, won’t show up looking like the Michelin Man and will be with a top team, in other words a pole contender and a race contender. You heard it here first.
 
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Smoke is also one of only 2 drivers, along with JJ Yeley, to win the USAC Triple Crown, silver crown, sprint car, and midgets, in a single season.
 
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Originally Posted By: Indydriver
As much as I love Tony, he has nothing to offer Fernando. Tony’s been retired for a while now, out of an IndyCar forever while Alonzo is still an ‘A’ driver in F1 + he obviously ran an IndyCar 500+ miles just last year. It may be the other way around.
Besides, Alonso likes to be team principal while driving. wink You catch the time when Martin Brundle remarked that it must be very difficult for Alonso to manage the team while driving the race?
 
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Originally Posted By: Garak
Originally Posted By: Indydriver
As much as I love Tony, he has nothing to offer Fernando. Tony’s been retired for a while now, out of an IndyCar forever while Alonzo is still an ‘A’ driver in F1 + he obviously ran an IndyCar 500+ miles just last year. It may be the other way around.
Besides, Alonso likes to be team principal while driving. wink You catch the time when Martin Brundle remarked that it must be very difficult for Alonso to manage the team while driving the race?
Maybe in F1. He was perfectly deferential during his visit to Indy. He showed total professionalism from his preparation, gradual building of speed, accessibility to press and fans. He impressed everyone here including me. Hopefully, we are about to hear his announcement of joining IndyCar next year, with or without McLaren.
 
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Yep, Alonso was bit by the mechanical bug while coming back to the front. Leading 27 laps as a rookie is not luck. Stewart led 44 in his rookie year.
 
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Originally Posted By: Indydriver
Maybe in F1. He was perfectly deferential during his visit to Indy. He showed total professionalism from his preparation, gradual building of speed, accessibility to press and fans. He impressed everyone here including me. Hopefully, we are about to hear his announcement of joining IndyCar next year, with or without McLaren.
Give him a couple seasons, especially if they're less than stellar. wink I do grant I heard very good things with how he carried himself at Indy, though.
 
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Age, experience, and some suffering can go a long way toward encouraging some humility. Senna was a jerk at the height of his career, but mellowed as McLaren faltered, he sought refuge at Williams, and repaired his relationship with Prost. Sadly that didn't last very long, and in death, a lot of his earlier behavior was either forgotten by many, or at least seen in a more forgiving light. Some, of course, like Lauda, is still a grouch, and Foyt would still probably slap you upside the head if did something stupid. Alonso may have rotten career timing, but he's no fool, and acting like a prima donna would have closed many possible doors to a refuge in IndyCar, or another series. In sports car, where multiple drivers make teamwork even more important, he has fit in as "one of the boys" in his own teammates words. But, it's also just as likely that the IC paddock, not being full of prima donnas and sharks, is just a more pleasant place to be.
 
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One cannot completely blame Alonso. He's put up with a lot of garbage over the past few years and a revolving door of management. He's the only continuity in team management since Ron Dennis left. wink And yes, there's lots of rose tinted glasses with respect to people memory of Senna. I don't doubt Lauda can be grouchy, so can Kimi, but people find his foibles endearing. It certainly would be refreshing from Alonso's perspective to not be dealing with the same people day in day out that he's had to for the last many years. That alone can do wonders for morale and manners.
 
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