Originally posted on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 12/5/12
When Roger Penske made the bold decision to say he has a ride for two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup and Brickyard 400 champion Tony Stewart to race one of his IndyCar’s in next May’s Indianapolis 500, I bet he didn’t think in his wildest dreams it could single handily put the IZOD IndyCar Series back on the map. The motorsports world has now come together to try and get Stewart to come back and race the Indy 500 and are leaning on every word to find out if this can really happen. It’s no longer NASCAR vs. IndyCar, but rather the two communities working together to make this work. This is getting so much attention that guys like Conor Daly, Kyle Larson, and Brian Vickers have voiced their opinions on Twitter that they would gladly fill Stewart’s seat to do the double if he didn’t. It even got the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s notice that they put out a petition to get people to sign and get Stewart back. IMS even went a step further and said they’d move the start time back to accommodate any NASCAR driver’s attempt to do the double. By IMS doing so, ESPN/ABC who has a deal to show the exclusive rights for the 500 has even backed their move and would back everything IMS does by moving their schedule back and would have no issues with it. This attention has turned what was a number of negative moves from the series the past few seasons to a huge gain. People are talking in a positive light about the series once again and think it’s time to see Stewart give it one more try. If he does, the snowball effect will lead many other huge stars to try it as well. Both Daly and Larson are phenomenal up and coming young American drivers and would be huge for the series to possibly get to race in the series. Larson has a developmental deal with Chip Ganassi on the NASCAR side and a huge miss by IndyCar, but this now opens the door of a possible move back to the open wheel side for him. Then, Vickers or other NASCAR stars that don’t have full-time NASCAR rides could make the jump if they enjoy their time in Indy during the Month of May. Plus, add former open wheel stars like Danica Patrick, Sam Hornish Jr, Juan Pablo Montoya, J.J. Yeley, Dave Blaney, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and others and you now have a star-studded field with endless sponsors and money for the biggest sporting event in the world. That filters down not just to IndyCar, but NASCAR as well as those stars will certainly have a monetary value incentive to win in Charlotte later and draw even more attention if they could do it. That could be huge momentum on both series heading into the summer months and keep attention solely on both forms of motorsports and they can work together to get both out of declining attendance and ratings. The effect has been huge. The motorsports world is waiting on Stewart’s decision, but the implications are even bigger. The post IndyCar: What the effect of Roger Penske’s offer to Tony Stewart is doing for the series appeared first on Race Review Online.
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