Tony Stewart will make a demonstration run Thursday in a NASCAR Cup car at the 3.426-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, ahead of this weekend’s Formula One U.S. Grand Prix there.
“It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s been three years since I last drove a stock car, but seeing some of these road-course races – especially the Roval at Charlotte – have piqued my interest a bit, so this is a good way to sort of satisfy that hunger,” stated Stewart, who will have a passenger seat in his stock car to drive Haas F1 drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen around the course. “I’ve never been to COTA. All I know about it is what I’ve seen on TV and on my iRacing simulator. I kind of like that. Even after two decades in NASCAR, there’s still new stuff to experience. I haven’t driven that racetrack and Kevin and Romain haven’t ever driven a stock car. We’ll figure it out together.”
Stewart, who retired from Cup racing after the 2016 and will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2020 in January, continues to race sprint cars.
“People sometimes say, ‘We miss seeing you behind the wheel,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, you’re going to the wrong places now,’ ” said Stewart in a statement from the team. “I’m racing 100 times a year. You’ve just got to come watch me in a different car.”
After driving at COTA, Stewart will compete in his sprint car at the Texas Sprint Car Nationals at the Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday and Friday night.
“It’s the best of both worlds for me,” Stewart said in a statement from the team. “I get to be with our NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series teams during the day, but each night I get to go over to the Dirt Track. It’s fun for our crew guys too. They’re racers who have dirt-track blood in their veins. They come over and watch the race. It just makes for a perfect weekend.”
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.