IRL: Tony Stewart statement regarding Indy 500 rumor

Tony Stewart statement regarding rumored return to Indianapolis 500. BAKERSFIELD, Calif., (April 21, 2003) - Reports that have defending NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart competing in the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May...

Tony Stewart statement regarding rumored return to Indianapolis 500.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., (April 21, 2003) - Reports that have defending NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart competing in the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 are false.

The following is a statement from Stewart regarding the rumor.

"It's flattering to know that my name still comes up this time of year as someone teams want to have in their car at Indy. But as I've said from the beginning of the season, I am not going to compete in the Indianapolis 500, and my reasons are still the same.

"I need to take care of what I signed up to do here with Joe Gibbs Racing. There are 200 employees at Joe Gibbs Racing, making all sorts of sacrifices to provide me with everything I need to go out and win races. And when you go back and forth between Indy and Charlotte, it puts a strain on the entire team. As much as my heart wants to do it, I can't justify putting my personal ambitions ahead of the sacrifices made by my race team.

"I don't have to prove I can win that race. I want to win that race really bad, but there are a lot of guys that haven't won the Indy 500. I always had the feeling that if I never won that race it was going to be a void in my career. I don't feel that way anymore. I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished in 24 years of racing. If I get a chance to go back someday and the circumstances are right, I will. But I think it's about priorities. I'm not going to say I'm getting wiser as I'm getting older, because I'm not sure that has ever been the case, but at least I'm trying to take care of the people who are working hard for me each week."

-tsm-

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing