KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Tony Stewart hasn’t ruled out a return in some form to NASCAR, perhaps in the Xfinity Series or at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course.
The three-time NASCAR champion expressed interest in getting back in a stock car Wednesday as he introduced Aric Almirola as the newest driver at Stewart-Haas Racing . At one point, Almirola turned to his new boss and asked if he can run Xfinity Series races next season.
"We’ll work on that. I might want to drive it at some point," Stewart said.
When the assembled media groaned at Stewart potentially dangling fake news, he doubled down.
"You guys act like you don’t need something shocking today to write," Stewart said. "There are actually some road course races that I might be interested in running. We’ve actually discussed it in-house here, but we don’t have anything near worth announcing by any means, but there are some really cool races, especially Charlotte having a road course race next year. I mean, there might be some opportunities that might be a little bit fun for me to come out and dust things off a little bit."
Stewart later told reporters he’s working on something even bigger that does not involve NASCAR. He declined to share more information, but has publicly expressed interest in running the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Global RallyCross and has even chided team co-owner Gene Haas about Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Stewart retired at the end of last season. Now 46, he’s got a full schedule of sprint car racing and has seemingly enjoyed his time in his role as owner at NASCAR races. Prior to Wednesday, he’d never publicly expressed interest in running a NASCAR race again.
There are four road courses on the 2018 Xfinity Series schedule, at Watkins Glen International, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America and Charlotte. The Charlotte road course is the infield of the current oval, which will be reconfigured for a pair of races next season.
Stewart has 11 wins in 94 Xfinity starts, and his last start was a win, at Daytona in 2013.