Stewart's Indy bid on hold

NASCAR Nextel Cup star Tony Stewart has declared that he will put his ambitions to win the Indianapolis 500 on hold until he quits stock car racing

Stewart's Indy bid on hold

Stewart, the 1997 Indy Racing League champion, joined the NASCAR ranks in '98 and won the Winston Cup in 2002. He last contested the Indy 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2001, but says his single-seater career is now on indefinite hold - despite the fact he'd love to add the Indy 500 title to his glittering CV.

"I'm not going to run the Indy 500 until I'm done with Nextel Cup," he said. "It's not fair to the team. As many people as we keep adding every year and as competitive as Cup racing gets every year...just the threat of something happening is what is keeping me from doing it. And, the technology of IRL keeps growing. The last time I did it, it took me two days to get acclimated to the way they worked and the way they operated versus two years before that when I was running with my own team.

"To do the Indy 500 like we would do the Daytona 500 or the rest of the schedule, you really have to run two or three events with the team you'd be running with at Indy before the Indy 500. It's still a dream of mine and still something I want very badly. But, I don't want to do it just to say I did it again. A lot of us would like to do it. But it's so specialised.

"Everybody is so worried about us getting hurt. We're such a commodity to corporate America right now that we don't have that flexibility like we did in the past. It took an act of God to get [NASCAR team owner] Joe Gibbs to let me run in the Busch Series last year. We're going to run a couple of them this year and maybe a couple of Truck races again, but he cringes at the thought that I could get hurt in a car other than a Cup car."

Despite that, Stewart will also make his second start in the Rolex 24 Hour sportscar race at Daytona at the end of the month.

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