Desperate IndyCar officials encouraging Tony Stewart to compete

With the IndyCar Series losing fans in droves this past year and with many more saying they will never watch another IndyCar race again over how Randy Bernard was terminated, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are trying to encourage Tony Stewart to compete in next year’s Indianapolis 500 to hang onto the thread of a lifeline Roger Penske threw them at the NASCAR banquet in Las Vegas.

They started an online petition based on Roger Penske’s public invitation to Stewart at Friday night’s NASCAR awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

Penske said he has a car available to the Columbus, Ind., native who has won three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships.

“You’re a car owner, you’re a race driver, you’re a track promoter," Penske said while accepting the honor of Sprint Cup champion with his driver, Brad Keselowski. “How about doing the double at Indy this year? Are you available?"

The question with Stewart has been one of willingness. Now a team owner of Stewart Haas Racing, he has said his focus has to be on that part of his professional life. He has not commented specifically on Penske’s public offer.

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