Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ten Races Tony Stewart Should Do In 2017

We already touched on Tony Stewart's NASCAR career ending this weekend but his racing career isn't over. When retiring in any field the cliché is the day after your final day is the first day of the rest of your life and in a way that is true for Tony Stewart. He is now open to racing whatever he wants with no greater responsibility dictating his schedule.

He is going to continue to race and he will probably do lots of dirt racing but Stewart now has a chance to do races he couldn't in recent years. Looking at the 2017 calendar, Stewart could almost do a global tour running some of the different great series. Here are ten races Stewart should participate in next year and the Indianapolis 500 is not one of them because that ship has sailed and is never returning.

24 Hours of Daytona
This isn't a new race for Tony Stewart but the infrastructure of this race has changed drastically since the last time Stewart participated in 2007. Where could Stewart compete? With the new arrival of the DPi class I think it will be tough for him to find a seat this year, as space will be limited. However, maybe he could find room in a GT entry and with Stewart-Haas Racing moving to Ford, maybe a third Ford GT could be entered by Chip Ganassi Racing and feature Stewart with either other all stars such as Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan or FIA WEC drivers such as Andy Priaulx and Stefan Mücke.

Rally Sweden
We have seen what Tony Stewart can do on dirt but what can he do on snow? After his return to Daytona, he could fly up to Sweden for the legendary race and he would get to experience Sweden in February. We have seen Romain Dumas, Stéphane Sarrazin and Robert Kubica all compete in rallying while running circuit races, why couldn't Stewart give it a go now that he is retired?

British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch
After some time off, Stewart could make a trip back across the Atlantic for the opening round of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch. After years of running stock cars, why not give touring cars a shot and BTCC could be a great place for Stewart to go and let out his aggression. The opening round of the season uses the shorter Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch, meaning there would be plenty of close encounters for Stewart.

Four-Wide Nationals
After coming back from Europe, Stewart could return home and take part in the only four-wide round on the NHRA calendar. Kurt Busch ran in the Pro Stock class a few years ago in Gainesville. It would be another new challenge for Stewart.

24 Hours Nürburgring
Tony Stewart has run some historic race tracks in the United States, from Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway to Eldora Raceway and Knoxville Raceway but there are so many great racetracks Stewart hasn't run on and the Nordschleife. Of course to run the 24 Hours Nürburgring he will have to run another VLN race to qualify but that could be arranged. Plus, Stewart would get to experience the exhilarating world of GT3.

24 Hours of Le Mans
If he is going to run a Ford GT at the 24 Hours of Daytona, he mind as well turn it into a chance to head to France. It would be a great way to fill his June and he would get a chance to win at Le Mans fifty years after his hero A.J. Foyt won at Le Mans driving a Ford GT with Dan Gurney.

The Eldora Truck Race
Ever since NASCAR announced a Truck race would be held at Eldora Raceway we have wanted Stewart to give it a go. He may be the promoter but he would have some free time and could have one more go in a NASCAR sanctioned event.

ARCA Race at DuQuoin
Like the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Labor Day weekend ARCA race at DuQuoin is one Stewart hasn't done in quite some time but now he could. He doesn't need to be in Darlington, he could be trying to improve on an already impressive track record. In three DuQuoin starts, Stewart has started on pole position in all three races and finished second, second and first.

Stadium Super Trucks at Surfers Paradise
The 2017 Stadium Super Trucks schedule hasn't been released yet but who wouldn't want to watch Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon go head-to-head over jumps next to the beach?

Andros Trophy at Alpe d'Huez
Why not end your first year of retirement the weekend before Christmas racing on ice in the French Alps? Many great drivers have competed in the Andros Trophy. Alain Prost has won the championship, Yvan Muller won the championship ten times, Olivier Panis competed last year and Simon Pagenaud ran in one round last year.

Stewart will probably not do any of these races next year (maybe the first one) but he will have the time to now and knowing Tony Stewart, he will be busy in 2017.