Tony Stewart doesn’t want any gifts during his swan song in 2016. But Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Stewart claimed two of the biggest wins of his career, wasn’t going to let him exit without knowing his place in the track’s history.
So how do you honor a native son who has given so much to the famous track? Build a track inside the track, of course. That’s exactly what the track plans to do before Smoke’s final Brickyard 400 on July 24.
Indy will create a dirt track inside Turn 3 that will be a 3/16th-mile course for Stewart. Stewart was told about the plan over the weekend before his Sonoma triumph, IMS president Doug Boles said. The track confirmed plans on Tuesday evening.
A short track at IMS in honor of @TonyStewart? You heard right. The dirt arrives tomorrow!
— Indy Motor Speedway (@IMS) June 28, 2016
“Tony doesn’t want gifts, per se, but we thought this was a great way to marry his love for dirt-track racing with his love for racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Boles told IndyStar.
The track is expected to be large enough to eventually host sprint car events, Stewart’s true passion outside of Sprint Cup racing. It’s the perfect gift for Stewart, who even admitted over the weekend that he’s not happy racing in NASCAR anymore. Then again, that was before Sonoma.
— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 26, 2016
Boles said plans are to reveal the oval during a media event on July 5, with Stewart present for a dirt midget exhibition. No announcement on whether or not he’ll get behind the wheel for his own personal track in the Indy infield.
Already the owner of Eldora Speedway in Ohio, Stewart now has two personal playgrounds in bordering states. While Smoke fans won’t be able to watch him in NASCAR anymore, they know exactly where they can find him: On a dirt track personally built for him.