Helio Castroneves would welcome Tony Stewart to Team Penske for the Indianapolis 500, but wouldn't give an inch to the driver/team owner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"He is an incredible driver and Penske is incredible at the Indy 500," said Castroneves, a three-time winner of the event. "I think he will do well, but I don't want him to win his first Indy. I want to win my fourth and be with A.J. (Foyt), Rick (Mears) and Al (Unser) in the record books. Tony and Will (Power) can battle for second."
Team owner Roger Penske has invited Stewart, who has competed in the 500 Mile Race five times (the last in 2001), to join the team for the May 26, 2013, race. He would compete the same day in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Concord, N.C. He's done "the double" in 1999 and 2001.
"Having Tony Stewart as a teammate at Indy would be bloody great," said Power, the IZOD IndyCar Series championship runner-up. "If we lose more downforce and the cars are looser, he would love them for sure. I'll tell you what, I don't want to finish second but Tony Stewart could win the Indy 500.
"There are 33 cars in the field, but Tony would have a bloody good chance to pull it off if he drove for Roger."
In an effort to give fans an opportunity to voice support encouraging Stewart to accept the offer, IMS has started an on-line petition. CLICK HERE to sign.
IMS CEO and president Jeff Belskus said an earlier start time could be arranged. ABC, which televises the "500," is behind the idea: "ABC/ESPN would enthusiastically support the opportunity for said driver(s) to participate in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. We have strong partnerships with the league and speedway."