Tony Stewart

Today’s question: Now that Kyle Larson has announced he will race the Indianapolis 500 in 2024, who is the next driver from another North American-based series you’d like to see take a shot at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing?”

Curt Cavin: This is easy for me, although I know the driver won’t do it. I’m glad Jeff Gordon will at least be involved in the 2024 “500” as part of Kyle Larson’s run with Arrow McLaren Racing’s effort with help from Hendrick Motorsports, but it would have made Jeff’s career complete if he had taken a shot at the Speedway in May. I expect Austin Cindric to be in a Team Penske car at some point, so that’s an easy driver to point to. But since Larson is headed here, let’s get Chase Elliott a ride. Rick Hendrick can make that happen, too.

Joey Barnes: For many reasons, mostly because so many NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers participate in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, it would be amazing to see a driver or two from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship have a go at the Indianapolis 500, namely someone like the once-rumored-for-an-INDYCAR-seat Brendon Hartley or Renger van der Zande. Other immense talents that come to mind are Rico Abreu and Kody Swanson. However, and for the purposes of a “possibilities I personally want to see,” I have to go Christopher Bell. The reasons go beyond his superstar status in the NASCAR Cup Series but also the countless spirited battles he and Kyle Larson had throughout the country at numerous short tracks; the two were inseparable and put on a clinic for years at the Chili Bowl. If I could have my pick, bring CBell to the 2024 Indy 500, as well, and let’s see if that rivalry carries over for ultimate bragging rights that could include drinking the inner’s milk at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.

Paul Kelly: Like Curt’s pick, this never will happen, but bring all the Smoke to the 2024 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Tony Stewart, that is. Sure, “Smoke” will be 53 on Race Day in 2024, but his racing hero, A.J. Foyt, drove in the “500” until he was 57. Stewart also would need to ease up on the trips to the Dairy Queen in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana, to get in shape for 500 miles at the Speedway. But Stewart has so much unfinished business in an INDYCAR SERIES car at his favorite track, with a best result of fifth in five career starts between 1996 and 2001. And if anyone could go 23 years between Indy 500 starts and still be competitive and contend for a spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy, it’s probably the guy I consider the most talented American race driver of the last 30 years.