Tony Stewart open to idea of relief duty beyond this season in Sprint Cup

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INDIANAPOLIS – This weekend is supposed to be Tony Stewart’s final race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a Sprint Cup car.

Or will it be?

The sport thought it witnessed Jeff Gordon’s final run at Indianapolis last year only for him to return this weekend in relief of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is out because of concussion-like symptoms.

So, could Stewart come back if needed in a relief role after what is supposed to be his final year in Sprint Cup?

“It is something that I thought about since the talk came about Jeff getting back in the car,’’ Stewart said. “We (Stewart-Haas Racing) don’t have a feeder system. We don’t have an Xfinity team. We don’t have anybody that’s in our system to bring up if that is the case.

“We will talk about it at some point, but I am definitely open to that scenario if it were to happen down the road and we needed somebody, I would be open to doing what Jeff is doing this weekend.”

Stewart, a three-time series champion, will give up his No. 14 ride next year to Clint Bowyer, but Stewart plans to race in dirt track events.