Tony Stewart coming back to run Indy Xfinity race

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Hall of Famer Tony Stewart will make his first NASCAR start since 2016 when he competes in the July 4 Xfinity race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday morning.

“Everyone knows what Indy means to me, so I can’t think of a better place to race on Fourth of July weekend,” said Stewart, who grew up 45 minutes from Indianapolis, in a statement. “It’s going to be cool making history by turning left and right in a stock car at the Brickyard, and the racing will be full of action and contact. Any time you can drive any racecar at the speedway is special, and you know I’m going for the win. The date is already circled on my calendar.”

The Xfinity race at Indy will be broadcast on NBC.

This will be the first time the Xfinity Series races on Indianapolis’ 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.

The 62-lap race will mark the first Xfinity start for Stewart since 2013 and 95th series race in his career.

Stewart made 18 Brickyard 400 starts in Cup, winning twice (2005 and ’07). He also has competed in five Indianapolis 500s and four IROC races at the historic track.

Stewart has eight career Cup road course wins: five at Watkins Glen International and three at Sonoma Raceway.

Stewart’s most recent road course outing came in a demonstration run last October at Circuit of the Americas when he took a Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang outfitted with a passenger seat and drove Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen around the track.

“It was a lot of fun for me to get in one of our Ford Mustangs and do that exhibition run at COTA,” Stewart said in a statement. “It kind of got my juices flowing to get back in a car again, and what better place to come back than Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

Details about Stewart’s car number and sponsor will be announced later.

“People sometimes say, ‘We miss seeing you behind the wheel,” and I’m like, ‘Well, you’ve just got to go to different places now,’ ” Stewart said in a statement. “I’m racing 100 times a year in a sprint car, but seeing some of these road-course races – especially the Roval at Charlotte – piqued my interest a bit, and running the stock car at COTA, it kind of fed my hunger. All of it has led me back to the place I’ve always called home – Indy.”