AVONDALE, Ariz. — Chevrolet is king in NASCAR, where it won the Manufacturer’s Championship for the 34th time in the Sprint Cup Series this year. The return of the “Red Bow-Tie” to IndyCar was a major topic of conversation Friday at Phoenix Int’l Raceway.
“Thank God we finally have an American-made engine back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Tony Stewart, the two-time NASCAR Cup champion who won the 1997 Indy Racing League championship and has competed in five Indianapolis 500s.
“It’s great news for IndyCar,” said IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick, who is competing in a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule this season. “IndyCar has desperately needed some competition out there. What I remember about Chevy from the last time they were in the IndyCar Series is they had big qualifying engines and they could be fast but at times they were worse on fuel mileage. I think about those things and how that would play in a race and create overtaking and shake things up. They were good at winning some poles because they were fast.
“This creates more options. It’s a real win for IndyCar to finally have some other manufacturers involved the series. Hopefully, it’s a snowball effect for IndyCar and even more manufacturers come in.”
Jeff Burton may be a Southern-born stock car driver from South Boston, Va., but the NASCAR veteran also has a deep appreciation for all forms of racing.
“Chevrolet is such a huge part of American motorsports,” Burton said. “To not have an American manufacturer at Indy for the 500 is a disappointing thing. It’s great for the 500 and for Chevy to be back as an engine manufacturer back in the 500 I think is a really good deal for American motorsports. Chevy is so committed to motorsports and I think it’s a great idea. Chevy’s involvement here obviously is really, really respected. They’ve had a lot of championships and done a great job. I think it’s really cool. Some might say well, I wish they were spending that money here in NASCAR but the fact of the matter is that we need an American manufacturer for the Indy 500 and I think it’s cool that Chevrolet has stepped up to the plate.”
His teammate, Clint Bowyer, echoed those sentiments.
“I think Chevrolet going back into the IndyCar Series is definitely a big day for all of them involved,” Bowyer said. “Chevrolet has such a big impact in our sport of NASCAR and they’re going to once again have a big impact over there.”
Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson grew up as an IndyCar fan and would love to one day race in the Indianapolis 500.
“I’m happy to hear that the bowtie will be back,” Johnson said. “Maybe that will give me a chance to go race there someday.”