Three-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart has slammed the decision to hold Formula 1 and NASCAR events in Texas on the same day as “asinine”.
This weekend’s United States Grand Prix at Austin is clashing with NASCAR’s event at Texas Motor Speedway 200 miles away – forcing motor racing fans to choose which event they should go to.
It is not the first time that the two events have clashed, with them having had the same date in 2014, and the move has come about this year because the Mexican and USA GPs swapped their places on the F1 calendar.
Stewart, who took part in a NASCAR demo event with Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen at Austin on Thursday, finds the clash completely illogical.
“I think it is asinine,” he said. “I think there are two promoters who have their heads up their arses to book it that way.
“Why would you not take the opportunity to book them on separate weekends and have the opportunity to have the people stay for a week and enjoy two totally different forms of major motorsports?”
Pushed on the fact that it was the second time the events had clashed, he said: “Yeah and you would think they would learn the first time. So it shows how big idiots they are.”
Stewart got back behind the wheel of a NASCAR car for the first time in three years to take part in giving passenger rides to Haas duo Magnussen and Grosjean. F1 team owner Gene Haas and Stewart are co-owners of the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR team.
Having completed some quick laps around the Austin track, he suggested the F1 venue would be a good one for a future NASCAR race.
Asked if the track would work for stock cars, he said: “Absolutely. Don’t tell Eddie Gossage [Texas Motor Speedway president]. He will get mad at me!
“I think NASCAR is actually looking to run some more road courses.
“After driving it, there are some really good passing opportunities on this track for our cars and I think it would be a lot of fun. Let’s see a race here!”
He said the fact Austin was already an international-standard motorsport venue made it a “very easy” addition to the NASCAR calendar.
“I’d think it would be very realistic and very easy for NASCAR to come here,” Stewart added.
“The facility is already set up for it, obviously.
“Driving the track, there’s five legitimate solid passing opportunities here. That’s plenty to have a really good race here.”