Tony Stewart looks on from the grid prior to the 2022 Contender Boats 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
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Here's Why Tony Stewart Has "Zero Interest" in Ever Racing in Another Daytona 500

Tony Stewart seemed to be having a blast in the Fox Sports broadcast booth as he called the 2023 Daytona 500 alongside Clint Bowyer and Mike Joy this past Sunday. But, Stewart's involvement in the 65th running of the "Great American Race" reminded NASCAR fans of one glaring omission on Smoke's resume: a Daytona 500 win.

Stewart has pretty much done it all in racing. He's got three Cup Series titles and a IndyCar Series championship. He dominated the IROC and USAC circuits in the '90s and early 2000s, winning championships in both. He's a member of several halls of fame, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Even today, at 51 years old, the Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner is still racing professionally, running in the Superstar Racing Experience, which he owns. On top of that, Stewart is set to compete full-time in this year's NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster season. But, especially with Jimmie Johnson coming back to the Cup Series at 47 after a two-year hiatus from NASCAR's highest level, it's got everyone wondering: will Tony Stewart ever return to Cup racing to get that elusive Daytona 500 win?

Don't get your hopes up, NASCAR fans. During an NHRA media conference over Zoom on Tuesday, Stewart shut down any notions of him running in another Daytona 500.

"I think it's a very logical question, especially with Jimmie coming back," Stewart said. "But for me, that ship has sailed. We talked about maybe trying to do the Bristol dirt race since I guess deep down inside I'm first a Sprint Car and dirt-track driver before anything else. But again, if it's a one off race here or there, what does that do to the rest of the schedule and and is it worth it?

"I can tell you this — I have zero interest in going and running on a Daytona 500. I respect the history of that event. I respect the sport."

Tony Stewart makes an appearance at the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Amalie Arena on February 21, 2023 in Tampa, Florida

Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Simply put, Stewart doesn't like his chances at Daytona, especially with the extreme likelihood of the "Big One" going down at any moment (we saw it happen this year in overtime, taking out nearly half the field in the process). And, even though he'd love to be able to hoist the Harley J. Earl trophy and celebrate a "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing" in victory lane, Tony isn't going to race just to ultimately wreck out.

"Joey Logano said it best — you got a 30% chance of finishing that race," Stewart said. "I'm not going for the 30% chance. If I go, it's because I want to feel like I've got a shot to win the race and not a 70% chance that I'm gonna get caught up in a wreck that may or may not be of my own doing."

"As much as I love the Daytona 500—and I haven't checked it off the list with a win—I've kind of just come to terms with how I'm okay with that now after watching the last five or six years of restrictor-plate racing."

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