Stewart retired from fulltime NASCAR competition at the end of the 2016 season, and has since focused on his co-ownership role of the Stewart-Haas Racing team and running his Eldora Speedway track. He has continued racing on dirt tracks in winged sprint cars around the country.
Stewart played chauffeur to the Haas F1 Teamâs drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen around the Austin road course, and afterwards admitted that he has had some talks with his team about running the road course races in NASCARâs second-tier Xfinity Series in future.
âTo go out there and run laps it was fun,â said Stewart. âThe sad part is, itâs kinda frustrating, ’cause itâs given me the itch to get back in one, and I swore I never would after I retired!
âWeâve joked around, and talked a little bit about running an Xfinity race on the road courses, because I always enjoyed the road courses.â
He later told SiriusXM: âIâd say even though Iâm officially retired, I might do a Dale [Earnhardt] Jr and pull a one-off here or there. It doesnât mean weâre doing it, it doesnât mean weâre trying to put something together, it just means it could possibly be on the radar.â
The Xfinity series visits Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Road America during August, and the Charlotte Roval in September each year.
Stewart believes that Austin would be a great venue for NASCAR to race around, and said that he enjoyed his brief run there on Thursday in his first Cup car outing for three years.
âTo be able to come here, it was a lot of fun to do it, to come to a new track,â he said. âI hadnât seen a whole lap, didnât even know what the layout was until a friend sent me a YouTube video of an in-car of a Trans-Am car, so I could at least see what a lap looked like.
âThat was three days ago, but two nights ago I went to a friendâs house and got on iRacing. At least I made some laps in a computer car. At least when I came over the blind brow of a hill I knew where to go, so it wasnât âoh thereâs a concession stand, I donât think Iâm in the right place!â
âThis track is really fun, itâs got a lot of character and itâs a really technical course.â