Tony Stewart just loves racing.
Not only does the Winston Cup star enjoy driving his stock car, he can't stay away from his first love -- open-wheel racing.
Before heading for NASCAR, Stewart was a champion in the U.S. Auto Club's sprint car, midget and dirt car series, as well as the Indy Racing League.
Even while establishing himself as a star in Winston Cup last year, with the best rookie season in NASCAR's modern era, Stewart remained tied to the IRL as a team owner.
Next season, he will also be an owner in the World of Outlaws sprint car series. And that's why Stewart will have a much busier weekend than most of the other Winston Cup drivers.
Stewart, coming off his first victory of the season last Sunday in Dover, Del., is entered in Sunday's Kmart 400 at Michigan Speedway. But he and some fellow Winston Cuppers will also climb aboard his Commander 690-A airplane to see the first World of Outlaws race to be held at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.
The Outlaws take to the dirt-covered, .533-mile oval on Friday and Saturday.
Stewart will make the roughly 500-mile commute from Brooklyn, Mich., to Bristol on both nights.
''It's a sin if you don't go to Bristol ... and at least see what the place looks like with dirt on it,'' Stewart said. ''Whether it's a success or not is still to be determined. If they never decide to do it again I want to at least say I was there when they did it.
''I wouldn't normally jump in a jet two nights in a row and leave a Cup weekend to fly and watch Outlaws race then come back the same night. But this is kind of a special deal to watch the Outlaws at Bristol on dirt of all things. I just didn't want to miss it.''
BACK TO WORK: A week after announcing plans to run a limited schedule through August in order to get his racing house in order, Robby Gordon is back in Winston Cup.
He will drive today at Michigan Speedway.
Gordon, who owns and operates his own Winston Cup team along with partners Mike Held and John Menard, made the decision to run a limited schedule after struggling through the first 12 races of the season.
''We've gone to a lighter schedule in terms of race weekends, but really the day-to-day schedule has become more intense,'' said Gordon, a former open-wheel driving star trying to establish himself in the stock car series.
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