When Doug Coby received the primary SRX race at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway, one of many extra intriguing ideas sown into the sequence got here to fruition. The native all-star had triumphed over a subject filled with motorsport legends—and a David vs. Goliath story line was realized.

“It was really Ray’s thought,” says racing icon Tony Stewart, co-creator of the sequence [with NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham], concerning the determination so as to add up-and-coming short-track drivers to the roster. “We didn’t know precisely the way it was going to shake out, however after we ran the season I used to be extraordinarily happy with it. I assumed it introduced a component to SRX that made it actual to native short-track followers.”

Quick monitor is the grassroots of inventory automobile racing, and its devoted followers come out frequently. These are the racing shoppers that Stewart, Evernham, Sandy Montag and George Pyne had in thoughts after they created the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX), betting partly that these devotees would germinate and develop the sequence into one which elevates motorsport basically.

Primarily based partly on the previous IROC championship, which ran from 1974 to 2006, the six-event sequence performed out on each dust and pavement tracks. SRX is inventory automobile racing whittled away to solely the naked necessities: A mere dozen racers in practically similar 700-horsepower vehicles constructed to commerce paint problem one another, flying sooner and sooner laps. The diminutive size of the circuits yielded races that had been tight and aggressive in wheel-to-wheel proximity. Plus, there was some fairly stable contact—usually involving Paul Tracy—placing in additional than his share of laps because the sequence’ villain designate.

Stewart, who received the season championship and two of the six occasions, raced alongside different massive names for race followers to embrace, together with Tracy, Bobby Labonte, Willy T. Ribbs, Invoice Elliott, Tony Kanaan, Ernie Francis Jr., Marco Andretti, Hélio Castroneves and Michael Waltrip. Equally massive had been all of these native heroes whose less-celebrated journeys via racing obtained some deserving time within the nationwide highlight.

All in all, the six-race sequence was an thrilling journey for followers. Telecasts had been straightforward to comply with and beefed up with high-tech drone protection, cameras on board in each automobile. Drivers even wore heart rate monitors—giving viewers an natural deal with on the extent of stress and depth confronted behind the wheel.


SRX: Inventory automobile racing minimize to its naked necessities.
DYLAN BUELL/SRX

Half of the occasions fully offered out their venues—others got here shut—and every race was seen by a tv viewers of 1.25 million or extra, making it the second-ranked motorsport in America. It was sufficient to get the CBS nod for an additional season subsequent summer time.

What’s going to the second installment appear to be? “Clearly, we’re taking a look at every part that occurred over the course of the six weeks,” says Stewart. “We’re wanting on the issues we all know went proper and looking out on the issues we all know
we are able to enhance and making the changes. On the finish of the day, we need to take the product that now we have and make it higher. Listening to the followers’ enter all through the six weeks and the drivers’ enter—these are vital issues we’ll take into account going into subsequent season.”

Whereas the small print of tracks, drivers and tv home windows haven’t been nailed down but, the parents at SRX count on the feel and appear to be fairly comparable by way of format and variety of races and contributors.

There are, in fact, miles and miles of historic race tracks throughout the nation which might be worthy of the highlight and scores of drivers that followers would like to see compete. Evernham has indicated the group envisions introducing a pair of
street programs to the lineup—which ought to enable totally different driving kinds to flourish, additional enhancing the dynamic nature of the sequence.

SRX, as its creators have mentioned, shouldn’t be designed to compete with NASCAR. That might be a David and Goliath story minus the completely satisfied ending. Somewhat, its goal is to assist develop the sport and introduce viewers to different genres—be it Indy, NASCAR or past.

Whereas nobody is sort of positive what season two will entail, it’s a really secure wager it’ll be one other high tier, supercharged racing expertise.


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