Tony Stewart/Ray Evernham SRX series announces race format for inaugural season

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Superstar Racing Experience, the short-track series started by Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart, announced the race format for its inaugural season Thursday.

The six-race short-track series, which will race on six consecutive Saturday nights starting on June 12 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, will have its races comprised of three parts: Two 15-minute heat races and a 100-lap feature.

The heats will set the starting lineup for the feature, and points earned in both heats and the feature will help determine the 2021 champion.

The starting grid for the first heat will be set by a random draw among drivers. The second heat will be gridded by inverting the finishing order of the first heat. The results of the second race will set the starting lineup for the main event, which will have unlimited attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.

Each heat winner will receive a maximum of 12 points, descending in one-point increments through the order. The feature winner gets 25 points, second place 22 points, third place 20 points, fourth place 18 points, fifth place 16 points, sixth place 14 points, seventh place 12 points, eighth place 10 points, ninth place eight points, 10th place six points, 11th place four points and 12th place two points.

SRX
SRX

“It was very important to come up with a format that would provide the best entertainment to our fans while rewarding the drivers for their performance,” Ray Evernham said in a release. “Every driver has the same opportunity. They’re in a car that’s very different because it’s so universal. It’s a road-course car first, a pretty good dirt car, and just an OK paved oval car. That takes the advantage away from the stock-car guys who run ovals all the time.

“We’ve tried to take the car out of the equation and force these guys to use the skills that we pay to see – how to figure out a new surface, how to figure out a new racetrack, how can they make this car go around using the old-school tools of the steering wheel, the gas pedal and the brake pedal. Driver input is what’s really important with this racecar, and this format accentuates that.”

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Said Stewart in a release: “With this format, you not only have to be the fastest driver, but you’ve got to be the smartest driver too. This is going to be a challenge. These are new, purpose-built racecars that none of us have driven before. Every track is so different, and we don’t know how abrasive the pavement tracks are going to be and what kind of grip we’re going to have on the dirt tracks. Even for the local all-stars who have turned thousands of laps at their particular track, they’ll be doing it in a totally different environment. It’s all unpredictable, but that’s what’ll make for great racing and a great fan experience, whether they’re in the grandstands or at home watching on CBS.”

The series also will be racing Knoxville Raceway, Slinger Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway and Eldora Speedway. The season will conclude July 17 at the Nashville Fairgrounds with each race at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

The SRX series, which is expecting to have a dozen drivers in each race, already has confirmed Tony Stewart, Helio Castroneves, Bobby Labonte, Paul Tracy, Tony Kanaan, Willy T. Ribbs, Bill Elliott, Ernie Francis Jr., Marco Andretti and Michael Waltrip in its lineup (Formula One veteran Mark Webber, previously announced as an entrant, has bowed out of the series). SRX was co-founded by NASCAR Hall of Famers Stewart and Evernham and was unveiled last July.

Tony Stewart/Ray Evernham SRX series announces race format for inaugural season originally appeared on NBCSports.com