The racing series of NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart, Superstar Racing Experience (SRX), had a strong second season. But can it last?
Two years ago, NASCAR Hall of Famers Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham decided to work towards a vision of a modern-day IROC racing series and paved the way for Superstar Racing Experience (SRX).
The stock car racing series has featured names from all around the motorsports world and has led to some memorable moments in its first two seasons.
Last year, the series showed how super it could be when it ended with a battle of the Elliotts between current NASCAR driver Chase Elliott and father Bill. The younger Elliott won that race, and in another one-off appearance this year, he did the same.
The roster was revamped this season and shed light on Ryan Newman, who scored his first win of any kind since 2017. Stewart, last year’s champion, won a race, as did former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Bobby Labonte. IndyCar veteran Marco Andretti won the series championship.
But with the highs, there come the lows, leading to some questions about the sustainability of the sport.
Title sponsor Camping World, which won’t return as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Truck Series in 2023, has already signed on to sponsor SRX next year. So while the series may continue into next year, its five-year plan could be one of concern.
The series has seemed limited on inventory, most notably last year when Evernham showed visible frustration from Paul Tracy totaling SRX’s cars.
This year, Stewart showed the personality that earned him the moniker of “Smoke” when he confronted Ernie Francis Jr. regarding the same issue.
Stewart told Racing News that “If we want to have good cars, we gotta start taking care of them better.”
Between both years of frustration from Evernham and Stewart, it’s safe to say the grassroots appeal SRX initially offered may not be in the cards for 2023.
NASCAR has seemingly viewed SRX as a competitor, leaving the series’ name out of their broadcast, despite having had multiple drivers compete in it so far.
Compare that to NASCAR’s treatment of Jimmie Johnson driving in IndyCar, and it’s evident that the two stock car racing series are at odds and aren’t companions.
With limited support from other networks and series, SRX will face an uphill battle next season. Racing cleaner in a sport that doesn’t promote it, plus a driver lineup largely unknown aside from those who follow the series on a weekly basis, could cause problems beyond 2023.