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Tony Stewart sweeps SRX dirt races with Eldora win

2 Mins read
Credit: Superstar Racing Experience

It probably comes with little surprise that Tony Stewart knows his way around Eldora Speedway, a dirt track in Ohio that he has owned since 2004. Consequently, it is not unexpected that Stewart dominated Saturday’s Camping World SRX Series event there, winning the first heat race and the feature to sweep the fledgling series’ dirt races.

Heat races

Tony Kanaan and Kody Swanson made up the front row to kick off the first heat. Swanson, a five-time USAC Silver Crown champion driving the local track car and also competing in that night’s Silver Crown event, battled with Kanaan and Stewart throughout the qualifying race. Stewart took the lead shortly before a caution came out, leading to a restart with four minutes remaining. Stewart held off Hélio Castroneves to win.

As Willy T. Ribbs led the way to start Heat #2, Kanaan’s second heat quickly fell apart after connecting with Ernie Francis Jr. and spinning, with Stewart, Swanson, and Michael Waltrip also falling victim; the damage forced Swanson to switch to a backup car for the feature. Marco Andretti and rallycross champion Scott Speed sparred for the rest of the heat with the former winning out.

Heat #1 results

FinishNumberDriver
114Tony Stewart
23Hélio Castroneves
313Paul Tracy
498Marco Andretti
518Bobby Labonte
663Kody Swanson
72Ernie Francis Jr.
89Bill Elliott
915Michael Waltrip
1041Scott Speed
1148Tony Kanaan
1217Willy T. Ribbs

Heat #2 results

FinishNumberDriver
198Marco Andretti
213Paul Tracy
314Tony Stewart
441Scott Speed
518Bobby Labonte
63Hélio Castroneves
79Bill Elliott
848Tony Kanaan
917Willy T. Ribbs
102Ernie Francis Jr.
1115Michael Waltrip
1263Kody Swanson

Feature

By finishing first and third in the heats, Stewart’s average finish placed him on the pole ahead of Andretti, though he started at the rear after making a quick pit stop. As a result, Paul Tracy joined Andretti on the front row.

Tracy dominated the first half of the race after taking the lead from the opening lap. The second restart on lap 26, which came after a caution for Kanaan’s spin, saw Swanson pass Tracy for first. Another restart came with eight laps remaining as Swanson and Stewart led.

Stewart took the lead from Swanson after a lap. On lap 45, Bobby Labonte spun and collected Bill Elliott, ending the latter’s race and setting up the final restart of the night. Swanson and Stewart ran side-by-side for much of the ensuing green flag until the latter cleared him for the top spot. Swanson was unable to catch Stewart as he took his second win of the year; with his Knoxville victory the previous week, Stewart secured a sweep of the two dirt races.

Swanson placed second to mark the third straight race in which the runner-up was not a full-time driver. Castroneves joined the two on the podium.

The series returns to pavement next week at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Feature results

FinishNumberDriverLaps
114Tony Stewart50
263Kody Swanson50
33Hélio Castroneves50
498Marco Andretti50
513Paul Tracy50
641Scott Speed50
748Tony Kanaan50
82Ernie Francis Jr.50
917Willy T. Ribbs50
1015Michael Waltrip50
1118Bobby Labonte45
129Bill Elliott45
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History major and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
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