The inaugural Camping World SRX Series season came to a close on Saturday at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. In front of what was reported as the historic track’s largest crowd since 1970, reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott battled father Bill Elliott for the win. As the younger Elliott celebrated his victory, SRX co-founder Tony Stewart finished runner-up to claim the championship.
The Elliotts comprised the first row of twelve, with Chase being in the multi-driver ringer car, for the first heat. Bill dominated the heat to the finish, while Chase kept Bobby Labonte at bay to take second.
After finishing last in Heat #1, Willy T. Ribbs started on the pole for the second, though Michael Waltrip quickly took the lead. Hélio Castroneves became the leader shortly before the competition caution with seven minutes left for running too long under green. By the end of the heat, Castroneves took the win.
Stewart finished fifth in both heats, which was enough to clinch him the championship.
Heat #1 results
|7||2||Ernie Francis Jr.||25|
|12||17||Willy T. Ribbs||25|
Heat #2 results
|2||2||Ernie Francis Jr.||24|
|12||17||Willy T. Ribbs||24|
Bill Elliott and Labonte, both well familiar with each other as fellow ex-Cup champions and regulars in the 1990s and 2000s, made up the front row to start the feature. The former led until the first caution came on lap 26 after hitting the green flag limit. Chase caught his dad during the ensuing run before another flag for the same reason came on lap 50.
Chase would take the lead before Ribbs produced the lone race-related yellow flag of the race after wrecking on lap 56, ending his night. Elliott and Stewart led the field to the restart with seventeen laps to go, and Elliott kept the spot until another green-flag limit caution came with seven laps left. Two laps following the restart, Marco Andretti spun two laps after contact from Paul Tracy.
The Andretti spin resulted in a five-lap run to the finish that saw Elliott hold off Stewart to win. Bill finished third to join his son and the series founder on the podium.
|6||2||Ernie Francis Jr.||77|
|12||17||Willy T. Ribbs||56|