Like its inaugural season, the Superstar Racing Experience will run a six-race schedule in 2022. The series announced its calendar on Monday, and will once again be a summertime show beginning in mid-June and ending in late July.
“When I look at the 2022 schedule, I see varying kinds of race tracks in six different locations throughout the USA,” said SRX CEO Don Hawk, who was appointed to the position in early January. “These tracks and fanbases have a passion for racing and they all were extremely excited to land an SRX on CBS date on this schedule.
“The drivers will need multi-faceted discipline and skill with four pavement and two dirt tracks of all different shapes and sizes. We couldn’t be more excited as nothing is better than superstars on a short track on a Saturday night with CBS Sports delivering an innovative motorsport broadcast showing the intensity and grit that our fans love.”
Only two tracks return from the 2021 season in Stafford Motor Speedway and the Nashville Fairgrounds, which are respectively the third and fourth races for 2022. Stafford, a half-mile track and staple on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule, hosted the inaugural SRX race. Fittingly, the race was won by six-time Modified champion and Stafford star Doug Coby. The historic Fairgrounds is currently the target of a revitalisation project by Speedway Motorsports, and was the site of the SRX season finale won by 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott.
“We’re honoured to have the SRX series back at Stafford,” Stafford CEO Mark Arute commented. “The 2021 race was a moment in Stafford history that none of us will ever forget between the incredible driver line-up, amazing atmosphere, and great story with the hometown hero Doug Coby getting the win. July 2nd will be another event that race fans will not want to miss.
“Not much more you can ask for when drivers like Tony Stewart and Hélio Castroneves visit a short track. It’s a treat for the local race fans and is exactly the breath of fresh air auto racing needed. We are excited to work with the team at SRX once again to put on a great show for the short track fans of the Northeast.”
As an additional prize, Stafford will offer an SRX ride to whoever wins the track’s prestigious Spring Sizzler on 2 July. Such an arrangement was also done by Slinger Speedway with its Slinger Nationals last season. Stafford regulars were receptive to the idea, with Chase Dowling describing it as “huge for short trackers. It’s really cool that the SRX series is giving a chance to a local driver, it says a lot about what the series is trying to do. The Sizzler keeps getting better and better, big money and now this, everyone should be there.”
The season will begin at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. The half-mile short track is famously known as the home of the Snowball Derby, considered the biggest super late model race in America which has seen participation from many NASCAR drivers in its history. Five Flags hosted its lone Grand National (now Cup Series) race in 1953, its first year of operation, and the ARCA Menards Series East since 2019.
Unlike Five Flags, South Boston Speedway is a lot more familiar with NASCAR, having hosted all three national series in the past. The Cup Series raced at the Virginia .4-mile oval between 1960 and 1961, while what is now the Xfinity Series did so from its inception until 2000; the Truck Series raced here between 2001 and 2003. While NASCAR’s national divisions have not touched the track in two decades, it is a popular venue for grassroots racing such as the Modified Tour, ARCA East, and CARS Late Model Tour, and many future NASCAR stars have cut their teeth here.
“We are extremely excited and proud to host the SRX Series,” stated South Boston CEO Nick Igdalsky, whose family also operates NASCAR track Pocono Raceway. “There is nothing more exciting than to see top drivers from multiple racing disciplines go head-to-head, and especially to see it here at South Boston Speedway. This will undoubtedly be one of the biggest events in the track’s history, and it will put South Boston Speedway and the South Boston, Virginia and Halifax County, Virginia community on a national stage. We are proud to be able to bring this event to South Boston Speedway as we celebrate the speedway’s sixty-fifth anniversary.”
The season’s final two races will be held on dirt tracks, both run by longtime NASCAR drivers. While Stewart’s Eldora Speedway will not return, third-mile I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri, is partly owned by his friend Ken Schrader. Schrader, a dirt veteran who has won in all three NASCAR national series, has co-owned and promoted I-55 alongside Ray Marler since 2003. Formally known as Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, the track hosts a variety of weekly series including late models and modified dirt cars.
The second dirt track, three-eighths-mile Sharon Speedway in Ohio, is jointly owned by Dave Blaney, a Cup Series driver for nearly two decades and accomplished dirt ace. Sharon is also not unfamiliar with NASCAR, hosting a Grand National event in 1954.
“We had a great first year and now we’re looking to build off that momentum going into 2022 with a selection of tracks that blends old and new,” proclaimed Stewart. “All the tracks last year delivered great energy, but we’re looking to spread that wealth a little bit this year. Stafford and Nashville are back, and they’re going to be joined by four new tracks: Pevely and Sharon for guys like me who love the dirt, and Five Flags and South Boston, two of the most prestigious pavement tracks around. We’ll hit some different areas of the country and deliver SRX to fans who might not have been able to see us in person last year.”
A driver roster has not been finalised, though one can expect series founder and reigning champion Stewart to take part for obvious reasons. The inclusion of I-55 and Sharon also suggest Schrader and Blaney could drive the multi-driver guest car. Blaney’s son and current Cup driver Ryan is also a possibility, though it is dependent on scheduling as the Cup Series races at Pocono the following day and will presumably have practice/qualifying on the same day as SRX.
|1||Five Flags Speedway||Pensacola, Florida||18 June|
|2||South Boston Speedway||South Boston, Virginia||25 June|
|3||Stafford Motor Speedway||Stafford Springs, Connecticut||2 July|
|4||Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway||Nashville, Tennessee||9 July|
|5||I-55 Raceway||Pevely, Maryland||16 July|
|6||Sharon Speedway||Hartford, Ohio||23 July|