NASCAR

Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle join Labonte, Waltrip in 2022 SRX championship

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Credit: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR

Bobby Labonte and Michael Waltrip will return to the Superstar Racing Experience for a second full season, but they are not the only NASCAR Cup Series alumni vying for the championship. On Thursday, The Athletic reported Labonte and Waltrip will be joined by Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman for all six races, which was corroborated by series CEO Don Hawk.

Biffle’s arrival comes days after running his first Cup race since 2016 when he finished thirty-sixth in the Daytona 500 for NY Racing Team. He was a longtime regular in the series, racing full-time for Roush Fenway Racing (now RFK Racing) from 2003 to 2016 with nineteen wins and a runner-up championship finish in 2005. Incidentally, the latter saw him lose the title to SRX founder and inaugural series winner Tony Stewart. He hopes to continue Cup racing part-time with NY in 2022.

Between his Cup exit after 2016 and the 2022 Daytona 500 entry, he focused on off-road racing as he owns a UTV shop and the Sand Outlaw Series. He also ran two Camping World Truck Series races, winning at Texas in 2019, and entered five Stadium Super Trucks weekends with four podium finishes. He also made two SRX starts in 2021, winning a heat and finishing second in the feature in the inaugural race at Stafford and eighth at Slinger (where he won another heat).

Newman comes to SRX as he prepares for post-Cup Series life. He had raced in the series since 2001, but declining performance in his last two seasons (including suffering injuries in the 2020 Daytona 500 that sidelined him for three races) led to his departure as Roush reformed into RFK with Brad Keselowski taking Newman’s #6. In two decades of racing, he is an eighteen-time race winner with a best points finish of second in 2014.

With no plans to race in Cup again in the near-future, he is focusing on grassroots short and dirt track racing like SRX.

“It’s about turning the Rubik’s Cube to put the right drivers on the right tracks to have the best competition that makes it a true superstar experience,” Hawk told The Athletic.

Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, finished third in the SRX standings with a second at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 winner and current NASCAR analyst for FOX Sports, was eighth with his strongest run being fifth at Knoxville.

The news comes a day after SRX announced six NTT IndyCar Series drivers will take part. Hawk added more NASCAR drivers will join the roster in the future.

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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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