NASCAR

SRX’s Tony Stewart returns for title defence, Matt Kenseth and Hailie Deegan join roster

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Credit: Superstar Racing Experience

Superstar Racing Experience founder and inaugural champion Tony Stewart is hoping to go back-to-back. On Wednesday, SRX announced Stewart will seek to defend his title in 2022, while Matt Kenseth and Hailie Deegan will conduct part-time schedules. All three drivers come from NASCAR backgrounds.

Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, co-founded SRX with Ray Evernham. During the first season in 2021, he won both dirt races at Knoxville Raceway and Eldora Speedway with podium finishes in all but one race (a seventh at IRP) en route to the championship.

Kenseth will race at the Nashville Fairgrounds (9 July), I-55 Raceway (16 July), and Sharon Speedway (23 July). All three comprise the final three rounds of the 2022 season. The 2003 Cup champion, his car will be #17 and sport a yellow-trimmed livery that is modelled after his DeWalt-sponsored Cup car. After exiting full-time NASCAR competition at the end of 2020, he has mostly settled down with occasional grassroots competition before resurfacing in NASCAR as a FOX Sports guest analyst for last Sunday’s Cup race at Fontana. Stewart also worked in the same capacity with FOX for the Daytona 500.

He remarked on social media, “My 2022 ‘work’ schedule is picking up!”

Deegan will race at Stafford Motor Speedway on 2 July and I-55. She is in her second full season of Camping World Truck Series competition; after finishing seventeenth in points as a rookie with a top ten at Gateway, she placed seventeenth in the 2022 season opener at Daytona. She ran three SRX races in 2021 at Knoxville, Slinger, and Nashville with a runner-up finish to Stewart in the first race. Sharing a car with Tony Kanaan, the unified effort was sixth in points.

Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman, who were Kenseth’s team-mates at now-RFK Racing during the 2000s, are running the full season; Newman was also an ally of Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing from 2009 to 2013. Other confirmed full-time drivers include Michael Waltrip and Stewart’s former Joe Gibbs Racing colleague Bobby Labonte. From the IndyCar side, Paul Tracy and Marco Andretti will also run every race, while Ryan Hunter-Reay has not revealed if he will do the same (though his schedule during the season is completely free). Confirmed part-time drivers include Kanaan, Hélio Castroneves, Ernie Francis Jr., and Josef Newgarden.

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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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