Tony Stewart wins temper-filled SRX South Boston

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Credit: Superstar Racing Experience

South Boston Speedway might be in Virginia, but one might think it was a bar in Boston, Massachusetts as the Superstar Racing Experience‘s maiden trip to the four-tenths-mile oval saw many drivers angry at each other for on-track run-ins. One of them was Tony Stewart, whose contact with Ernie Francis Jr. under caution during Heat #2 led to a confrontation profane interview before the final. Even when Stewart walked away with the trophy and his third SRX win, he still called out his peers.

In a post-race interview released by SRX, Stewart described the race as having a “lot of hurt feelings, a lot of tore-up race cars, a lot of stuff that we just can’t explain why things happen tonight. Definitely looking forward to getting to Stafford next weekend, having a family talk with all the drivers about etiquette and how we’re gonna do this better than what we’ve done the first two weeks this year. We can do better than what we’re doing.”

Stewart and Francis had engaged in a shouting and grabbing match after the second heat race following their bumping under yellow. Although the two were spotted sharing a laugh prior to the final and Stewart gave his praises for Francis’ career in his interview with CBS Sports, he added he is “way more talented than doing the stupid shit he just did out there and that’s probably what ticked me off the most. I try to race these guys all with respect and give them room, we’ve got cars we’ve got to run the next four weeks in a row, and to have guys make stupid mistakes, it just pisses you off.”

While Stewart got the last laugh as he held off fellow ex-NASCAR Cup Series opponents Greg Biffle and Bobby Labonte for his first win on pavement, the main stories continued to be the frustration between various drivers. Francis said he was “not going to take that from [Stewart]” and described his conduct as being the “kind of stuff Paul Tracy does.”

Although Francis and Tracy did not mix it up, the latter had his own feud during that heat when he was spun by Hélio Castroneves. Tracy, who controversially lost the 2002 Indianapolis 500 to Castroneves, proclaimed he would call the Brazilian “Castro” in reference to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro before adding, “This guy loves to steal wins from me. That’s about as dirty as you can ever get. I drive rough but that was dirty.”

For better or worse, Tracy will not be able to exact revenge on Castroneves next week at Stafford Speedway as Castroneves is racing the NTT IndyCar Series at Mid-Ohio.

Tracy was taken out again in the final after hitting another IndyCar veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay, who turned Michael Waltrip into the outside wall on lap 69; Waltrip eventually retaliated under caution. He later told CBS they would not have “a beer together,” words that he lived up to as only Biffle, Labonte, and SRX test driver Ken Schrader joined him at the South Boston Speedway Track Bar overseen by Waltrip’s brewery.

Race results

114Tony Stewart99Running
269Greg Biffle99Running
318Bobby Labonte99Running
439Ryan Newman99Running
506Hélio Castroneves99Running
66Tony Kanaan99Running
75Ernie Francis Jr.99Running
898Marco Andretti99Running
91Ryan Hunter-Reay99Running
1026Peyton Sellers99Running
1115Michael Waltrip68Crash
123Paul Tracy34Crash

Heat #1

169Greg Biffle37Running
214Tony Stewart37Running
398Marco Andretti37Running
418Bobby Labonte37Running
51Ryan Hunter-Reay37Running
626Peyton Sellers37Running
739Ryan Newman37Running
85Ernie Francis Jr.37Running
96Tony Kanaan37Running
1015Michael Waltrip37Running
116Hélio Castroneves37Running
123Paul Tracy37Running

Heat #2

106Hélio Castroneves38Running
298Marco Andretti38Running
339Ryan Newman38Running
46Tony Kanaan38Running
518Bobby Labonte38Running
614Tony Stewart38Running
715Michael Waltrip38Running
869Greg Biffle38Running
95Ernie Francis Jr.38Running
1026Peyton Sellers38Running
111Ryan Hunter-Reay38Running
123Paul Tracy37Crash
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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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