SRX Ride on the Line for Super Late Model Stars at Pensacola

The driver with the best average finish across the Twin 100s will race the legends on June 18.


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Superstar Racing Experience accomplished two of its primary goals on Night One last season when Doug Coby won the inaugural event at a sold-out Stafford Motor Speedway watched by over a million viewers on CBS.

Sure, the event was made for television fun, but it was also designed to spotlight several of the most historic short and dirt tracks across the country and the local legends that call them home. Coby defeated Tony Stewart head-to-head and parlayed the experience into a Truck Series ride at Bristol Motor Speedway.

More importantly, it was a reminder to the world that Coby very well could have raced on Sundays under a different set of circumstances.

Now, the stars of the Southern Super Series will be given a chance to follow Coby in making a statement against the likes of Stewart, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Newman, Marco Andretti and Bobby Labonte when SRX Season 2 begins on June 18 at Five Flags Speedway.

But first, they must earn it.

The driver with the best average finish across the Pepperjack Kennels Twin 100s on Friday and Saturday nights will earn a guest driver spot when SRX makes it debut at the home of the Snowball Derby.

From the moment SRX was unveiled to the public, the short track community vehemently wanted Stephen Nasse spotlighted on national television to the more casual audience, and he’s open to the opportunity too.

"Any style of racing is something I would like to do," Nasse said. "It isn’t going to break my heart if it doesn’t happen, but I think it would be a lot of fun, and I’d love to put on a show for the fans. Those cars are so equal that I think I could show up well at a track I’m familiar with."

Nasse has two chances to race in SRX, either via a fan vote at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway or by posting the best average finish this weekend in Pensacola.

"It would be a good chance to make some new fans," Nasse said. "I’ve gotten to be well known in the short track ranks but SRX attracts a different audience and I’d love to introduce them to what we do here. That’s a bonus. I’d rather race my way in this weekend, but if we get the fan vote at Nashville, that would mean a lot because I’m very appreciative to my fans."

Derek Thorn is a two-time ARCA West Series champion and has occasionally raced on the same card as the NASCAR Cup Series and relishes any opportunity to tell his story to a larger audience.

"As a short track driver, you don't have a lot of opportunities to race in front of a national audience," Thorn said. "I'd love to do it if we can get it done this weekend. I watched those races on TV and they just seemed like a lot of fun."

On the other hand, Super Late Model veteran Preston Peltier isn’t motivated by the SRX ride but overcoming one of his most challenging tracks instead.

"To be honest with you, I don't really care about the ride," Peltier said. "This place is my Achilles Heel, and I've worked hard to put us in that position, and that's our priority."

Cole Butcher of Donnie Wilson Motorsports says it’s the entire awards package this weekend that is attractive to him. There’s a chance to win a maximum of 25 grand over two days, the SRX ride, and a new pit box for the driver with the best average finish courtesy of Pepperjack Kennels.

"The TV views were incredible for SRX, and I think it's great that they're coming to Pensacola," Butcher said. "It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and we're going to put our best foot forward."

Chandler Smith should be a NASCAR Truck Series championship threat later this summer and autumn but racing in front of a million TV viewers would be the largest stage he’s competed on yet. But really, the chance to race against the legends in the field is something that became appealing to him once he thought it through.

"I actually haven’t thought of it like that," Smith said. "You’re right that this is the only chance that I will have to race Tony Stewart, Helio and Bobby Labonte. That would be a huge honor and it makes it even sweeter if we can get it done. My wife and I are starting a family, we’re going to have a son, and it would be really cool to tell him stories like this if we can get it done."