Hamlin Scores Win in SRX Season Opener at Stafford

Denny Hamlin picked up the win in his first career start with the Camping World SRX Series in a main event shortened to 58 laps due to inclement weather.

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Denny Hamlin became the third driver to win in his first Camping World SRX Series start Thursday night, taking the win in a season opener at Stafford Motor Speedway shortened by inclement weather.

In what proved to be an unfortunately much too literal return of ESPN’s Thursday Night Thunder, Hamlin took the lead from 2022 SRX champion Marco Andretti on lap 12 and led the rest of the way in the main event. The checkered flag flew after 58 laps with a thunderstorm closing in on Stafford Motor Speedway, dampening post-race festivities.

“It was a bunch of fun. I’ve just got to thank Don Hawk and Tony Stewart and those guys for letting me run,” said Hamlin during his post-race interview on ESPN. “Being able to run a short track race with no spotter or anything, obviously it was a lot of fun, but it put a lot of pressure on us.”

Ryan Newman finished second with Clint Bowyer coming home third. Paul Tracy and Andretti rounded out the top five. With Hamlin being one of the four part-time drivers in the field for Thursday’s race, Newman unofficially leaves Stafford with the points lead.

Tony Stewart’s SRX season got off to a sour start, completing just 17 laps before reporting to the pits with a fuel pressure issue. Kevin Harvick’s main event ended after just seven laps, as he was collected in a multi-car incident in turn four. The accident began with contact between Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman and collected nearly half of the 12-car field, but everyone was able to continue except for Harvick.

Hamlin took the win in the first heat race of the evening, which concluded after just 10 laps due to the 12-minute time limit. Paul Tracy finished second, with Marco Andretti third. Hamlin had started sixth in the heat, the deepest any heat race winner had ever started in the field in SRX history.

Newman won the second heat race, finishing ahead of Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski. Like heat one, the second heat race ended early due to the time limit after just 14 laps.

Full results for the main event and both heat races can be viewed below.

The Camping World SRX Series returns to Stafford next Thursday, as the event originally scheduled to take place at Thunder Road Speedbowl has been relocated to Stafford due to a state of emergency in the state of Vermont following catastrophic flooding in the state.

-Images courtesy of Denny Hamlin on Twitter

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
Camping World SRX Series at Stafford Motor Speedway - July 13, 2023

Main Event

FinStNo.DriverSponsorLapsDiffStatusPoints
1211Denny HamlinFedEx Express58--Running--
2339Ryan NewmanSouth Point580.761Running22
3407Clint BowyerGoodyear582.003Running--
413Paul TracyCaymus Vineyards582.831Running18
5125Hailie DeeganGood Sam58--Running16
651Marco AndrettiCamping World584.601Running14
71152Ken SchraderFederated Auto Parts585.403Running12
8818Bobby LabonteSportClips Haircuts586.597Running10
996Brad KeselowskiCamping World587.439Running8
10766Tony KanaanPurdue University588.317Running--
11614Tony StewartBass Pro Shops1741 lapsRunning4
12104Kevin HarvickSouth Point751 lapsRunning--

Heat One

FinStNo.DriverSponsorLapsDiffStatusPoints
1611Denny HamlinFedEx Express10--Running--
223Paul TracyCaymus Vineyards100.447Running11
311Marco AndrettiCamping World101.075Running10
4318Bobby LabonteSportClips Haircuts101.147Running9
5866Tony KanaanPurdue University101.677Running--
61014Tony StewartBass Pro Shops102.048Running7
7752Ken SchraderFederated Auto Parts102.651Running6
8507Clint BowyerGoodyear102.774Running--
91239Ryan NewmanSouth Point103.425Running4
1045Hailie DeeganGood Sam103.542Running3
11114Kevin HarvickSouth Point104.111Running--
1296Brad KeselowskiCamping World104.262Running1

Heat Two

FinStNo.DriverSponsorLapsDiffStatusPoints
1439Ryan NewmanSouth Point14--Running12
2507Clint BowyerGoodyear140.447Running--
316Brad KeselowskiCamping World141.075Running10
424Kevin HarvickSouth Point141.147Running--
5113Paul TracyCaymus Vineyards141.677Running8
6714Tony StewartBass Pro Shops142.048Running7
71211Denny HamlinFedEx Express142.651Running--
8866Tony KanaanPurdue University142.774Running--
9101Marco AndrettiCamping World143.425Running4
10918Bobby LabonteSportClips Haircuts143.542Running3
11652Ken SchraderFederated Auto Parts144.111Running2
1235Hailie DeeganGood Sam144.262Running1