There's just something about Ryan Newman in a Camping World SRX Series car at Stafford Speedway. On Thursday night, in the second race of the 2023 SRX season, Newman scored the victory. Newman won last year's event at Stafford, and he was running second a week ago when the weather ended the race at Stafford early.
Thursday night, no weather could hold Newman back as he hit his marks perfectly, and got around Tony Kanaan late in the event to take the lead, and he never looked back.
The only thing Newman did wrong all night, was he forgot how to properly get out of the SRX race cars.
"No, it was tough. Those guys set a pretty good pace at the start there. My fat butt forgot to open the door to get out," Newman laughed. "So proud of this opportunity and everybody's effort to give everybody equal cars. we kept ours -- kept easy on the brakes at the start of the race. Maybe that was the difference. Those guys ran pretty hard, I saw the rotors glowing."
Newman dedicated his win to Bryan Clausen and the Clausen family.
Unprecedented flooding in Vermont led to this race, which was originally scheduled to be at Thunder Road Speedbowl, to be relocated to Stafford. While Newman certainly doesn't wish flooding on anyone else, he certainly probably wishes there was a way to compete at Stafford for all six races of the SRX season.
With his win, Newman has now launched to the point lead of the SRX Series after two races. The 45-year-old Newman now holds a 14-point advantage over last year's champion Marco Andretti.
NASCAR Cup Series regular, and part-time SRX competitor, Daniel Suárez finished the Main Event in the runner-up spot. Despite coming up just shy of the race win, Suárez had a fun time, and was proud to race against some of the legends of Motorsport.
"That was a lot of fun. Racing with some amazing race car drivers. Some legends of the sport," Suárez explained. "I was talking to Paul Tracy earlier, that my first race ever was in Champ Car at Monterrey, Mexico, my hometown and Paul Tracy was fighting for the win. Pretty crazy how things go around so much.
"Overall, just happy being here. It was a good run, it was fun. I want to thank everyone at SRX for the opportunity, and hope we can do it again."
Andretti came home third in the Main Event. According to Andretti, having the race at Stafford two weeks in a row allowed him to pick up some tricks that came in handy Thursday night in race two.
"I think I learned my lesson last weekend, honestly," Andretti said. "It should have come down to me and Hamlin. I wanted a shot at him, but I lost the brakes. Tonight I took care of them a little bit. They were still long, which is why I clobbered Stewart there at the end. He'll be a little mad at me. But he backed the corner up and the pedal went down. So that was unintentional."
Ken Schrader, and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five finishers on the night.
Biffle got his top-five finish in a backup car, after he was sent crashing hard in Heat Race 1 after contact with Suárez.
Tony Stewart, who won Heat Race 1, came home seventh in the Main Event. Brad Keselowski, who won Heat Race 2, finished 10th in the 13-car field after he fell out of the race with eight laps remaining.
Ryan Preece dominated the main event, but had a brake failure late in the event, which signaled the end of his race, and Tony Kanaan had a similar issue while leading the event on Lap 71. However, unlike Preece, Kanaan's car would go hard into the wall ending his night
Photo Credit: Wayne Riegle, SRX Racing
SRX Racing at Stafford (Race 2) Main Event Results
|1||6||39||Ryan Newman||South Point||80||--||Running||25|
|2||2||99||Daniel Suarez||Florida Panthers||80||0.756||Running||--|
|3||7||1||Marco Andretti||Camping World||80||1.334||Running||20|
|4||9||52||Ken Schrader||Federated Auto Parts||80||1.809||Running||18|
|6||10||18||Bobby Labonte||SportClips Haircuts||80||2.762||Running||14|
|7||3||14||Tony Stewart||Bass Pro Shops||80||2.857||Running||12|
|8||11||5||Hailie Deegan||Good Sam||80||3.182||Running||11|
|9||12||36||Kenny Wallace||South Point||80||3.497||Running||--|
|10||5||6||Brad Keselowski||Camping World||72||8 laps||Out||8|
|11||8||3||Paul Tracy||Caymus Vineyards||72||8 laps||Out||6|
|12||4||66||Tony Kanaan||Purdue University||71||9 laps||Out||--|
|13||1||41||Ryan Preece||Haas Automation||65||15 laps||Out||--|
Heat Race 1 Results
|1||2||14||Tony Stewart||Bass Pro Shops||13||--||Running||12|
|2||3||3||Paul Tracy||Caymus Vineyards||13||0.331||Running||11|
|3||8||99||Daniel Suarez||Florida Panthers||13||2.126||Running||10|
|4||1||5||Hailie Deegan||Good Sam||13||2.259||Running||9|
|5||11||41||Ryan Preece||Haas Automation||13||2.416||Running||8|
|6||13||66||Tony Kanaan||Purdue University||13||2.785||Running||7|
|7||9||18||Bobby Labonte||SportClips Haircuts||13||3.485||Running||6|
|8||10||1||Marco Andretti||Camping World||13||4.430||Running||5|
|9||6||52||Ken Schrader||Federated Auto Parts||13||4.630||Running||4|
|10||4||39||Ryan Newman||South Point||13||4.663||Running||3|
|11||7||6||Brad Keselowski||Camping World||13||4.921||Running||2|
|12||12||36||Kenny Wallace||South Point||13||5.617||Running||1|
|13||5||69||Greg Biffle||Goodyear||6||7 laps||Accident||1|
Heat Race 2 Results
|1||3||6||Brad Keselowski||Camping World||19||--||Running||12|
|2||9||41||Ryan Preece||Haas Automation||19||0.262||Running||--|
|3||4||39||Ryan Newman||South Point||19||0.510||Running||10|
|4||6||1||Marco Andretti||Camping World||19||1.490||Running||9|
|5||8||66||Tony Kanaan||Purdue University||19||1.743||Running||--|
|6||5||52||Ken Schrader||Federated Auto Parts||19||2.198||Running||7|
|7||11||99||Daniel Suarez||Florida Panthers||19||2.507||Running||--|
|8||7||18||Bobby Labonte||SportClips Haircuts||19||2.841||Running||5|
|9||2||36||Kenny Wallace||South Point||19||3.421||Running||--|
|10||13||14||Tony Stewart||Bass Pro Shops||19||3.809||Running||3|
|12||12||3||Paul Tracy||Caymus Vineyards||19||4.558||Running||1|
|13||10||5||Hailie Deegan||Good Sam||19||4.593||Running||1|