We’ve reached the final week of the inaugural season for the Camping World SRX Series. The season promises to go out in style with an exciting finale at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Here is how we rank this week’s field in the Music City.
1) Chase Elliott
He’s the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion and he is a former All American 400 winner at Nashville. Tony Stewart will likely end the night as series champion, but the younger Elliott has to be the favorite to win the race.
2) Tony Stewart
Of course, we weren’t going to push “Smoke” far down the list with the appearance of Chase Elliott. Stewart has only missed one podium so far during the season and carries a 38-point advantage into the finale ahead of Ernie Francis, Jr.
3) Marco Andretti
Andretti surged late at Slinger for his first SRX win, pulling out the victory on a green-white-checkered finish. That puts him third in the points with a chance to overtake Ernie Francis, Jr. for second.
4) Ernie Francis, Jr.
Francis didn’t have the night he hoped for at Slinger with a sixth-place finish. Still, he has a chance to finish out a strong season with a good run at Nashville.
5) Hailie Deegan
Deegan has finishes of third and fourth in two SRX starts this season. Last week, Deegan showed up at Slinger one night after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Knoxville Raceway and nearly scored a podium finish.
6) Bobby Labonte
Much like when the Camping World SRX Series went to Lucas Oil Raceway, Labonte can boast a Busch Series win at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway early in his career. Labonte finished second at Lucas Oil, so hopefully that trend will continue for him.
7) Helio Castroneves
Castroneves remains in the top five in points after being one of the casualties in a physical race at Slinger Speedway. He may be excited to stretch his legs on the long straights of Nashville after the trip to the Wisconsin quarter-mile.
8) Tony Kanaan
Welcome back Tony Kanaan after a week away due to scheduling conflicts. Throughout the season, Hailie Deegan has been TK’s “substitute” driver, but now the two will get to race against each other in the finale.
9) Michael Waltrip
Nashville will be a homecoming race for Michael Waltrip, and Mikey will be eager to impress in front of family and friends at a track where Waltrips have enjoyed plenty of success over the years.
10) Bill Elliott
It’s been a struggle this season for “Awesome Bill,” who joked on “The Bullring” this week he may need a handicap to keep up with some of the younger drivers in the field. There’s no doubt he’ll be leaning on one particular young driver this week for some advice.
11) Paul Tracy
Tracy had one of his strongest showings of the season at Slinger in terms of pace and speed, but ultimately finished 11th after a late-race incident.
12) Willy T. Ribbs
Ribbs survived the rough-and-tumble trip to Slinger for a seventh-place finish, his strongest of the season. Despite that, he remains 10th in points, last among the “full-time” SRX competitors.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo