The Camping World SRX Racing Series will get its six-race 2023 season kicked off at Stafford Motor Speedway on Thursday, July 13th. This race will signal the first event of ESPN's partnership with the racing series, and the television giant has repackaged its retro Thursday Night Thunder branding for the occasion.
The stage is set, Thursday Night Thunder is back, and SRX has one hell of a driver lineup set for its first race on The Worldwide Leader of Sports.
12 drivers will compete on the half-mile oval in Stafford, Connecticut on Thursday night. And if this was a concert, you'd be hard-pressed to pick out who the headliner act would be.
The two former SRX Racing champions are in the field, and defending series champion Marco Andretti actually has drawn the pole for the opening Heat Race of the night. Tony Stewart, who won the inaugural SRX Racing Series championship, will roll from the 10th position in the first of two Heat Races.
Current NASCAR Cup Series stars Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Brad Keselowski are in the field. While Harvick and Hamlin are part-time competitors in the series this year, Keselowski will run the full six-race schedule.
The driver/owner of the RFK Racing team in the NASCAR Cup Series has enjoyed a really good second season with RFK Racing. The 39-year-old racer has three top-five finishes and seven top-10s. Keselowski sits 12th in the NASCAR Cup Series regular-season championship standings after 19 races in 2023.
While the three current NASCAR Cup Series racers will be expected to compete for the win, this will be each of the drivers' first start in an SRX event.
Also in the field are SRX Racing mainstays Paul Tracy, Bobby Labonte, Tony Kanaan, and Ryan Newman. Tracy, Labonte, and Newman are all scheduled to compete in the full 2023 SRX season.
Hailie Deegan, a competitor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will also compete in the Series full-time, and she is set to start fourth in Heat Race 1 on Thursday night.
Clint Bowyer and Ken Schrader are the other two racers in the field.
Here is the complete starting lineup for Thursday night's opening SRX Heat Race at Stafford:
More Info About the SRX Racing Event at Stafford Motor Speedway
The television broadcast of the SRX Racing Series event at Stafford will begin at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN, and the race will also be streamable from the ESPN App.
Two 12-minute timed Heat Races will determine the starting lineup for the 75-lap Main Event of the night. While the first Heat Race had its starting lineup determined by a random draw, the second Heat Race lineup will be set by inverting the finishing order of Heat 1.
As for how points are scored in the SRX Racing Series, Heat winners score 12 points, and each position through the field decreases by one point. Main Event winners score 25 points, second-place scores three points less (22), and then each position after that decreases by two points.
Here is a table of how many points are awarded for each position in Heat Races and the Main Event in SRX:
Full 2023 SRX Racing Schedule
|July 13||9:00 PM ET||Stafford Motor Speedway||ESPN|
|July 20||9:00 PM ET||Thunder Road Speedbowl||ESPN|
|July 27||9:00 PM ET||Motor Mile Speedway||ESPN|
|August 3||9:00 PM ET||Berlin Raceway||ESPN|
|August 10||9:00 PM ET||Eldora Speedway||ESPN|
|August 17||9:00 PM ET||Lucas Oil Speedway||ESPN|
Photo Credit: Wayne Riegle / SRX Racing