Superstar Racing Experience
Tony Stewart Sweeps Camping World SRX Series at Eldora
Aug 11, 2023
Over a long and storied career as a racer, team owner and promoter, Tony Stewart has succeeded time and time again. However, there is one area where he believes he has failed miserably.
“I’m telling you, I’m the one person that has catastrophically failed at retirement,” said Stewart while appearing on “The Bullring” on Racing America.
Whether it’s his involvement in Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR, his own NHRA drag racing endeavors, wearing both the promoter and driver hats in the Camping World SRX Series or operating Eldora Speedway, Stewart is busier now than he ever was during his time as a full-time competitor, which ended in 2016.
I’m telling you, I’m the one person that has catastrophically failed at retirement.
“What was supposed to free my schedule up has gone in the opposite direction. I’m literally busier than I’ve ever been, but I’m busy doing things I really enjoy doing.”
Part of that focus during the summer has been the Superstar Racing Experience, which will wrap up its third season Thursday night at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri. In many ways, the series’ move to Thursday evenings has been a throwback to Stewart’s roots, when he raced against up-and-coming stars like Jeff Gordon and current SRX points leader Ryan Newman as well as veterans of the USAC world on ESPN’s Thursday Night Thunder.
“That’s exactly what it was designed to be. The idea of being able to run back on Thursday nights with ESPN, that’s how I got my opportunity in IndyCar and NASCAR. Car owners and other drivers, like my teammate, Bobby Labonte, at Joe Gibbs Racing, he was the one that got me hired. That’s how Bobby learned about me, seeing me on Thursday Night Thunder.”
The mid-week racing has also allowed for an influx of more full-time competitors from top series such as NASCAR to take part during the six-week season, and gives fans the luxury of supporting SRX as well as their other favorite racing series.
“For us to have the opportunity to be on a non-traditional racing night where it freed up the schedule for a lot of these drivers who wanted to come but had scheduling conflicts, that was a bonus. For the fans to be able to see us on Thursday but still be able to go on Friday and Saturday and Sunday and support their local short tracks or watch an IndyCar race or a NASCAR race, that’s what Thursday Night Thunder is all about for us.”
While Stewart hopes the on-track product Thursday night at Lucas Oil Speedway will prove to be an exciting finale for this year’s Camping World SRX Series, he has no visions at this time of extending the SRX season beyond six weeks in future seasons at this time.
“It’s literally a five-and-a-half-week traveling circus. Once event one and race one is done, it’s a matter of packing the tent, getting all the transporters loaded. Cars that are hurt and wounded, getting those loaded, getting to the next track, setting up camp again, and for those crew guys to get everything done.
“By week four or week five, those guys have their tongues hanging out. Last week was. Alittle bit of a rough week, and these guys will be tired. At the same time, this group knows it’s a grind and it’s a do-whatever-it-takes attitude to get through six events. Once it’s over, they all get a short vacation. They get a chance to get away from it and catch their breath.”
The Bullring is a weekly talk show hosted by Alan Dietz and Jess Ballard, bringing the biggest names in racing together to break down what happened the previous weekend, or look ahead to the biggest events next weekend. The Bullring is free to watch for all viewers every Wednesday at 7 PM on RacingAmerica.TV and Racing America's social media platforms, and the replay is available at any time afterward.
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America