Superstar Racing Experience
No Pressure, Just Pride for Peyton Sellers at SRX
Jun 23, 2022
Tony Stewart stood triumphant in Victory Lane but he was not jubilant.
The emotions of the Superstar Racing Experience co-owner superseded those of the winningest driver through eight races across two seasons. His No. 14 was one of roughly five cars that sustained minimal damage on Saturday night at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.
Just an hour before, Stewart confronted Ernie Francis Jr. during the intermission and grabbed him by the collar over a race craft disagreement. Hélio Castroneves dumped Paul Tracy during the first heat. Tracy vowed to lag back and take him out in retaliation.
Marco Andretti spun making an aggressive move on Greg Biffle racing for second behind Tony Stewart.
With all due respect to the extensive résumés throughout the field, Stewart said the open wheel and sports car drivers need to be provided a lesson in short track race craft before next weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway.
For that reason, he was in more of a mood to inculcate than celebrate.
"it's more the feeling of needing to have a drivers meeting," Stewart said. "I am excited and honored to race with these guys but some of them, there are some habits they have from other divisions they run that aren't acceptable in short track racing.
"We need to understand that we're tearing stuff up that we don't have enough manpower to fix these cars and maintain this kind of pace for six weeks. If we want to have good cars to drive, we have to take care of it better. We have to take care of each other better on the race track. That doesn't mean you don't race hard and try to win but there has got to be a better way than the way we're doing it."
Stewart is especially frustrated because he felt like the race craft started to take a turn for the worst last week at Five Flags Speedway but the field largely got away with it with only a handful of repairs needed between races.
"Tonight is one of those nights where I'm not real proud of this group," Stewart said.
Sure, Tracy was responsible for some torn up race cars last year, but this wasn't the level everyone raced at across the six weeks.
"It sure wasn't," Stewart agreed.
So, what happened? Was it a byproduct of South Boston specifically?
"We saw it a little bit last weekend, so I don't know what it is," Stewart said. "I'm going to give them the dad talk next week. We're going to have the drivers meeting and then we're going to go into the motor home and have another drivers meeting and they're going to get the dad talk because what happened tonight, we're not going to do this the next four weeks."
To his point, SRX crew chief and veteran short track racer Jeff Fultz explained the work load that will result from Saturday's race. A half dozen cars will need to be repaired and it must be finished by Wednesday morning to load up for Stafford.
There will probably be at least one 20 hour work day.
"The biggest thing is that we're going to have to strip them all down, and basically all the body panels," Fultz said. "Replace or fix em. We got to get them clean, re-letter them, all new paint, decals all in a couple of days."
Fultz agreed last week wasn't this bad, but the team led by SRX Director of Competition Ryan McKinney had almost their maximum work load.
"We busted all we could to get here in time," Fultz said. "Wheels done, everything, it's a lot of work. It has to be done very smooth. If there are any hiccups, your day gets messed up so we're going to have to work in tandem with each other and get it done really quick."
The drivers meeting on Saturday at South Boston ended with CEO Don Hawk thanking the drivers for a largely clean race at Pensacola and to keep it that way this week at South Boston.
They did not.