The season-opening race of the inaugural Camping World SRX Series last Saturday night at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway was an unabashed success with local all-star Doug Coby taking the victory over NASCAR legends Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart.
Response to the first event of the six-race short-track series airing live at 8 p.m. ET on the CBS Television Network with streaming live on Paramount+ Premium was overwhelmingly positive, and fan feedback has already been implemented to make the next Camping World SRX Series event this Saturday night at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway even better.
The two timed heat races have been shortened from 15 minutes to 12 minutes. Drivers will still line up for the first heat race via a random draw, and the lineup for the second heat race will still be an invert of the results from the first heat. The shorter timeframe of the heats is designed to create a greater sense of urgency and, starting at Knoxville, drivers are incentivized to race for the win in both heats because their average finish in the heats will determine their starting spot in the feature race.
The feature race at Knoxville has been cut to 50 laps. Only green flag laps will count, and there will be unlimited attempts at a green-white-checkered finish if a caution comes out near the end of the race. Similar to the shortened heat races, the reduced feature length is designed to create heightened urgency and allow for the race to finish under green flag conditions. This also provides CBS with the necessary time to interview the race winner, second place and any other compelling storylines.
Lastly, driver identification on the racecars will be more prevalent. Each drivers’ name will be larger and, more importantly, the driver will carry the same color throughout the remainder of the Camping World SRX Series season. For instance, the orange so many fans identify with Stewart will remain with the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion through the season finale July 17 at the Nashville (Tenn.) Fairgrounds Speedway.
“As good as we felt our first race was, there are always things that can be improved,” said Ray Evernham, co-founder of the Camping World SRX Series. “I lived by this mantra as a crew chief and team owner and I still live by it today.
“There were things we saw that we immediately knew we could make better for the next Camping World SRX Series race at Knoxville, but we also received real-time feedback from fans. Their insights were spot on and we’ve worked hard to implement them in time for Saturday night.
“The Camping World SRX Series was created for the fans, and our quest to deliver exciting races with engaging personalities will never end. We want Knoxville to be better than Stafford, and when we go to Eldora in two weeks, we want that event to be better than Knoxville. We heard from our fans after Stafford and we’ll continue to listen to make the Camping World SRX Series the best it can be.”
The Camping World SRX Series features world-class drivers from an array of motorsports backgrounds competing in identically prepared racecars on some of the most iconic short tracks in America. Stewart, Paul Tracy, Bobby Labonte, Willy T. Ribbs, Bill Elliott, Ernie Francis Jr., Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves and Michael Waltrip are the fulltime drivers in the Camping World SRX Series, and after Saturday night’s race at Knoxville, they’ll have four more events – June 26 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, July 10 at Slinger (Wis.) Speedway and then July 17 at Nashville where the inaugural Camping World SRX Series champion will be crowned.
Local all-stars will join the series regulars, with four-time Knoxville track champion Brian Brown at Knoxville, five-time USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson at Eldora, prolific USAC and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour winner Bobby Santos III at Lucas Oil Raceway, and the winner of the July 6 Slinger Nationals – one of the most prestigious short-track races in the country – competing in the Camping World SRX Series race at Slinger. A handful of racing “ringers” will also race with the Camping World SRX Series at select events, with Biffle returning at Slinger, five-time Rallycross champion and former Formula One driver Scott Speed racing at Eldora and Lucas Oil Raceway, and Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist in his element at Knoxville.