NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart is bringing back an all-star racing circuit, following in the heels of the now-defunct IROC Series. He partnered with fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham, as well as former NASCAR COO George Pyne, to create a six-race series focused on short tracks. This series, the Superstar Racing Experience will launch in 2021.
According to the Sports Business Journal, SRX will air exclusively on CBS next summer as part of an existing deal. The races will take place on Saturday nights in primetime, providing another option for racing fans. Stewart explained that this is not a NASCAR competitor, saying that it is "an additive" and a new take on motorsports. Additionally, the four board members — Stewart, Pyne, Evernham and agent Sandy Montag — stated during interviews that they believe SXR can take advantage of areas where NASCAR falls short.
One of the biggest changes to the racing format is that all of the 12 drivers — including Stewart — will race in equally-built cars. In NASCAR, bigger teams can build better cars while smaller teams struggle to compete and find sponsorship money. This will not happen in SXR. All of the drivers will have the same level of quality in their control and will only find success through their existing skills behind the wheel.
Stewart has not revealed the names of the other drivers, but he has a "wish list" compiled. He plans on reaching out to potential options soon so he can lock them in before potential conflicts arise. Evernham listed Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson as two options on his dream list.
Another major change is that the drivers will not get behind the wheel of the same car each week. They will arrive at the track and then draw for a random car and crew chief. Each driver will have some practice time before the event starts. Evernham's team will be responsible for building and maintaining the different cars.
The track list remains a mystery following the unveiling, but SRX is aiming for a mix of dirt, paved ovals and road courses. Nashville's fairgrounds track — One of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s favorites — is among the list of potential options. Another track is Ohio's Eldora Speedway, which Stewart owns.
While NASCAR races can run four hours, SRX will focus on a much shorter event. The series will have two 45-minute heats separated by a halftime intermission. Drivers won't have pit stops, but they will have the opportunity to make changes between the heats. SRX is aiming to have all events completed in a two-hour window.