By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart is a co-owner of Stewart Haas Racing. Stewart also owns Eldora Speedway and the All Star Circuit of Champions, a Sprint Car Series.
Stewart is now recreating IROC with The Superstar Racing Experience in 2021. IROC stopped following the 2006 season.
The famous race car driver will be working with NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham to create SRX for the 2021 season. There will be six races on short tracks around the United States on CBS in the summer.
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The racing series will feature 12 drivers, who will compete in cars created by Evernham. One of the races – at least in its first season – will take place at Stewart’s Eldora Speedway.
Evernham, according to the Associated Press, came up with the idea, before partnering with Stewart and other heavyweights to come up with the idea. Evernham reportedly did not want cars to rely on aerodynamics and instead, drivers to be rewarded for their skill.
Former NASCAR executive George Pyne is also part of the group. Sandy Montag, the Chairman of The Montag Group, is also working with Stewart and Evernham.
“With the backing from legends in the racing industry, the quality of the drivers and competition, and the atmosphere that short tracks will help to create, the Superstar Racing Experience is a great addition to our live summer sports programming that racing fans will embrace,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said.
The car that Evernham is working on will rely on the latest safety advances, ‘fits within the budget and is a car that the racing public can relate to as well.’ The group does not have a tire maker at this time, or manufacturer support.
In addition, the series is looking for sponsorship opportunities, as well.
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“We envision a hybrid of all different series – we don’t see it looking like a crazy dunebuggyish type car,” Evernham said. “To me, it’s got to be a really cool looking car that also puts it back in the drivers hands, mechanically-wise and allows it to be more affected by the pedals.”
The cars are not expected to exceed 150 mph. Evenham’s dream list of drivers include Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Tracy, along with short track racers and up-and-coming drivers.
Stewart will be the recruiter for the series. He would like to have the drivers locked in before next season.
“I always liked the IROC Series back in the day and even before I was old enough to be a professional race car driver, I looked at that as the cream of the crop,” Stewart said. “When I got invited to run IROC, it was a huge honor. You were part of an elite group of drivers that got the opportunity to race each other. I always took that really seriously.
“When the series went away, I think it left a big hole. It didn’t needed to be filled then, but we have an opening now that gives an opportunity for guys like myself and a lot of the guys, who will be invited, who can still drive race cars, still have the ability, still want to race, to come back. Hopefully, they will feel the way I did, like it’s a cool opportunity to take seriously and be looked up to as the best out there.”
The SRX races are expected to be 90-minutes long.
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