By Jerry Jordan/Editor
With Ryan Newman saying from race number one at 5 Flags Speedway that he was determined to win the Camping World SRX Racing Series Championship, he enters the final race of the six-race season in second place, seven points behind Marco Andretti, and it’s shaping up to be an epic battle Saturday night at Sharon Speedway.
Andretti, who gained his stardom from the IndyCar Series, said he has been steady over the past few weeks and churning away to move up in the points. He said he like racing Newman but there are several drivers in contention for the championship, including series founder and NASCAR Hall of Fame member, Tony Stewart.
“He races super clean and I have so much fun running against him (Newman) but like Tony said earlier, it’s not just him in the fight, so that is what is going to make it great for the fans,” Andretti said. “How did I do it? I’ve been on a couple of main event poles and I think that is from being steady in the heat races. We have the last three podiums, too, but there are points for the heat races and I am just trying to be consistent from the bottom up and trying to, obviously, average out better than the others. Now, I have to do it for three races (Heat Race 1, Heat Race 2 and the Main Event) this weekend.
“I don’t want to finish second anymore. It definitely would be nice to go the best way, on top. But there are two ways to go in, trying to go in and just cover, you know, just trying to hawk whoever I am behind in points but you want to go into it with the mentality of extending the points lead and see what happens from there.”
SRX Racing Series Points Battle:
- Marco Andretti (170) – Andretti has finished second in the last three races.
- Ryan Newman (162) – Newman won at Stafford Motor Speedway.
- Tony Stewart (157) – Stewart won at South Boston Speedway and I-55 Raceway.
- Bobby Labonte (155) – Labonte won at the Nashville Fairgrounds.
While Newman is in second place, Stewart is in third and he is coming off his second win of the season. He drove to the front at I-55 Speedway and held off several challengers. Now, he is looking to repeat as series champion.
“Yeah, it’s been exciting, for sure. It is everything I thought it would be as far as the excitement level and the intensity level,” Stewart said. “That is one thing, you get 12 drivers with one common goal every week and everyone has their own agendas, so it has been exciting racing, there’s been some pushing and shoving above and beyond what we had last year but I think it is great because there is a lot of excitement and buzz around it.
“It’s unbelievable to run five races and then you look at the points standings and the top four drivers are within 15 points of each other. I mean, that is literally only eight positions in the main event, let alone the heat race points, so it’s a very, very tight points battle. It’s much tighter than it was last year with more drivers in the hunt.”
Joining Stewart, Andretti and the rest of the regular SRX Racing drivers this week will be NASCAR Cup Series drivers Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, along with Blaney’s dad Dave Blaney. The series takes the green on the CBS national television network at 8 p.m. EST.
Starting Lineup for Tonight’s SRX Racing Event At Sharon Speedway:
|Driver||Starting Position||Car Number|