Less than a day after the series’ official announcement Monday, the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) being started by NASCAR Hall of Famers Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart already had some job applicants.
And with resumes that include IndyCar and NASCAR championships, these are qualified candidates.
Tony Kanaan, who is racing part time in the NTT Series this year in what likely could be his final season in IndyCar, volunteered himself Tuesday for the six-race short-track circuit that is expected to make its debut next year (but has yet to announce a schedule or confirm any of its drivers beyond Stewart).
I’m in https://t.co/stdXJlvNNT
— Tony Kanaan (@TonyKanaan) July 14, 2020
It might be getting close, though, with Kanaan, who was boarding a flight Tuesday to return from a Chevrolet simulator test in Charlotte when his phone rang.
“‘Hey, T.K. it’s Ray Evernham, what is your suit size?” Kanaan said, laughing as he recalled the phone call during an IndyCar Zoom media availability Wednesday to promote races Friday and Saturday at Iowa Speedway. “I truly mean it as I have nothing planned for next year yet. If they make it happen, I’ll be there.”
Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, was among several drivers on Evernham’s “dream list,” according to the Associated Press. Scott Dixon, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Paul Tracy also were mentioned.
Though he wasn’t named, Greg Biffle also would be welcomed. The 19-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series and champion of the Xfinity (2002) and truck series (2000) also expressed an interest.
Im available!! I have the perfect car number. What cars are we racing? pic.twitter.com/xivmR9Sxfz
— Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) July 14, 2020
Stewart and Evernham have compared the Superstar Racing Experience with the International Race of Champions. For 30 years, that circuit matched drivers from various auto racing disciplines in equally prepared in four races annually. The SRX field of a dozen drivers would mirror IROC, which Stewart said “left a big hole” after its 2006 demise.
Sebastien Bourdais, who now drives full time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, raced the 2005 IROC season (and won at Texas Motor Speedway) during his run of four Champ Car titles. The IndyCar veteran said he also would be interested in SRX.
“I had the great pleasure and honor to race in one of the last seasons of IROC, and I had a great time,” Bourdais said Tuesday during a media availability ahead of IMSA’s Saturday race at Sebring International Raceway. “It’s always very enriching to race different kinds of stuff, different cars and different circuits and types of racing. Definitely be interested to (race SRX) if I was invited .”