Local hero Doug Coby wins inaugural race in Tony Stewart/Ray Evernham SRX Series

SRX Stafford Coby Stewart
Elsa/SRX/Getty Images

Doug Coby won the season opener Saturday of the inaugural Camping World SRX Series started by Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham, winning from the pole position at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Coby, a six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, won for the 30th time at Stafford by taking the lead from Greg Biffle on Lap 98 of 100 on the half-mile oval.

“What a special night for short-track racing in America,” Coby said in a series release. “This is a special night for Stafford Motor Speedway and everybody who is a short-track racer around the country, whether you’re dirt or asphalt.

“Just to have all these fans here and all these drivers – the guy who won the Indy 500 two weeks ago, NASCAR Hall of Famers, Daytona 500 champions, and here I am, Modified Tour guy and homegrown Stafford Speedway guy. It just goes to show there are a lot of good short-trackers out there. I like to think I’m one of them, but there are hundreds of others who are good at their craft and get around their speedway really good. It ain’t going to be easy for any invader, and I love that we were in equal cars.”

Coby skipped a Modified Tour race at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway to race at Stafford. He was second in the championship standings by five points before Saturday.

“I’ve got six Tour championships and I’m shooting for seven to tie Mike Stefanik, and if it takes one more year to tie a great like that, I’m happy to wait,” Coby said.

Stewart, who co-founded the all-star series with Evernham, finished third.

“That’s what this is supposed to be all about,” Stewart said. “The whole concept about this was to have fun and to celebrate motorsports, and I think this was a perfect example of that tonight. Let’s go five more weeks and do the same thing at five more tracks.”

Next week the series will race at Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway with Brian Brown, Scott Bloomquist and Hailie Deegan joining the field.

After Knoxville, the Camping World SRX Series will remain on dirt June 26 event at Eldora Speedway then back to asphalt for Lucas Oil Raceway (July 3), Slinger (Wis.) Speedway (July 10) and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (July 17).


Heat Race No. 1 (15 minutes, 36 laps, starting lineup determined by random draw): 1. Greg Biffle (Started 1st; led laps 1-36); 2. Bobby Labonte (2) 36; 3. Helio Castroneves (3) 36; 4. Ernie Francis Jr. (4) 36; 5. Tony Kanaan (7) 36; 6. Doug Coby (10) 36; 7. Tony Stewart (5) 36; 8. Marco Andretti (12) 36; 9. Bill Elliott (11) 36; 10. Michael Waltrip (8) 36; 11. Willy T. Ribbs (9) 36; 12. Paul Tracy (6) 27.

Heat Race No. 2 (15 minutes, 35 laps, starting order was invert of Heat 1 finish): 1. Doug Coby (Started 7th; led laps 34-35); 2. Michael Waltrip (3; led laps 1-28, 30-33) 35; 3. Tony Stewart (6) 35; 4.   Bill Elliott (4) 35; 5. Ernie Francis Jr. (9) 35; 6. Paul Tracy (1; led lap 29) 35; 7. Tony Kanaan (8) 35; 8. Bobby Labonte (11) 35; 9. Marco Andretti (5) 35; 10. Willy T. Ribbs (2) 24; 11. Helio Castroneves (10) 23; 12. Greg Biffle (12) 23.

Feature (100 laps; starting lineup was based on finishing position in Heat Race No. 2): 1. Doug Coby (Started 1st; led laps 1-8, 25-61, 65-96, 98-100); 2. Greg Biffle (12; led laps 16-24, 62-64, 97) 100; 3. Tony Stewart (3; led laps 9-11) 100; 4. Helio Castroneves (11) 100; 5.    Bobby Labonte (8) 100; 6. Ernie Francis Jr. (5) 100; 7. Tony Kanaan (7) 100; 8. Willy T. Ribbs (10) 100; 9. Paul Tracy (6) 99; 10. Marco Andretti (9) 98; 11. Michael Waltrip (2) 51; 12. Bill Elliott (4) 9.

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing

Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.