Matt Kenseth to debut in SRX Series at Nashville Fairgrounds in search of one more win

Kenseth SRX
Sean Gardner / Getty Images

Matt Kenseth returns to series racing Saturday, July 9, at Nashville Fairgrounds as he finishes the final three races of the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) schedule. This will be Kenseth’s first start in Tony Stewart’s spec car series, a debut two years in the making.

Kenseth might not have been done with racing when his Joe Gibbs Racing ride was handed over to Erik Jones at the end of the 2017 season, but instead of finding a non-competitive ride for a smaller team, he chose to leave the Cup series on a high note. In his next-to-last start in the No. 20, he won his 39th senior series race at Phoenix Raceway after starting seventh and went on to finish eighth in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway the next week.

He didn’t stay gone for long.

The urge to race remained, however, and the next year he was brought back to Roush-Fenway Racing – the team with which he had so much success – to help evaluate the flagship No. 6. It took a while, but he finally got them competitive with two top-10s to close the season.

In 2020, he was pressed into service with Chip Ganassi after Kyle Larson was fired from that ride. He finished second in the Brickyard 400 that year.

“The time goes by in a hurry,” Kenseth said earlier this week in a SRX Zoom call with the media. “It seems like it was not that long ago that we were [moving up to Cup]. It seems like a long time ago, but in most ways it doesn’t. It’s kind of fun now that you’re away from full time racing to look back and think about some of those great moments and things that happened throughout my career.”

Kenseth planned to run in SRX last year, but the start date of the series was moved up and family obligations kept him from doing so. Even now, he skipped the first three weeks of the SRX season to complete a six-week vacation with his family. That’s the benefit of being semi-retired.

But July will make up for Kenseth’s time away from the track. In addition to finishing off the SRX season, Kenseth will gun for his eighth Slinger Nationals title on Tuesday, July 12. He’s won three of the last four of those he entered, (2012, 2016 and 2019), and finished second in the other race.

With three winners in the first three weeks of SRX and racing equally prepared cars, Kenseth has a great opportunity to win at Nashville.

And while winning is foremost in his mind, it’s not the only thing his thinking about. Simply getting a chance to race against some of the greatest drivers from his generation is an end in itself.

“[SRX] has a lot of similarities to the old IROC series, which I always enjoyed racing in because you could race against a lot of guys you weren’t [regularly] on the track with,” Kenseth said. “It’s fun to go back and race with Greg [Biffle] and Ryan [Newman] and Tony [Stewart], the guys you’re familiar with.

“But it’s also fun to go race against people that you’re not familiar with that have had a lot of success in different forms of motorsports. So that’s the part that is almost the most interesting to me because I remember I thought it was the coolest thing ever I got to race against Steve Kinser when he came back racing in the in the IROC series, watching him win all those sprint car races and how famous he was and how good he was and all that. It’s fun to race against them all, but its more intriguing to race against some of the people you have never shared a racetrack with.”

Once the series clears this weekend, Kenseth will be out of his comfort zone.

SRX heads to I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo. and then will close out Kenseth’s busy month at Sharon (Ohio) Speedway, a couple of dirt short tracks. Kenseth’s experience on dirt is minimal. He would say almost non-existent, but Kenseth has seven starts in Tony Stewart’s Prelude to the Dream, an invitational race held from 2005 through 2012. Kenseth finished a career-best fifth there in 2009.

“We definitely tried to race, but obviously it’s more exhibition than racing,” Kenseth said. “It’s not like you’re trying to run the World 100. So that’s really my only experience. I’ve a done a little match racing in different shows at a couple of tracks. But I’ve never really raced like a real race on dirt. I’m looking forward to that. It’s something that has really intrigued me since running that late model at Eldora. It was so much fun and something I wish I had done a little more in my career. I guess, why not start now?”

Not that Kenseth needs the validation – he’ll be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year in recognition of his stellar career – but if he can get a win on one of the SRX dirt tracks, it will be a nice coda indeed.

Saturday’s Supercross Round 11 in Seattle: How to watch, start times, schedules, streams


With three multiple winners now vying for the championship, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to Round 11 at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington.

Chase Sexton earned his second victory of the season in Detroit when Aaron Plessinger fell on the final lap. Though he was penalized seven points for disobeying a flag, Sexton is third in the championship race. The Honda rider trails leader Cooper Webb (two victories) by 17 points, and defending series champion Eli Tomac (five wins) is three points behind Webb in second with seven races remaining.

Tomac won last year in Seattle on the way to his second season title.

Honda riders have a Supercross-leading 20 victories in the Seattle event but none at Lumen Field since Justin Barcia in 2013. Tomac and Barcia are the only past 450 Seattke winners entered in Saturday’s event.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 11 of the 2023 Supercross season in Seattle:

(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 11 will begin Saturday at 10 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock with a re-air Monday at 1 a.m. ET on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including qualifying) will begin on Peacock at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

NBC Sports will have exclusive live coverage of races, qualifiers and heats for the record 31 events in SuperMotocross. The main events will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.

Peacock will become the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship series in 2023 with live coverage of all races, qualifying, and heats from January to October. There will be 23 races livestreamed exclusively on Peacock, including a SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff event. The platform also will provide on-demand replays of every race. Click here for the full schedule.

POINTS STANDINGS: 450 division l 250 division

ENTRY LISTS450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET): 

Here are the start times for Saturday’s Supercross Round 11 in Seattle, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

4:50 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 1
5:05 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 1
5:20 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 1
5:35 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 1
6:25 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 2
6:40 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 2
7:55 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 2
8:10 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 2
10:06 p.m.: 250SX Heat 1
10:20 p.m.: 250SX Heat 2
10:34 p.m.: 450SX Heat 1
10:48 p.m.: 450SX Heat 2
11:22 p.m.: 250SX Last Chance Qualifier
11:34 p.m.: 450SX Last Chance Qualifier
11:54 p.m.: 250SX Main Event
12:28 a.m.: 450SX Main Event

TRACK LAYOUTClick here to view the track map


FINAL 2022 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings250 West points standings


ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory

ROUND 2: Tomac ties Ricky Carmichael on Supercross wins list

ROUND 3: Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again

ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown

ROUND 5: Eli Tomac leads wire to wire in Houston

ROUND 6: Cooper Webb breaks through in Tampa

ROUND 7: Webb wins again in Arlington

ROUND 8: Tomac wins Daytona for the seventh time

ROUND 9: Ken Roczen scores first victory since 2022

ROUND 10: Chase Sexton inherits Detroit victory but docked points


Five things to watch in the 2023 Supercross season

Austin Forkner out for 2023 Supercross season

Malcolm Stewart aims for 450 breakthrough

A new attitude for Adam Cianciarulo in 2023

Ken Roczen signs with Suzuki

Hunter and Jett Lawrence walk a fine line with competition and fans

Three talented rookies move up to 450

Jett Lawrence wants to run 450 division for SMX playoffs