Tony Stewart remains perfect in SRX on dirt with I-55 Speedway win

Stewart SRX 55
Jeff Curry / Getty Images

Tony Stewart remains undefeated on dirt tracks with his win in the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) on the third-mile, high-banked I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Mo. Saturday night. It was Stewart’s fourth career victory in the series he co-owns and the second of 2022 after winning Round 2 at South Boston, Va.

Stewart had to survive multiple restarts as the final 10 laps went into the spin cycle, but the field was no match for his restart ability.

Finishing third in Heat 1, Stewart lined up in the back of the field for the second heat with a field inversion. He didn’t let that slow him down. Stewart charged through the field and ended the short sprint one second ahead of Tony Kanaan.

His third- and first-place finishes in the heats combined to line him up on the pole. On a track that remained tacky and full of moisture for much of the night, Stewart could not quite get away from Ernie Francis, Jr. and Hailie Deegan for the opening laps until his experience finally opened a gap. Then the first competition caution waved on Lap 25. It closed the field up and made for an exciting night.

“This place is pretty awesome,” Stewart said after the race. “You aren’t going to find fans that are any more diehard in this country for late models, modifieds and sprint cars than here at Pevely.”

Stewart entered the race 31 points out of the lead, but he cut that in half and with one more dirt track event on the schedule, he has the potential to win a second championship in as many years. The series closes out their six-race schedule at Sharon Speedway in Hartford Township, Ohio next week. He’ll need to beat NASCAR Cup stars Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott as well as sprint car superstar Dave Blaney if he wants the honor.

It’s impossible to run and hide in the SRX Series because of those competition cautions. As a result, domination looks different. In this case, it came with Stewart’s ability to pull away from the field.

A spin by Kanaan with 10 laps to go set up what should have been a dash to the checkers, but Francis, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and others had different plans, looping their cars on a track that finally slicked over in the final laps. Under SRX rules, the final 10 laps must be run under green flag conditions, which provided plenty of opportunities to restart.

Marco Andretti had plenty of chances to figure out what Stewart was doing on restarts, but in the slicker bottom groove, he had to settle for second.

“This place is so fun,” Andretti said afterwards. “I was taking care of the tires, but then we went yellow for Deegan for so long that I had the better tires at the end but ran out of time. I think if I wasn’t thinking about the championship, I would have had a better go at Tony at the end.”

A pair of drivers with a ton of experience on dirt, Ryan Newman finished third with Ken Schrader, 67, in fourth.

In his seventh SRX start, Greg Biffle rounded out the top five. This was his third career top-five in the series.

Deegan’s battled for a top-three finish for most of the race, but with a late-race caution, her car began to overheat, sending her into the pits. They held the green flag as long as possible and got her out in time to finish the race.

All 13 cars completed the entire distance, although shredded body work made them look a lot different by the end.

Feature: 1. Tony Stewart, 2. Marco Andretti, 3. Ryan Newman, 4. Ken Schrader, 5. Greg Biffle, 6. Michael Waltrip, 7. Ernie Francis, Jr., 8. Paul Tracy, 9. Tony Kanaan, 10. Hailie Deegan, 11. Matt Kenseth, 12. Bobby Labonte, 13. Ryan Hunter-Reay

Heat 1: 1. Ken Schrader, 2. Marco Andretti, 3. Tony Stewart, 4. Greg Biffle, 5. Hailie Deegan, 6. Ernie Francis, Jr., 7. Michael Waltrip, 8. Bobby Labonte, 9. Matt Kenseth, 10. Tony Kanaan, 11. Paul Tracy, 12. Ryan Newman, 13. Ryan Hunter-Reay

Heat 2: 1. Tony Stewart, 2. Tony Kanaan, 3. Ernie Francis, Jr., 4. Matt Kenseth, 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 6. Bobby Labonte, 7. Ryan Newman, 8. Hailie Deegan, 9. Ken Schrader, 10. Greg Biffle, 11. Marco Andretti, 12. Michael Waltrip, 13. Paul Tracy

Round 1: Helio Castroneves wins at Five Flags, hopes for NASCAR start
Round 2: Tony Stewart earns third SRX victory and first on a paved track
Round 3: Ryan Newman wins at Stafford as his daughters look on
Round 4: Bobby Labonte battles nerves and the competition for first SRX win

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws

The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)