Chase Elliott wins SRX season finale at Sharon Speedway; Marco Andretti wins championship

Elliott SRX Sharon
Dylan Buell / Getty Images

Chase Elliott won his second Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) race in as many starts and snapped Tony Stewart’s perfect record on dirt tracks Saturday night at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio. The victory was also the second season finale won by Elliott after finishing just ahead of Stewart at Nashville Fairgrounds last July.

This time they raced on dirt instead of asphalt, but Elliott and Stewart put on another great show in the closing 10 laps, swapping the lead several times as they the maneuvered high, then low and threw a series of sliders at one another.

In the end, Elliott made the high line work and edged in front of Stewart. With the lead established, he dropped back into the low groove and stretched his advantage while Stewart fell into the clutches of Matt Kenseth.

“[It was special] to sit there and race on dirt with one of my heroes, Tony Stewart, and throw a couple of sliders with him,” Elliott told CBS Sports’ Matt Yocum. “Obviously this is a little different than the open wheel stuff – knowing how good he is at this stuff and being able to dice it up with him. I actually thought he was better than me on the run before and I was able to watch him on the top and finally get a couple of things going there.”

Stewart had a tough time in the heats and was forced to roll off the grid deep in the pack. When the feature began, few believed he would challenge for the win – including Stewart.

“I can’t run with these guys tonight for some reason,” Stewart said before the feature. “We were really good in practice, but I’ve hit the fence in Turn 2, I’ve hit the fence in the backstretch and hit everything but the pace car so far. We have thrown the kitchen sink at it and made every adjustment, we’re allowed to make and we’ll see if we can get going forward here.”

His words were almost prophetic as he took the lead near the end of the race that was shortened by about 30 laps to fit the two-hour television window.

Kenseth finished third to match his career-best in the series. He also finished third in his debut at Nashville two weeks ago.

Ryan Hunter-Reay in fourth and Bobby Labonte rounded out the top five.

As the leaders battled to win the race, the focus was also on the 2022 championship.

Marco Andretti entered the season finale with an eight-point lead over Ryan Newman, but it appeared Newman’s dirt track experience would prevail. That is until Andretti got into Newman on a restart and crashed both cars. The points’ contenders each sustained damage in that incident and in a second late-race accident.

After the race, Andretti said the incident broke his wrist, but he powered through the pain and finished ninth, one position behind Newman in the final rundown. Andretti won the championship by two points.

“The cool thing about this is if you get damage you can still play and stay on the lead lap,” Andretti told Willie T. Ribbs. “I broke my wrist in that last little thing. I got my thumb caught in the wheel, so that was a painful couple of laps. I just wanted to cover and finish right where I needed to finish, and we were able to do that. This [car] was pretty robust tonight.”

Last week the SRX drivers tore up almost every piece of equipment, so for the season finale at Sharon there were no backups available. One might think that would make them cautious.

One would be wrong.

Barely two laps into the first 12-minute heat, Paul Tracy ran into the back of Newman and then pushed up into Michael Waltrip. Tracy’s and Waltrip’s cars looped in front of the onrushing field. Collected in the incident were Ryan Blaney, Kenseth, Tony Kanaan and Elliott.

Newman escaped the incident and scored his first heat win in the SRX series. Elliott won Heat 2 after racing side-by-side with Dave Blaney for most of the 12-minute race.

The race was billed as a battle of father versus son, much like last year’s season-ender that featured Chase beating his father Bill Elliott.

Finishing seventh in a battered car, Ryan prevailed over his father Dave, when the elder statesman sustained damage late in the race. The SRX battle at Sharon was also a matchup between close friends Elliott and Blaney, who flew to the race together after practicing and qualifying for the M&Ms 400 at Pocono Raceway earlier in the day.

Feature: 1. Chase Elliott, 2. Tony Stewart, 3. Matt Kenseth, 4. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 5. Bobby Labonte, 6. Greg Biffle, 7. Ryan Blaney. 8. Ryan Newman, 9. Marco Andretti, 10. Paul Tracy, 11. Tony Kanaan, 12. Dave Blaney, 13. Michael Waltrip

Heat 1: 1. Ryan Newman, 2. Michael Waltrip, 3. Marco Andretti, 4. Bobby Labonte, 5. Tony Kanaan, 6. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 7. Chase Elliott, 8. Tony Stewart, 9. Greg Biffle, 10. Dave Blaney, 11. Paul Tracy, 12. Ryan Blaney, 13. Matt Kenseth

Heat 2: 1. Chase Elliott, 2. Tony Kanaan, 3. Bobby Labonte, 4. Ryan Newman, 5. Dave Blaney, 6. Marco Andretti, 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 8. Paul Tracy, 9. Tony Stewart, 10. Michael Waltrip, 11. Greg Biffle, DNS: Ryan Blaney and Matt Kenseth

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
Round 5: Tony Stewart remains perfect on dirt with I-55 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)