The car that cares

The SRX racing series actually sounds pretty cool; Castroneves among racing greats

Celebrity Racing Working experience was envisioned as a sequence for previous greats who even now experienced the expertise to square off in identically organized cars at 6 of America’s classic quick tracks.

Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart took excellent care in extending invites to the created-for-Tv league they experienced co-developed. They thoughtfully pulled in a dozen of the most iconic names in modern day-day motorsports.

In no way did they expect the reigning Indianapolis five hundred winner to be in the field for the inaugural race.

Helio Castroneves will not have a full-time occupation this period so joining SRX was a no-brainer. He does have a 6-race IndyCar deal, having said that, and it involved the Indy five hundred — the race Stewart tried using 5 occasions to gain right before providing up on his childhood dream.

Stewart was there as a spectator two months ago when Castroneves stunned the field and grew to become just the fourth four-time Indy five hundred winner in the one hundred and five-calendar year heritage of the race. The Brazilian was unable to parlay the victory into a trip at IndyCar’s doubleheader at Detroit this weekend so he will be with SRX at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut when the sequence goes eco-friendly tonight on CBS.

“I’m certain we are all heading to have specific passes just to be authorized on pit highway upcoming to him now that he’s a four-time winner of the Indy five hundred,” Stewart said. “His head will be swollen, he’ll be lucky to get that helmet on more than that head and we all know how significantly he enjoys his hair and wishes to shield his hair.

“All joking aside, to be only the fourth four-time winner of the Indianapolis five hundred and obtaining him with the SRX Sequence is all something we are particularly proud of for his accomplishment and we are fired up to deliver him back to fact and display him it’s not heading to be that quick for the upcoming 6 months.”

Properly, Castroneves has won the only two races he’s entered so much this period.

Nonetheless, SRX will be a absolutely new practical experience for most of the 12-driver field, which at Stafford will element NASCAR Hall of Famers Stewart, Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte, as very well as Greg Biffle, Michael Waltrip and Willy T. Ribbs. Open-wheel racing will be represented by Indianapolis five hundred winner Tony Kanaan, Paul Tracy and Marco Andretti. There is also Ernie Francis Jr., an accomplished highway racer who at 23 is the youngest in the field.

SRX every week will invite a regional racer from the internet hosting keep track of into the event at Stafford, it will be 41-calendar year-old Doug Coby, a Connecticut indigenous with 6 championships on NASCAR’s Whelen Modified Tour.

The backers of the league, CBS involved, enjoy the dynamic of an underdog upstaging a countrywide excellent.

“From the CBS standpoint I consider that is a excellent tale,” said CBS Sporting activities Chairman Sean McManus. “That’s Rocky Balboa if that turns out to be the tale and some of the excellent legends in the heritage of motor racing are currently being bested by the regional hero. That is a quite darned fantastic tale.”

Stafford Speedway said all ten,000 seats are offered for Saturday night and the level of popularity is envisioned to carry on as SRX moves on to some of the most prestigious grassroot venues in the state. SRX goes upcoming week to Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, then the Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway in Ohio, Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Slinger Speedway in Wisconsin and eventually Nashville Fairgrounds.

Camping Planet signed on as title sponsor of SRX a thirty day period ago, and the sequence was already backed by The Montag Group CEO Sandy Montag and Bruin Capital CEO George Pyne.

CBS, hunting to fill a Saturday night summertime void, signed on right before SRX even declared its existence and the partnership is a multi-calendar year agreement.

“It’s America’s most viewed network,” Montag said. “We know we’re heading to do reasonably very well there.”

Veteran motorsports producer Pam Miller was introduced in to direct the broadcast and assembled a expertise workforce that features rotating driver analysts Danica Patrick, James Hinchcliffe and Dario Franchitti.

If that was not sufficient, SRX: The Game launched two months ago for consoles and the Laptop that gave a sneak peek of what is actually to arrive the upcoming 6 months.

Elliott, who is 65 and the father of reigning NASCAR Cup Sequence winner Chase Elliott, said there is nothing at all else in motorsports appropriate now comparable to SRX. It is modeled soon after the old International Race of Champions sequence that pitted the very best drivers from several disciplines in similarly organized cars for 30 seasons. Stewart won its ultimate championship in 2006 right before IROC folded.

“The total strategy of the sequence is incredibly unique and incredibly unheard of to every little thing else,” Elliott said. “It is pretty much like heading to golf. You’ve bought more mature gentlemen competing against younger ones in a match and this is heading to be variety of the same factor.

“I do not display thoughts significantly and if you could see me from the within, you’d see how emotional this definitely is. To get started and get heading, that is wherever I want to be, you know? To heck with the talk and the display, I want to get the display on the highway.”