A Chosen One: Bobby Santos III Ready To Take On Unique Challenge With SRX Series

Over the last decade Bobby Santos III has established himself as one of the most versatile short track drivers in the country. 

The Franklin, Mass. native has proved himself to be a dominator in both NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition in the Northeast and USAC competition in the Midwest. 

On July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind. the 2010 Whelen Modified Tour champion will get the opportunity to put his diverse racing resume up against some of the best driving talent from across the globe.

It was announced Friday that Santos will get the chance to compete in the Superstars Racing Experience event on July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway. 

“It’s a great opportunity,” Santos said Friday while testing a Tour Type Modified for Tinio Racing at Thompson Speedway. “When I saw when they were first announcing everything about it, honestly I didn’t think much of it. My phone rang here a month or so ago about it and it was a pretty exciting opportunity to hear about it. They’re fulfilling what they said they would be doing, giving the local guys a shot.” 

The SRX Series is the brainchild of legendary NASCAR championship-winning crew chief Ray Evernham and legendary NASCAR championship-winning driver Tony Stewart. 

Santos was one of four “amateur” drivers announced Friday to run in selected events against the All-Star lineup that will make up the bulk of the field for six events this year that will be run by the SRX Series. 

The SRX Series will feature drivers competing in equally prepared Evernham designed stock cars in six events that will be broadcast live on CBS. 

The series kicks off on June 12 at Stafford Speedway then visits Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway (June 19), Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio (June 26), Lucas Oil Raceway (July 3), Slinger (Wisconsin) Speedway (July 10) and the Nashville (Tennessee) Fairgrounds Speedway (July 17).

Thus far the driver lineup announced for the series includes Stewart, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte, Paul Tracy, Mark Webber, Michael Waltrip, Willy T. Ribbs, Marco Andretti and Ernie Francis Jr. 

Six-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby was chosen to run in the June 12 event at Stafford. Four-time Knoxville Speedway track champion Brian Brown will compete in the event at Knoxville. Five-time USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson will be part of the field at Eldora Speedway. 

“The short list of names that they’re giving an opportunity to, in my opinion, are some of the best in the country and I’m pretty excited to be a part of that,” Santos said. 

Santos and Coby competed together as kids at the Silver City Quarter Midget track in Meriden before moving on to both become standouts in the world of asphalt Modified racing. 

“Doug and my roots are kind of identical where they came from,” Santos said. “… Just thinking about it, literally four short track racers in the entire country – and there’s thousands of them that could make an argument that they deserve that opportunity – for Doug and my roots to be pretty damn close to come from the same area and the same background, to both get picked for this opportunity is pretty neat. 

“It was kind of cool at first because when we found out we really couldn’t talk about, the only people that we could talk about it with was each other. That was kind of neat texting with Doug about before it came out.”

In addition to his USAC schedule for 2021, Santos will also compete part-time on the Whelen Modified Tour for car owner Dave Sapienza and in selected Tour Type Open Modified races for Tinio Racing. He will run in Saturday’s Thompson Outlaw Modified Icebreaker 125 at Thompson Speedway. Santos said he hasn’t researched much on the cars he will be competing with in the SRX Series event. 

“I’m going to see the cars for the first time in a week or so,” Santos said. “I guess I feel like I’m a seat of the pants type driver and I’m going to just take it in as the opportunity happens to go do it. I really honesty don’t know a lot about the car or the package or what they’re doing. I shouldn’t say I don’t care, but we’re racing race cars and they’re putting us all in equal race cars from my understanding and I don’t really care what they are. I’m just excited for that kind of opportunity with that group of people to go racing with them. I’m just looking forward to whatever they put on the track for us to go race with.” 

Check out recent Unmuffled podcast episodes with SRX Series competitors Willy T. Ribbs and Bobby Labonte





Comments

  1. solsticeson says

    Sorry to say, SRX may just be a snoooze fest rail road train ride along, think Tony And Ray may need to get a few bugs out of their new cars too, time will tell, not too much beats a good old Mod Tour Race in my opinion,

  2. This is perfect for Bobby, He can show His true Talent with the best drivers in the Country, My money is on Bobby ….

  3. Santos is THE headliner for this ‘series’.

  4. What is Michael Waltrip doing in this series?
    It is a “Superstar “ series. Michael won two restrictor plate races. He never came close to a championship.
    Nothing Michael ever accomplished on the racetrack says “Superstar “

  5. Bill Realist says

    Phil A, It is because the network executives mistakenly believe for some reason that people like Michael Waltrip. This is a reality show not a racing series.

  6. A lot of people know of Waltrip, he’s Mr. Personality and perfect for a reality show which it clearly is. Like the folks on Survivor get hurt and suffer actual struggles hunger and otherwise this could end up being a racing series as well. We’ll see.

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