First Time Driver: SRX Competitors Get Spins With New Race Cars At Stafford Friday

Indianapolis 500 winners Helio Castroneves (left) and Tony Kanaan (right) shares notes following their first SRX Series practice Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT

STAFFORD – The competitors of the Camping World SXR Series got their first chance to feel their specially manufactured cars at speed Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

Before Friday none of the competitors who will compete in the SRX Series debut Saturday at Stafford had driven the Ray Evernham designed cars. 

Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves said he was pleased with his practice in the car Friday. 

“My first time here in Stafford and wow, it’s fast,” Castroneves said. “It’s really really fast. I was impressed. They did a great job with building this car. And how amazing the car sticks to the ground. … I never drove this type of car before, but once you get used to it it’s a lot a lot of fun. But there is a lot more into it. I was only able to get a few laps. Sounds like you have to take care of the tires, take care of the brakes, so I’m going to be learning a lot.”

Longtime Stafford competitor and six-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby will be the “local” driver in Saturday’s event. He got plenty of questions from drivers on Friday about getting around the tricky and unique half-mile Stafford oval. 

“It’s kind of like a Late Modely [Modified] Tour car,” Coby said. “It’s got a ton of power then it just handles through the middle of the corner like a full-bodied car. I have to remember that I can’t overdrive the thing. I’m just so set in my ways here driving a [Whelen Modified] Tour car that I do have to adapt a little bit. But they’re pretty sporty cars and they’ve got a ton of power and I think you’ll see these guys adapt pretty well.”

SRX Series drivers Tony Kanaan (left) and Paul Tracy (right) share some laughs before practice Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)
Doug Coby gets strapped for his first practice with the SRX Series Friday at Stafford (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)
SRX Series driver Doug Coby and series co-founder Tony Stewart watch practice Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)
Former NASCAR Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte talks to longtime Stafford regular Doug Coby following SRX Series practice Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)


  1. Anybody know what these cars weigh?

    From the pics available, the chassis looks to be built incredibly strong, and that usually means heavy.

    Strong heavy chassis, lots of HP, hard tire. Let’s go racing!!!!!

  2. So what do they call that funny little door the makes it easier for the old guys to get into the cars? Something to do with senor accessibility? Along the lines of a walk in bath tube?
    The limited interviews I saw including Castroneves and Colby were favorable with their eyes lighting up in anticipation of the challenge. That bodes well. Also the likelihood of some door banging not a bad thing either.
    Say what you will about Michael Waltrip but his behavior as the Twisted Tea feature was about to start was revealing. Walking through the field of cars shooting video. Then cheer leading for the teams and fans and an epic start your engines command. He didn’t have to do any of that. He could of been back at the hotel resting his old bones.
    The gods of racing favoring us once again and rain watering the garden this morning then gets increasing better as the day progresses.
    Welcome to the big time race fans. We’ve arrived and our man Shawn is smack dab in the middle of it.

  3. Lots of really good promotion going on, and lots of TV time for Stafford. The TV coverage from tonight will be most excellent!!!!

    Thank you SRX!!!!!

    Hey Thompson, you watching this????? 😝😝😝😝

  4. Stafford was buzzing last night. Perfect weather. Great racing. Good to see stafford, drivers, and fans succeed last night. Hope tonight is a roaring success also. Network CBS tv coverage. The big show. Saw Kenny Schrader walking through the pit by himself. He came over and shook our hand. Leaned over and said a really funny and witty comment and continued his walk. Cool to see some of the celebrities walking about in the pit area and waltrip did not disappoint.

  5. They’ve got the practice times up on Race Monitor. Looks like they’re turning times somewhere between the SK Lights and Late Models. Coby the quickest so far. On the opposite end Ribbs is struggling.
    It’s still early so we’ll see how they progress as they work on the cars and drivers get up to speed pun intended.
    700 horsepower. That’s a spicy meatball.

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