SRX Series Moving To Thursday Nights On ESPN In 2023


(Press release from SRX Series)

SRX to Partner with ESPN to Bring Back Thursday Night Thunder

Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) and ESPN have announced a multi-year media rights agreement that will see the series air exclusively on ESPN. In Summer of 2023, the races will air on six consecutive Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN App, bringing back the iconic “ESPN Thursday Night Thunder” branding.

Thursday Night Thunder, which originally aired on ESPN in the 1980’s, saw legends of racing including Tony Stewart launch their careers. SRX and co-owner Stewart will bring the superstars of racing back to Thursday Night, pitting NASCAR, IndyCar, and other racing champions against each other in prime time on ESPN.

“Thursday Night Thunder is where guys like me, who were just starting our careers in USAC, got the chance to make a name for ourselves because of its presence on ESPN,” said Stewart, SRX Co-Founder and 2021 SRX Champion. “It’s great to see Thursday Night Thunder return, but to also be a part of it all over again with SRX.”

The 2023 SRX Schedule (all events at 9 pm Eastern)

Thursday, July 13

Thursday, July 20

Thursday, July 27

Thursday, Aug. 3

Thursday, Aug. 10

Thursday, Aug. 17

Race locations will be announced later.

Don Hawk, series Chief Executive Officer, said: “When we had the opportunity to pitch the concept of Thursday Night Thunder on ESPN, it was my firm belief this would be another disruptive and monumental moment in SRX and racing history – reuniting race fans with ESPN on short tracks with Superstar drivers all across the U.S. for years to come.”

“Thursday Night Thunder is where I met Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. A relationship between SRX and ESPN seemed like the right fit at the perfect time, and I couldn’t be more excited for this summer.”

“SRX has been an impressive property in its first two seasons and has produced competitive and exciting action,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN President, Programming and Original Content. “We look forward to bringing live racing back to summertime Thursday nights on ESPN with SRX.”

Sandy Montag, SRX Co-Founder, said: “Seeing the overwhelmingly positive fan reception to the launch and growth of SRX has been especially rewarding. I have worked with Jimmy [Pitaro] and Burke [Magnus] for years, and we are incredibly excited to be in business with ESPN, and can’t wait to see SRX on the Worldwide Leader.”

Comments

  1. Stuart A Fearn says

    exciting news! I’m going to wager SRX will be back at SMS this year, most likely the kick off event, so make a weekend of it and camp out thursday and friday!

  2. although I do like the SRX series it will never come close to the original Thursday Night Thunder – that was the best racing ever on tv. I’m looking forward to the new season, hope they add at least two cars to the field.

  3. On November 4th Stafford teased their replacement or renovation of the bleacher section. Included was a high end poured concrete walk way.
    I’d suspect those dots don’t hurt the argument that SRX will return yet again to Stafford.
    Should it come to pass are we looking at another spot in the SRX event up for grabs to the Sizzler winner? I know, too many assumptions and too soon.

  4. Interesting. I wonder if ESPN is in more households than CBS Sports Network? I watch (DVR) most of the racing on CBS Sports Net and a fair amount from MAVTV. There seems to be more and more on these channels. ESPN could use some more racing. More racing is better for all of us. I was hoping they would add some more events for 2023. I love the dirt events although I think some of the drivers struggle on the dirt.

  5. speaking of media.. has anyone heard or expecting to hear of additions or subtractions to the flo-racing affiliations ??? specifically stafford speedway and\or nascar modified tour..

  6. Personally, I like the move to Thursday. I think the tv numbers will do well as there is less competition on Thursday nights. Most race fans are more interested in attending live racing events on Saturday night than watching on TV. Local attendance may dip a little but should still remain a good crowd. There is only one race in each market, so fans should still see it as a major event and make an effort to go in person is my thinking. I watched most of the races the first year and last year I ended up seeing Stafford in its entirety then maybe some bits of other events. There was much better races on Flo most Saturday nights to watch. It is nice to see ESPN return to their roots and revive the Thursday night programing. Stafford opening night might make a lot of sense, ESPN being a CT based broadcasting company.

  7. The entire 4th turn and pit stands have concrete under them ,I assume for easier cleanup

  8. I hope its not the kickoff because that is right before Loudon.

  9. They might be able to draw more Cup talent with the Thursday night right before the NH cup date. I think that will be another major benefit of the switch to Thursday nights. Cup drivers or national series drivers may be more available and frequent the series frequently.

  10. Suitcase Jake says

    Thursday is better for viewing for the local racers and Fans….But …………… to be Honest …… I didn’t find the racing that compelling …. small number of cars ….. lots of single file conga line riding around…i did not find the “racing” if not for local talent added to the field …. sorry to say it was boring… sorry.. just telling my honest evaluation of SRX…

  11. Methinks this is their way to get back into motorsports coverage before a big play on the NASCAR media rights this year.

  12. The comment about NASCAR media rights is an interesting one and is a solid guess. However all they want is the money from the network or streaming company. Perhaps NASCAR should do their own broadcast and/or satellite/cable channel? I’m not sure that streaming is the answer for the big sports. Little ones perhaps. Remember that commercials pay for the majority of sports broadcasts. Thursday night football has had some issues and it is still available to the two teams playing’s markets for broadcast. NASCAR has a lot of old races it could fill the channel with. NASCAR started their raise to fame on TNN. The Nashville Network.

    A lot of NASCAR is follow the leader and winning on pit row strategy. This is boring racing also which is why I love sprint cars on dirt although it too can be follow the leader at the front sometimes.

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