Denny Hamlin Added To SRX Series Roster At Stafford Speedway 

Denny Hamlin (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The July 13 SRX Series event at Stafford Motor Speedway is turning into a who’s who of active full-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers. 

On Wednesday the SRX Series announced that three-time Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin will compete in the SRX Series season opener at Stafford Speedway. 

“I am absolutely fired up to join the SRX season opener at Stafford Motor Speedway,” Hamlin said. “That track has so much history, to finally get to race there will be a bucket list item for me. It’s been fun watching SRX grow over the past two years, and it’s an honor they asked me to join them.”

Said SRX Series CEO Don Hawk: “When I reached out to Denny, and he responded in such a positive manner, it helped me validate why ESPN and the return of Thursday Night Thunder was such a great move for SRX. The model allows us to secure his caliber of talent – and he can flat out drive. We’re thrilled to have him and love his enthusiasm to be a part of the field.”

The Stafford event will be the only SRX Series event Hamlin will do in 2023. The series will run a six event schedule, running weekly each Thursday beginning on July 13. 

Hamlin is the third full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver announced as part of the roster for the Stafford event. It was announced on Jan. 17 that Kevin Harvick would be in the Stafford event. On Tuesday the the SRX announced Brad Keselowski would run all six series events in 2023.

It was also announced Tuesday that Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman and Hailie Deegan would run all six series events in 2023. Clint Bowyer has also been announced as a participant for the Stafford event.

The SRX Series held its inaugural event in June 2021 at Stafford Speedway, which was won by six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby. The series returned Stafford last year in an event won by Newman.

Following the Stafford event, the SRX Series will then race at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, VT on July 20.

The series will also visit Motor Mile Speedway in Fairlawn, Va. on July 27, Berlin (Michigan) Raceway on Aug. 3, Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio on Aug. 10 and Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri on Aug. 17. All events will be broadcast live on ESPN as a newly rebranded Thursday Night Thunder package.


  1. Excellent. Maybe Tom Brady can get behind the wheel . . . . . . LOL

  2. John Pisciotta says

    I’ll bet that Tony Stewart won’t be driving at Stafford. With all these new Cup guys entered, makes sence that Tony is out now that he doesn’t own the series anymore

  3. John Pisciotta,
    Tony Stewart still has the same ownership stake in the series that he’s had since the series was founded.

  4. John Pisciotta says

    Check your facts Shawn

  5. John Pisciotta,
    What are the facts that you think are missing?

  6. John l Pisciotta says

    Tony Stewart, and Ray Evernham don’t own SRX anymore ! Check into it, thenyou can say you’re sorry

  7. John Pisciotta,
    The series launched in 2021 under the ownership of Sandy Montag, the Montag Group, George Pyne, Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham. Evernham departed from the series after the 2021 season. All other founding partners remain in place with ownership stakes.

  8. I’m watching these two lovely older ladies outside a Trump event in South Carolina that would become an invitation only affair reflecting on their views of who exactly is the president of the United States. Each insisting Trump was the president and that if you look hard you won’t see “this Biden person” with a presidential seal when he speaks. The army split in two with the good half pledging loyalty to Trump in 2018 and the bad half helping to provide weapons to Ukraine. Really scary mainly because they looked so average, seemed intelligent and very sincere.
    So when I see someone being insistent to the point of obnoxiousness about Stewart being gone from SRX, something I can’t find anything about anywhere, it’s hard not to get defensive with so many different realities in play these days.
    Hawk is the point man in the day to day affairs and lead the pitch to ESPN that was obviously successful. Not only is Stewart a founder and investor he helped roll out the ESPN announcement. At the time Evernham stepped away from day to day management they made a point of him still being an investor and I can find nothing about that status changing since. Nothing about any of the original principles changing their ownership stakes only the management hierarchy changing. Whomever of the original investors made the decision to hire Hawk to run the series sure made the right decision. The guy’s enthusiasm is infectious and his competency unquestioned.
    In doing all the checking there was one back story that was mentioned that being the NASCAR relationship or lack thereof. SRX bending over backward to say they weren’t competing with NASCAR in any way at the start. Yet here we are with this updated Thursday Night Thunder iteration loaded with NASCAR former and current drivers. Are the gloves off? I read NASCAR goes out of their way to avoid mentioning SRX not wanting to hint at cross promotion. SRX certainly can’t compete with NASCAR on any level but are these driver choices as well as the Thursday Night Thunder a thinly veiled attempt to needle NASCAR. Is ESPN happy to take a shot at this series having fond memories of the years they had showing NASCAR races that are now long gone? Or is it just the way the chips fell?
    Tell you one thing. You can get all nostalgic about the original Thursday Night Thunder if you like but this has nothing in common at all with that series except the name and races on dirt and asphalt. SRX started out as a prime time reality series and nothing has changed. The original Thursday Night Thunder was wilder cars, more and younger drivers on average and real hard ass racing.

  9. Dear John,

    Here’s some info that you appear to be in need of:

  10. I have liked the SRX from day one. They seem to be making the right moves as they progress. I think moving to ESPN was a solid move. ESPN can use more non ball sports. Bigger fields would add to the interest perhaps?

    Does or will it matter if Evernham is an active part? What about Tony? I like Tony being in the races. He has won in many types of races.

    No offense but I do not think that streaming is the answer for everything. I still have and know many people that cannot stream and it may be many years (never?) before they can due to low population density per mile.

    NASCAR started on TNN. Now it can be hard to find their races. Wonder if they will venue into having their own channel and/or streaming soon?

  11. I don’t think this is at all about SRX taking the gloves off.

    It’s a last, desperate, attempt to keep the series alive. They flunked off CBS, this is probably their last shot to make it work.

    People watch NASCAR, people don’t watch things like IndyCar and sports cars. So why waste too many spots on IndyCar and sports car drivers. Going the same way IROC did.

    I do think this may be a bit of ESPN dipping their feet into stock cars again for a NASCAR tv package bid this summer.

    i do find it kinda funny both stafford and their fans kinda swore off nascar a few years ago and here they are going ga ga over nascar stars.

    “NASCAR started on TNN. Now it can be hard to find their races. Wonder if they will venue into having their own channel and/or streaming soon?”

    It was reported this week that both FOX and NBC are very interested in renewing with nascar. And that the current discussions are whether there will be a 3rd package made for the streaming rights, as AMAZON is expected to be very interested in it.

    NBC has Peacock, but FOX doesn’t really have anything for streaming at the moment or near future. That’s going to be a problem for anything streaming related in the tv deal.

  12. Zig,
    I think saying: “stafford and their fans kinda swore off nascar a few years ago and here they are going ga ga over nascar stars.” is kind of a stretch. You’re just basically making the word “NASCAR” into an all-encompasing generic term, which it’s not. That’s like saying someone who doesn’t want to go to Dunkin Donuts Park because it’s in Hartford is then swearing off all of baseball. Stafford moved away from participating as a sanctioned track within the format of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, which has absolutely nothing to do with the NASCAR Cup Series or drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series.

  13. ” They flunked off CBS” . . . . hardly. CBS Sports Net (not CBS Network) is not near the level of ESPN in many people’s opinion. ESPN has Monday Night Football so did Monday Night Football flunk off ABC?

    IROC was a lot different that SRX. The idea was similar for the race cars but racing very similar performance race cars on big ovals was boring. NASCAR is headed in this general direction actually I feel.

  14. Cant say I agree with that. I think it’s a phenomenon mainly in the NASCAR world where everyone always hates NASCAR, do nothing but say how bad it is and that they are done watching. But wouldn’t you know, they still seem to watch every weekend. What i said was more about the fan base than the track, but I think there’s a significant amount of people that were saying “good we don’t need nascrap, they suck” that are now saying “oh boy look at all these nascar stars coming”

    And Pete, I would agree with you if SRX was on CBSSN. They weren’t, they were on big ole network CBS, prime-time Saturday night. For two years. Before the first race even started they said they expected ~3,000,000 viewers a race, and ended up with less than 1,000,000 on average this year. They were beat by 48 hours RERUNS in the same time slot. I can’t see how that isn’t flunking off.

  15. I was thinking SRX was on CBS Sports Net but it was not. Many sports fans would place ESPN above any of the regular networks. I don’t think folks look to the networks for sports in general other than football. Saturday night summers who watches TV . . . . . . my DVR does but seldom do I live. Most race fans are at the local tracks watching races live aren’t they? So bad decision TV wise for race fans.

    People watch NASCAR because it is available. Better than nothing usually. Given a choice I’d watch dirt track races instead. I watched a couple modified races on MAVTV. I’ll give them a shot when I can again using the DVR.

    I was filling out my calendar with available sprint car and midget races in Wisconsin this summer. Could be a busy summer with them.

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