Tony Stewart Tops SRX Series At Eldora Speedway

(Press release from Camping World SRX Series)

Tony Stewart celebrates victory in the SRX Series event Thursday at Eldora Speedway (Photo: Wayne Reigle/SRX)

Race Recap: Tony Stewart held off Hailie Deegan over a pair of late restarts at Eldora Speedway to claim his first Camping World SRX victory of the season. For much of the night, the battle was for second place with Deegan, Ryan Newman and Kenny Schrader all taking turns hounding ‘Smoke’ throughout the 75-lap main event. With his feature victory, Stewart completed a clean sweep of the night following his victories in the first heat from the third starting position and winning the second heat after a complete inversion of the first heat’s running order. With a third-place finish in the feature, Ryan Newman inched closer to a series championship, needing only a top-five in the final feature of the season at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO to seal the accomplishment. He could also claim the championship though heat race points next week. The feature was also a battle royal in many ways, a survival race, as Schrader, Brad Keselowski and Ron Capps all raced their way into the top-five at various points of the night only to find trouble around one of the treacherous dirt corners. The Camping World SRX road crew was challenged early in the night when a five-car crash terminally damaged two of the competitor’s cars. That crash began when Austin Dillon ruptured a radiator hose due to engine overheating, sending his car into the wall, and dropping so much water on the backstretch of the Turn 3 clay half-mile that several others just piled into the melee. Deegan, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Chase Briscoe were all collected in the ordeal. Andretti and Deegan, full-time championship drivers, were placed in backup cars for the rest of the night while Kanaan was sidelined for the evening. Briscoe, making his Camping World SRX debut, had been excited to race against his hero and NASCAR boss Tony Stewart, and still got to accomplish the goal by the end of the night, as the road crew was able to repair the No. 57 by halfway through the feature. Briscoe completed the race and was able to go side-by-side with Stewart at least once in the night. Stewart, caught up in the moment of his victory, delivered an old-school experience by climbing the fence with his crew chief and celebrating with his most ardent fans in New Weston, Ohio.  

Main Event Results    

  1. Tony Stewart (0) 
  2. Hailie Deegan (+6) 
  3. Ryan Newman (+1) 
  4. Bobby Labonte (-2) 
  5. Matt Kenseth (0) 
  6. Marco Andretti (+3) 
  7. Chase Briscoe (+3) 
  8. Ken Schrader (-2) 
  9. Brad Keselowski (-2) 
  10. Ron Capps (-7) 
  11. Austin Dillon (DNS) 
  12. Tony Kanaan (DNS) 

Post-Race Quotes:   

Tony Stewart (Winner of the Main Event): “I have so many mixed emotions because I see tonight from a driver standpoint, a track owner standpoint and a series standpoint. It’s special to race here, much less win here, because I haven’t even raced here in a long time. So when we did our ESPN interview, I wanted them to pick of the crowd, the fans, so I told my crew chief that we were going to climb the fence. He told me I was crazy, but I told him that’s exactly what we’re going to do, and we dragged TV over there and they were going nuts for it. This was a special win and a special night for me.” 

Hailie Deegan (Second in Main Event): “It was special. I have gained a lot of confidence the past two weeks especially, racing against these guys, and I think I had started to lose some of it this year. It’s been a challenging year on the Truck Series side, and I needed some races like this to remind me that I can get on the wheel, be aggressive, and continue to get better. I really feel like we were all racing for second but that was intense racing with Ryan (Newman) too. Everyone is just so good in these cars.” 

Ryan Newman (Third in Main Event): “The championship really does matter to me and I think you see it in my results with top-fives in each race, a couple of podiums, and it’s something I have really put a lot into after last year. I’m proud of my consistency this year especially when you think of the caliber of drivers that have come in here this year and to compete at that level. Winning the championship would mean a lot to me next week and I just hope we can add a win at Lucas Oil. That would be the perfect way to close out and send our season home, climbing the top step of the podium.   

Chase Briscoe (Involved in First Heat crash): “I joked that I’m kind of glad that I broke my finger a couple of months ago because as soon as I ran over the water from Austin’s car, I had never seen a steering wheel jerk so fast, and I was already a step ahead. The track was in amazing shape and I was just glad to be out there and have some fun.” 

Austin Dillon (Involved in First Heat crash): “I’ve never seen a hose do that before. It just burst. The engine was fine but the car wasn’t and I just hate it for everyone here. It was just a freak deal and I hated that put all that water down for the guys behind us too.” 

Heat One Results   

1.     Tony Stewart #14 (+2) 

2.     Bobby Labonte #18 (0)  

3.     Ron Capps #28 (-2)  

4.     Ken Schrader #52 (+1) 

5.     Brad Keselowski #6 (-1)  

6.     Ryan Newman #39 (0)  

7.     Matt Kenseth #8 (+2) 

8.     Austin Dillon #33 (DNF)  

9.     Hailie Deegan #5 (DNF)   

10.   Chase Briscoe #57 (DNF)  

11.   Tony Kanaan #66 (DNF) 

12.   Marco Andretti #1 (DNF)   

Heat Two Result  

1.     Tony Stewart #14 (+6) 

2.     Matt Kenseth #8 (-1)  

3.     Ryan Newman #39 (-1)  

4.     Marco Andretti #1 (+4)  

5.     Bobby Labonte #18 (-4) 

6.     Ron Capps #28 (-1)  

7.     Hailie Deegan #5 (+2)  

8.     Ken Schrader #52 (-4)  

9.     Brad Keselowski #6 (-6)  

Point Standings After Race Five Of Six  

1.     Ryan Newman – 183 

2.     Tony Stewart – 144 (-39) 

3.     Marco Andretti – 136 (-47) 

4.     Brad Keselowski – 133 (-50) 

5.     Bobby Labonte – 129 (-54)  

6.     Hailie Deegan – 124 (-59)  

7.     Ken Schrader – 117 (-66)   

Next Race: Lucas Oil Speedway, Thursday, August 17, 2023. Action kicks off at 9 pm EST on ESPN Thursday Night Thunder. The field will include SRX full-time drivers Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Ken Schrader, Marco Andretti, Hailie Deegan, Bobby Labonte and part-time drivers Hello Castroneves, Clint Bowyer, Kenny Wallace, Ernie Francis Jr and Jonathan Davenport. 

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