Entering Saturday Night’s Camping World SRX Series finale at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, the storylines were plentiful, and every single one of them played out in some way, shape, or form over the course of the night’s two 12-minute heat races and 77-lap feature event.
The first and quickest to be resolved was the ‘not-so-contested’ battle for the inaugural Camping World SRX Championship between three-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion and series co-creator Tony Stewart, long-time IndyCar competitor Marco Andretti, and seven-time Trans Am Champion, Ernie Francis Jr. The storyline wrapped up pretty quickly, after Stewart scored a fifth-place finish in the first heat, finishing better than Ernie Francis Jr (seventh) and only one spot behind Marco Andretti (fourth).
However, the biggest storyline entering Saturday Night’s event, and quite possibly the biggest of the series’ six-week stint, was the showdown between one of the most famous father-son duos in racing, Bill and Chase Elliott, who would only be on-track together for the second-time in their careers, and I assure you that storyline didn’t disappoint.
“Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” and “Chase from the Same Place” battled hard throughout the majority of the first 12-minute heat race, after starting on the front row for the first on-track activity of the night. The eldest Elliott was able to hold on for the win in the first heat, with the most recent NASCAR Cup Series Champion finishing in second-place.
The storyline didn’t see a ton of attention in the second heat, as both drivers were attempting to make their way through the pack to score the lowest cumulative finish – best average finish — for the feature event, in order to grab the best possible starting spot for the 77-lap feature.
With both earning top-five starting spots in the feature, the battle held steady for much of the feature race, with the father-son duo holding the first two positions for a major portion of the event, before some mid-race restarts – from the SRX Green Flag Lap Limit — shuffled Bill Elliott outside the top-two spots. From there, Chase was left to hold-off series champion, Tony Stewart, throughout a number of hard charges, successfully doing so and claiming the victory at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
A battle of champions!
2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott and 2021 SRX Points Champion Tony Stewart battling for the Main Event win here in Nashville. pic.twitter.com/9QrAziISzW
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) July 18, 2021
Bill Elliott finished in third-place, with Bobby Labonte and Paul Tracy rounding out the top-five in a fantastic night of racing, while also wrapping up a fantastic six-week stretch of racing for the Camping World SRX Series.
The event featured two ‘incident-related’ caution flags, the first of the night being for Willy T Ribbs, who spun on the backstretch after a number of cars checked up in front, causing the No. 17 to impact the inside wall with significant force. The second came at the hands of Paul Tracy, who made contact with Marco Andretti in the closing laps of the race, spinning the Slinger Speedway winner around in turn one.
While the Camping World SRX Series was able to put on a good show, the race comes at a time where the town sits at a crossroads, as the desire to return to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway with NASCAR’s top-three series is large, but oppositions from residents of the city have held up any potential renevations that would have to be carried out for the sanctioning body to return.