Tony Stewart emerged victorious in Saturday night’s Camping World SRX Series event at South Boston Speedway, as he held off Greg Biffle in a tight battle in the closing laps.
For Stewart, who captured his third-career SRX Series Main Event win, he remained focused on the prize in the waning laps as he saw the fans react to him leading the race.
“Seeing these fans cheer when we got the lead. That’s what kept the motivation going,” Stewart admitted. “Not like I need much motivation, but when you have fans at South Boston cheering like that every time you take the lead, by god, you aren’t going to let them down.”
Stewart, the 2021 SRX Series champion, held off Biffle by just over four-tenths of a second. As the laps clicked off, Biffle closed in as Stewart was attempting to manage his pace to save his car in the event of a late race caution.
“I was worried we’d get a caution late, so I just tried to take care of them there, but I think backing my pace off actually hurt me versus helping me,” Stewart said. “I think I was trying to take care of it, but I was making some problems a little bit worse by not running as hard as I was earlier.”
Following Stewart and Biffle to the finish line was fellow NASCAR legend Bobby Labonte in third, while Ryan Newman and Castroneves rounded out the top-five finishers in the race.
While the battle for the win was fun, it wasn’t the only intriguing storyline during the 100-lap main event as tempers were high all night long.
Throughout the night, which included two Heat Races and a Main Event, we saw numerous dust-ups, which led to tensions between Stewart and Ernie Francis Jr., Paul Tracy and Tony Kanaan and Michael Waltrip and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Tracy, who led the opening 25 laps of Heat 2, was turned from the lead by Castroneves, who went on to score the Heat 2 win. Tracy vowed revenge, but it wasn’t to be as Tracy crashed out of the Main Event on lap 35 after big contact from Hunter-Reay.
Hunter-Reay’s drama in the main event would not end there, as he got into Michael Waltrip late in the event, which sent Waltrip backing hard into the outside wall.
The incident would end Waltrip’s race, but Waltrip wouldn’t go to the pit lane before he showcased his displeasure with Hunter-Reay on the track by scrubbing the side and front of Hunter-Reay’s car with his No. 15 machine.
Stewart had beef of his own with Ernie Francis Jr. in Heat Race 2, which was sparked in the dust up between Castroneves and Tracy. As Francis attempted to avoid a spinning Tracy, he cut down into Stewart’s car.
This enraged Stewart, but the two drivers made amends before the Main Event began.
All-in-all, Saturday’s SRX race at South Boston was a knock-out drag-out fight. And it was peak racing entertainment.
The Camping World SRX Series will return for their third race of the 2022 season next Saturday, July 2nd, at Stafford Motor Speedway. That race will once again be broadcast on CBS Sports and Paramount+ and tv coverage will kick off at 8PM ET.
Camping World SRX at South Boston Race Results
- 14-Tony Stewart
- 69-Greg Biffle
- 18-Bobby Labonte
- 39-Ryan Newman
- 06-Helio Castroneves
- 6-Tony Kanaan
- 5-Ernie Francis Jr.
- 98-Marco Andretti
- 1-Ryan Hunter-Reay
- 26-Peyton Sellers
- 15-Michael Waltrip
- 3-Paul Tracy