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Paul Tracy Not Returning to SRX in 2023, After Series’ First-Ever Driver Suspension

Paul Tracy won’t return to the Camping World SRX Series this year, after being suspended for wrecking several vehicles in the series’ last event at Motor Mile Speedway. PC: Wayne Riegle, SRX

On Friday, Paul Tracy was on the receiving end of the first suspension in the history of the Camping World SRX Series, and according to CEO Don Hawk, the former NTT IndyCar Series broadcast won’t be coming back anytime soon.

Tracy, who has competed in every season of the Superstar Racing Experience to date, was suspended following his role in a five-car accident in the late stages of the 100-lap feature event at Pulaski County Motorsports Park.

Just before the evening got underway, Tony Stewart pulled the drivers aside for a private meeting, where he conveyed the message that the over-aggressive nature of the racing at Stafford Speedway left FURY Race Cars with a heaping pile of work to do.

So, when an over-the-top and quite frankly, unnecessary move by Paul Tracy caused damage to half of the series fleet of cars, which needed to be fully repaired and functioning in one week’s time, that was the last straw.

And yes, Tracy’s over-aggressive nature has been hyped up and used to drum up excitement for the Camping World SRX Series over the last two seasons, but like Don Hawk said on Wednesday, there comes a time when enough is enough.

“We don’t really want to be the police, right? We want to have fun. We want to have good, hard racing,” said Hawk. “But, at a certain point, you just have to say stop. Enough is enough. We reached that point last week.”

“I didn’t just decide it in a whim,” he continued. “I looked at video. I looked at in-car camera footage. I looked at everything ESPN could possibly give me, every angle possible, trying to get every reason to not do what we did. Everything that I looked at supported the decision that we made. It’s not something we would do quite often, and it’s just something that needed to be done.”

Sitting fourth in Camping World SRX Series point standings after the halfway point of the year, Tracy won’t have a chance to score the series’ championship, as Don Hawk further confirmed on Wednesday that the 2003 CART champion won’t return to the series in 2023.

“It won’t be this year,” Hawk said about Tracy’s potential return to SRX. “Later today, I’ll be making some decisions as far as who gets in that car for Eldora and who gets in there for Lucas Oil Speedway. Paul will not be returning the balance of the year.”

Considering the decision made, and the hot-headed persona that Tracy carried in his time racing in the Superstar Racing Experience, one would think there may be some hard feelings following such a decision. But, per Don Hawk, there’s no conflict.

“Paul and I have talked. We’ve called, and we’ve texted back and forth. There’s no feud, there’s no war. There’s just the decision that’s been made, and we have to just move on from that.”

For Thursday’s event at Berlin Raceway, Tracy will be replaced by NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Johnny Benson, Jr., who will drive the No. 10 entry.

However, according to Hawk, announcements surrounding additions to the driver lineup at Eldora Speedway and Lucas Oil Speedway will be coming at a later date.

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