A new auto racing experience is making its way onto CBS' airwaves. Superstar Racing Experience, which was started by NASCAR Hall of Famers Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham and investor George Pyne, has announced a multiyear partnership with CBS Sports that will air a six-race, short-track racing series.
The SRX will air in prime time on the CBS Television Network and CBS All Access on Saturday nights beginning in the summer of 2021.
The new sports property will have short, sprint races between some of the world's most elite drivers. Each race is expected to include a wide range of drivers and courses that will bring racing fans close to the action on a weekly basis.
"We're actually looking across many different series for our drivers," Evernham said on a media teleconference Monday. "There are drivers who are superstars and legends and there are drivers that are about to become superstars and legends. We want a mix of drivers from motorsports around the world whether that's open-wheel, close sedan, extreme sports, or Formula 1. A lot of guys like Tony, are still very engaged in racing automobiles around the world and don't want to run 40 times a year at 200 miles per hour."
Evernham said that "nothing is locked in" in terms of the tracks that SRX will hold races at. However, he did mention venues such as Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, Stafford (Connecticut) Motor Speedway, and Pensacola, Florida, as potential options.
Evernham will oversee all racing operations for SRX while The Montag Group will oversee the business operations. He served as the crew chief for Jeff Gordon from 1992 until 1999 and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2018. Evernham left Gordon in 1999 to found the Evernham Motorsports racing team, which featured drivers like Kasey Kahne, Jeremy Mayfield, and Elliott Sadler over the years. Evernham Motorsports eventually merged with Richard Petty Motorsports.
"We've set this up to bring the focus back to the drivers and their ability to compete head to head as opposed to the car deciding who wins," Evernham said. "That's going to create a unique dynamic for fans at the track and everywhere else. Adding superstar-caliber drivers and our unique racing features, you're going to see all kinds of emotions playing out live. It's going to be quite exciting and rekindle why a lot of people love short-track racing."
SRX will feature drivers from some of the world's top circuits and be approximately 90 minutes of racing time within a two-hour broadcast period. In addition, there won't be any pit stops during the race, but there will be a "halftime" in which drivers and their crew chiefs can make the necessary adjustments for the second half of the race.
Stewart has participated in hundreds of races during his career, which spanned over 20 years. He was a Cup Series champion on three different occasions in 2002, 2005, and 2011 while also being a 2020 inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
"The biggest thing is that our series is separate from everything in NASCAR. It's not meant to compete with NASCAR," Stewart. "It's just another form of motorsports that the fans are craving. We're not looking to try to partner as far as race weekends. We want six standalone weekends at six standalone tracks. There's so many smaller tracks in the United States that provide great racing. We really want to go out and do something that is unique and different with a format and cars that are different."
SRX will be targeting semi-retired drivers that are still interested in racing a few times a year. Stewart is the first driver to sign up SRX and is looking forward to competing in the new series.
"I couldn't be more excited about it. This is an opportunity for something that I've looked forward to and been missing for a long time," Stewart said during the teleconference. "I was the last winner of the IROC and I remember how much fun I had with the different drivers there. This is a huge opportunity to bring superstars from so many different disciplines of motorsports together and bring them in unique cars that no one has driven before."