Tony Stewart will continue to run full-time in his Superstar Racing Experience series in 2023, confirming a third full schedule on Thursday.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve all built, and the quality of drivers we’ve assembled for 2023 is a testament to SRX’s success, and the passion and excitement we’ve earned from fans in the short track community,” said Stewart. “We’re looking forward to another summer of sold-out race tracks and can’t wait to bring Thursday Night Thunder back to ESPN.”
Stewart won the inaugural SRX championship in 2021 with a pair of victories at the dirt tracks Knoxville and Eldora, the latter of which he also owns. His title defence in 2022 ended with a fourth-place points finish and wins at South Boston and I-55.
It is perhaps unsurprising that the series’ founder would be a regular, but the announcement comes as Stewart is gearing up for a full campaign in drag racing as he enters the NHRA Top Alcohol division. His wife Leah Pruett currently races for Tony Stewart Racing in NHRA Top Fuel. Stewart made his début in October 2022 at the Nevada Nationals and finished runner-up to Madison Payne.
Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, will get to compete against those like Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, and Kevin Harvick during the 2023 season, all of whom have driven for his Stewart-Haas Racing team in the Cup Series.
“Tony has an immeasurable impact on the SRX brand, racing product and the ESPN broadcast,” commented SRX CEO Don Hawk. “Tony is really involved during the season and offseason. He makes me think deeply about the product on the track, the driver selections, race tracks, and race format. Tony is a fierce competitor first and foremost, and never lets his ownership position in SRX interfere with a good decision or the racing product. It’s not often you can say you have three-time NASCAR champion driver, multiple series car owner, current NHRA driver, NASCAR Hall of Famer who’s not just your boss, but your friend.”
All six SRX races in 2023 will be broadcast on Thursday nights on ESPN under the Thursday Night Thunder brand. The label was previously used for ESPN’s short and dirt track shows in the 1980s, on which Stewart got his racing start. The season opener at Stafford will take place on 13 July.