The 2023 SRX Season has come to a close after a thriller last Thursday night (Aug. 17) at Lucas Oil Speedway, that saw Jonathan Davenport take the win after an epic battle with Clint Bowyer. Now, the six-week summer series goes dark and the wait begins to find out who and where for the SRX series in 2024 (the when was announced this afternoon).
The series in its three-year tenure has run at some of the best short tracks in America, putting on shows at tracks such as Berlin, South Boston, Pensacola, Eldora, Knoxville and more. However, the only tracks to ever get a returning date are Eldora and Stafford Speedway.
Looking back at all three seasons of the series, every track that has had a date so far put on a show and would be absolutely deserving of a return to the schedule in 2024.
What we do know, is that Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, Vt. will be getting a date next season after the horrible flooding in the state robbed the quarter-mile of their date this season, and that race should be nothing short of spectacular. Beyond Thunder Road, if the series is to explore new venues for 2024, where should they go?
Winchester Speedway, Ind.
The first place the series should look is Winchester, Ind., where one of the baddest half-mile racetracks on the planet sits. Winchester Speedway, home of the Winchester 400, is a fast, high-banked, worn-out half-mile that always puts on excellent racing. At 37 degrees of banking, Winchester is the highest-banked active track in the United States. Winchester is less than two hours outside of the racing capital of the world, Indianapolis, so the fanbase is already there.
SRX has made at least one stop in that region of the country every year to this point, making stops at IRP in 2021, Sharon, Ohio in 2022 and Berlin, Mich. this past season. Winchester is no stranger to big events, hosting the previously mentioned Winchester 400, along with the USAC Silver Crown cars and the ARCA Menards Series in previous years. The series has a big fan draw in the region and Winchester is a perfect candidate for the next track to get a date.
New Smyrna Speedway, Fla.
Moving farther South, another track I would like to see is New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Much like Winchester, the track is not far from one of the biggest racing venues in the world, this time being Daytona. The track is also home to the World Series of Asphalt, a week-long event that kicks of the season for some of the best modified and super late model drivers in the country.
SRX has only made one stop in the Sunshine state, that being Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola in 2022. In fact, the next closes races to the state have been in Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia. Being just 12 miles from Daytona, the track has a long list of big-name winners in late model competition and is more than capable of drawing a crowd. It’s time to get the SRX series back to Florida and the New Smyrna half-mile would be an awesome fit.
Tri-County Speedway, N.C.
With two half miles picked so far and the quarter-mile Thunder Road already listed, how about somewhere in the middle? Maybe a longshot, but Tri-County Speedway just outside of Granite Falls, N.C. might be the perfect candidate for an SRX track.
The track might not have the biggest name like a Winchester or New Smyrna, but the facility itself is outstanding. The .400-mile oval has been freshly paved over the past few seasons, with the track just finishing the paving of the straightaways in the past few weeks. Despite the new pavement, there were still three solid grooves of racing when the CARS Tour visited for their biggest race of the year last Saturday night.
With so much of the series being based out of NC, the series really needs to find a track for their home race and while Hickory or North Wilkesboro might be the most obvious candidates, Hickory needs to do some work to their facility and North Wilkesboro is being engulfed into the NASCAR world.
The thing that could really set Tri-County apart is the tailgating opportunities for the fans. From turn 1 to turn 3, fans can back their vehicles right up to the catchfence and almost stand on top of the racing action, as the track is beneath them. That alone is an awesome experience that SRX should take part in.
Husets Speedway, S.D.
The series travels to two dirt tracks every season and the next one in line should be Huset’s Speedway. The South Dakota third-mile, high-banked track is no stranger to big events, just this season hosting the Huset’s High Bank Nationals with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and the Silver Dollar Nationals with the Lucas Oil Late Models, both three-day events with big money paydays to the winner.
The track puts on good racing and it has the amenities needed to hold a big crowd. There’s enough seating to hold the capacity of the series and those South Dakota sunsets over the track are always beautiful on summer nights.
Racing at Huset’s could also provide the opportunity to get a sprint car guy in one of the series’ cars, which to this point hasn’t happened yet and would add even more excitement to the fans in the area. SRX has never traveled farther west than Missouri and expanding with Huset’s would be the right way to do so.
Lernerville Speedway, Pa.
For the final track, pretty much anywhere in Pennsylvania. How have we not picked a Pennsylvania dirt track yet? Lernerville, Port Royal, Williams Grove, Lincoln, BAPS, Grandview, the list goes on and on. I would personally say Lernerville is the best candidate for an SRX race and think the combination of the track’s history and the track itself would produce an awesome show.
The 0.4-mile high banks host the biggest names in dirt when the All-Star Circuit of Champions comes to town for the Silver Cup, as well as the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series’ running of the Firecracker 100.
One intriguing factor of the track is the lack of an outside retaining wall. While not a real safety threat with plenty of runoff room, there is no outside wall anywhere except the front straightaway. This could add an interesting element to the racing and just another challenge to the drivers who could be navigating the track for the first time. SRX needs to get on the PA dirt at all costs and Lernerville gets my vote for it to happen.
There you have it. Winchester Speedway, New Smyrna Speedway, Thunder Road Speedbowl, Tri-County Speedway, Huset’s Speedway, and Lernerville Speedway. My vote for a six-week series of excitement when SRX returns to our Thursday nights next season.
As for drivers, the only thing i’ll say is bring back the local hero, scale back on the Cup guys. They add a fun aspect for the fan and a huge career opportunity for that driver to prove his worth to the world, just like Luke Fenhaus at Slinger in 2021.
In contrast, the amount of current Cup stars with extreme amounts of short-track experience could take over if they aren’t careful. Wherever the series decides to go, it will be a blast. SRX is a fun, unique series and I hope they’re around for years to come.
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