SRX Final: Ryan Newman Wins Championship; Dirt Late Model Champ Schools Field

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Ryan Newman Wins SRX ChampionshipSRX/Wayne Riegle
  • Ryan Newman earned enough points in the first of two heat races to clinch the Superstar Racing Experience championship.

  • Newman never won a championship in either NASCAR Cup or Xfinity Series competition, with his career high point being a win in the 2008 Daytona 500.

  • Three-time national dirt late model champ Jonathan Davenport was the big on-track story of the night, winning one of two heats and the feature.

  • Ryan Newman wasted little time claiming the third championship in Superstar Racing Experience history, doing so with an eighth-place finish in the first heat race in ESPN’s six-week Thursday Night Thunder’s season finale at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo.


Newman, who finished second last year to eventual champion Marco Andretti, wasted little time in going for the championship, earning enough points in the first heat race to claim the SRX crown and eliminate his three closest challengers, namely, 2021 inaugural SRX champ Tony Stewart, Andretti and NASCAR Cup star Brad Keselowski.

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Ryan Newman battles Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart.SRX/Wayne Riegle

Newman never won a championship in either NASCAR Cup or Xfinity Series competition, with his career high point being a win in the 2008 Daytona 500. But he was not to be denied of his first SRX championship.

“It means a lot, no doubt, any kind of championship (like) the SRX series,” Newman said while celebrating in victory lane. “The Superstar Racing Experience, what can you say? Guys like Tony Stewart, Jonathan Davenport, who has won just about everything there is on dirt, racing against Kenny Schrader and Kenny Wallace, Helio Castroneves, all that stuff, it’s pretty special. It’s just a whole lot of fun to be doing what I’m doing.”

Newman broke out into a huge laugh after being doused with beer afterward while doing a post-race interview with ESPN.

But the joke was on all of Newman’s competitors, primarily the six other drivers who competed “full-time” in the series’ six races in as many weeks, but fell short of overtaking Newman for the crown: namely, Keselowski, Andretti, Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Hailie Deegan and Ken Schrader. Former IndyCar driver Paul Tracy was also a full-time competitor in the series until he was suspended for the rest of the season after being involved in a big wreck in the third race of the season.

Once the checkered flag fell on Thursday night, Newman finished 45 points ahead of Andretti (who beat Newman for the title last year), as well as 45 points ahead of Keselowski (Andretti earned the tie-breaker).

Meanwhile, Stewart, who dominated at the track he owns, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway, last week, finished fourth in the final standings.

Final 2023 Camping World SRX Championship Standings

Ryan Newman - 212

Brad Keselowski - 167 (-45)

Marco Andretti - 167 (-45)

Tony Stewart - 164 (-48)

Ken Schrader - 150 (-62)