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SRX: What Went Right, What Went Wrong in Season 2

Photo credit: Jason Miller/SRX - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jason Miller/SRX - Getty Images

The second season of the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) literally came and went in the blink of an eye—well, if that eye blinked for six straight weeks, that is, and then it was done for another year.

Marco Andretti won the series’ second championship, his first title of any type since he began racing Indy cars well over a decade ago.

And while SRX is not IndyCar, the third-generation racer now joins his legendary grandfather Mario and his father Michael, who won several CART and USAC titles between themselves, as a racing series champion.

Andretti also joined series co-founder Tony Stewart as SRX royalty, as Stewart won the inaugural championship in the series’ first season last year.

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Autoweek puts a final wrap on the 2022 season with some of the things that we felt went right and others that went wrong.

Strap in and start your engines, SRX fans:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Photo credit: Jared Tilton/SRX - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jared Tilton/SRX - Getty Images

1, Stars Were Shining in the Booth

While the on-track action was good and compelling much of the time, particularly with all the wrecks and the temper flare-ups (examples: Tony Stewart and Ernie Francis Jr., or Paul Tracy and pretty much everyone else), to us the brightest star was lead play-by-play voice Alan Bestwick (and additional kudos to show host Lindsay Czarniak and main pit reporter Matt Yocum).

Bestwick did a great job of keeping TV viewers informed of who was doing what, which drivers were having conflicts with their peers, and especially late-race action as cars streamed toward the checkered flag. If we had to give Bestwick a grade, it would be A+.

Photo credit: Jason Miller/SRX - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jason Miller/SRX - Getty Images

2, All Good, Mechanically Speaking

From a mechanical standpoint, the SRX mechanics and fabricators could put many NASCAR crews to shame. They were able to keep cars going in races even after some rough crashes (I can only recall one car that was so thoroughly destroyed in a race that a driver had to go to a backup car within the same event), and were also able to proficiently make larger-scale repairs in the one-week period between races, most of the time while they were on the road, going from track to track. These folks get an A+ as well.

Photo credit: Dylan Buell/SRX - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dylan Buell/SRX - Getty Images

3. Championship Chase Was Top Notch

The four-driver championship battle between Andretti, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte was exceptional. While I admit I’m somewhat surprised Stewart wasn’t more of a factor in the season finale/championship-deciding event, I’m sure as much as Tony hates to lose, he was legitimately happy that if he didn’t take the title again, that Marco did.

Photo credit: Dylan Buell/SRX - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dylan Buell/SRX - Getty Images

4, CBS Production Crew Was on Its 'A' Game

Kudos must also be given to the entire CBS production crew. They stayed on top of the action, rarely missed any of the big moments (even during commercial breaks), and particular props to them for the job they did after a monstrous storm overnight roared through Nashville, putting the event itself in jeopardy (there was considerable damage to equipment and the facility itself). Yet they pulled the live broadcast off without a hitch.

Photo credit: Dylan Buell/SRX - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dylan Buell/SRX - Getty Images

5, Series Finally Found a Villain

One of the highlights of the six races was the ascension of Paul Tracy to become the series villain, a role he seemed apprehensive to take at first before seeming to embrace it.

Of course, being the villain came with a price, as he fell out of contention for a championship that he might have been able to win if he hadn’t been involved in numerous wrecks and dust-ups, particularly with IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, and former NASCAR stars Greg Biffle and Michael Waltrip.

Still, even though he wound up having to wear the black hat—or would that be black helmet? —Tracy brought excitement to the series with the anticipation of what he’d do, and who he’d wind up trading paint with next.