Kyle Busch still is waiting for his chance to compete in the Indianapolis 500, but he scratched another box off his racing bucket list on Thursday night.

Busch added yet another win to his career resume, capturing the checkered flag in his first race in Superstar Racing Experience competition Thursday night at Pulaski County (Va.) Motorsports Park.

Busch made his SRX debut on the .416-mile paved track known previously as Motor Mile Speedway until it was renamed about 2 ½ months ago (near Virginia Tech University in nearby Blacksburg, Va.).

And although it was Busch’s first try driving an SRX car, he made it look so simple and easy, like he’s been competing in the series for each of its 15 races to date (dating back to the series’ inception in the 2021 season).

“It’s fun, you know,” Busch said. “It was just a great atmosphere and environment to be around some great drivers. I just love being able to race.”

And being able to win, indeed. Once Busch got past Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer with over 30 laps to go in the 100-lap main event, the race was essentially game over for the 11 other drivers at that point.

Even though there was one final caution with 10 laps to go following a brutal multi-car wreck (see more below), Busch was not to be denied his rookie SRX debut win (he’s slated to compete in yet one more race this season).

Bowyer finished second, followed by Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Helio Castroneves, Bobby Labonte, Hailie Deegan, Marco Andretti, Paul Tracy, Josef Newgarden and Ken Schrader.

Newman remains on top of the SRX standings of the eight full-time drivers in the series, ahead of Andretti and Stewart.

kyle busch srx

Racer roar to the green flag at Pulaski.


Thursday Night Thunder … and Lightning

Major kudos to Pulaski County Motorsports Park officials.

While Fairlawn, Va., only has a population of under 2,700 residents, they put on one of the most impressive fireworks displays before, during and after Thursday’s race that put other major outdoor sports facilities to shame.

Much of those impressive fireworks displays came after both heat races, before the start of the 100-lap main event, and then after the outstanding night of racing was over.

Thursday marked the mid-point of the six-race series for the 2023 season.

Here’s how the first two heat races wound up:

Heat 1: Marco Andretti (winner), Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart, Paul Tracy, Josef Newgarden, Helio Castroneves, Hailie Deegan, Ken Schrader, Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer.

Heat 2: Clint Bowyer (winner), Ryan Newman, Ken Schrader, Helio Castroneves, Tony Stewart, Hailie Deegan, Paul Tracy, Brad Keselowski, Bobby Labonte, Marco Andretti, Kyle Busch, Josef Newgarden.

ESPN had a great note about Bowyer’s win: It’s been 1,873 days since Bowyer last went to victory lane in a race car. Those of you with a calculator, that is more than five years without a visit to victory lane.

But the retired Bowyer, who is now a Fox Sports NASCAR analyst, finally took the checkered flag in the second heat race.

“We had a lot of fun out there,” Bowyer said. “So much fun out here. Look at that crowd. Packed house in about 4,000 degrees.”

Stewart and Andretti – the first two champions of SRX – were on the pole for the 100-lap main event but remain winless thus far this season.

Ken Schrader Has Had Enough of Paul Tracy

Veteran racer Ken Schrader has historically been a fairly mild-mannered driver throughout his five-plus decade racing career.

But after Thursday’s race, a red-hot Schrader may be ready to turn in his resignation to SRX officials – unless Paul Tracy gets fired first.

Arguably the biggest wreck and with the most damage in the 2 ½ seasons of SRX racing to date occurred with 10 laps to go in Thursday’s race, involved Schrader, Tracy, Newgarden, Andretti and Deegan.

Schrader was obviously frustrated and vowed to never compete in another SRX race if Tracy is also in it.

“I’m sure green (Tracy) had black (Newgarden) shoved into the outside wall. I’m not riding another race with (Tracy). I’m done,” Schrader said.

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Tracy disagreed with Schrader’s viewpoint.

“Newgarden and I were bouncing off each other a couple laps,” Tracy said. “I got a nose ahead of him, a half-car length ahead of him and I just got hooked and turned sideways down the straightaway.

“It was just hard racing at the end there, 10 laps to go and everyone’s going for it hard. It’s a tough track to get off the corner. It was just a bad deal for everyone.”

It was the second time Schrader and Tracy wrecked in SRX competition this season. They also came together in a crash in the season-opening race at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Here’s the line of the night: Guest TV analyst Conor Daly interrupted Bowyer during live race action (not under a caution) and asked him how things were going. Bowyer’s reply was short but outstanding: “I’m busy!” … Virginia Tech University head football coach Frank Beamer was Grand Marshal for the event and gave the command to start engines. … The first three winners this season have been Denny Hamlin (in the first of two races at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut), Ryan Newman (also at Stafford; the race was moved from Thunder Road Speedway in Barre, Vt., after severe flooding in the area) and now the younger Busch brother at Pulaski County. … Race No. 4 of the schedule is next Thursday at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. (just north of Grand Rapids). Next week’s race will also be the final SRX race to be held on pavement this year. The final two races (Eldora Speedway and Lucas Oil Speedway) are both dirt tracks. As is the case for every race this season, the event will start at 9 pm ET and run until 11 pm ET, with all races to be aired on ESPN.


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