Chase Elliott wins SRX Finals; Marco Andretti claims the title
Marco Andretti won the SRX 2022 title on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott is now two for two when it comes to his Superstar Racing Experience appearances.
Elliott, making his second start in the series, passed Tony Stewart with six laps to go to win Saturday night’s second season finale at Sharon Speedway in Ohio.
Elliott took the lead after about three laps of racing side-by-side with Stewart on the dirt road.
After Elliott took the checkered flag, it was a fine finish for second place as Stewart nicked Matt Kenseth on the line.
Elliott is the first rider other than Stewart to win an SRX dirt race. His other SRX win came in the 2021 season finale at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
“Knowing how good (Stewart) is at it and being able to work it out with him, I actually thought he was better than me running before,” Elliott told CBS. “Then I was able to watch it at the top and get a few things done.”
Meanwhile, Marco Andretti finished ninth and captured the second SRX Championship, edging Ryan Newman by two points for the title. Although Andretti didn’t win any races this season, he finished second in three of six races. He finished the race without a right front fender and a broken wrist from a late accident.
“The cool thing is that you take damage and you can still play and stay in the head turn,” Andretti said. “I broke my wrist in the last (accident), I got my thumb in the wheel. The last laps were tough. I just wanted to recover and finish where I was supposed to finish. We were able to do it. This (car) was quite robust tonight.
The top five was completed by Ryan Hunder-Reay and Bobby Labonte.
— Tom Bowles (@NASCARBowles) July 24, 2022
The first warning of the race, on lap 9, was caused when Dave Blaney spun and found himself pointed the wrong way against the outside wall.
The race resumed on lap 9 (cautious laps didn’t count) as Elliott took the lead from Newman.
Dave Blaney issued the second warning on lap 30 when he entered the outside wall and cut his right front tire.
The race returned to green with Newman and Elliott battling side by side for two laps before the warning returned for debris on the track.
The race had barely resumed when Newman was diverted from behind Andretti, allowing Elliott to get away when the warning went out. At the time, Newman and Andretti were the top two drivers in the points standings. There was enough damage to the front right on Andretti’s car that he had to drive to the garage for repairs.
When the race resumed, Labonte was in the front row with Elliott and first in the points standings.
However, Labonte had a bad restart and fell back as Stewart roared into second to challenge Elliott. On lap 34, Stewart got under Elliott and used slip work to take the lead.
On lap 39, Elliott jumped the cushion and went into the wall. Around this time, it was announced that the race had been shortened to 50 laps due to time constraints. With nine laps to go, Kanaan took out the warning for a spin.
On the ensuing restart, Stewart and Elliott traded heads before the warning quickly returned after Ryan Hunter-Reay was spun by Dave Blaney.
In moto two, Dave Blaney led most of the race only for Elliott to pass him near the end and take the win. Blaney brushed the wall and finished fourth behind Elliott, Kanaan, Bobby Labonte and Ryan Newman.
Ryan Newman won Round 1 after an incident in Round 2 sent Matt Kenseth and Ryan Blaney to the garage.
Newman started the main event from pole thanks to his average finish in the heats.