Stewart gets mad, then gets even with SRX win at South Boston

Stewart gets mad, then gets even with SRX win at South Boston

SRX

Stewart gets mad, then gets even with SRX win at South Boston

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Mess with Tony Stewart at your peril. His fellow Camping World SRX Series drivers were taught that lesson, if they needed reminding, on Saturday night at Virginia’s 4/10-mile South Boston Speedway. Stewart — reigning series champion, as well as the co-founder of the six-race short track series for identically prepared race cars — dominated the final after clashing with Trans Am racer Ernie Francis Jr. in Heat 2, which was won by season-opening SRX winner Helio Castroneves after Greg Biffle won Heat 1.

While slowing to avoid a spinning Paul Tracy in Heat 2, Francis turned into Stewart, earning the NASCAR veteran’s ire and resulting in a heated discussion between the two prior to the main event.

“They’ve pissed off Uncle Tony right now. So they’re about ready to get a dose of it that they don’t want,” Stewart told CBS Sports after his run-in with Francis Jr. “Trust me, I know every dirty trick and got it in my bag. I mean, when you’re following somebody and a guy is on the outside, and as soon as he gets clear he just turns down across — that’s the dumbest s–t you can do, I swear to God.

“It’s like, I’m just done playing nice with everybody. Anybody that touches me, I’m touching back times five. I’m just done jacking with some of these clowns.”

He didn’t really need many of those tricks in the 100-lap final, though. Starting second, Stewart swapped the early lead with Marco Andretti before taking charge out front, then held off Biffle in the closing stages to secure his third SRX win in the eight races to date.

“Seeing these fans cheer when we got the lead every time, that’s what kept the motivation going. Not like I need much motivation, but when you’ve got fans of South Boston cheering like that every time you get the lead, you aren’t going to let them down,” a considerably happier Stewart said afterward. “I was worried we would get a caution late, so I just tried to take care of it there, but I think backing my pace off actually hurt me versus helping me. I thought I was trying to take care of it and I think I was making some problems a little bit worse by not running as hard as earlier.

“This car was really good. When we practiced today, it rolled the corner really nice, it was a little loose off. I was worried about it. I haven’t been to South Boston since I ran a midget clear back in 2000, 2001, 2002 or something like that. Didn’t know, couldn’t remember the characteristics of what this track does when it cools off. I was hoping it would tighten up and it did a little, just not as much as we needed.”

Biffle wound up second after Andretti spun out of contention while dueling with the NASCAR veteran. NASCAR drivers swept the top four, with Bobby Labonte and Ryan Newman leading home Castroneves.

“It was a great night. Our car was really fast. Tony just took care of his stuff a little better with starting on the front row every time,” said Biffle. “He had a little better tire than I did at the end. I was doing all I could, overdriving the corner and just trying to get to his bumper and wiggle him a little bit. I wasn’t going to spin him out or anything, but I wanted to try to make it exciting. I just couldn’t get there.”

The Camping World SRX Series continues next Saturday night with a return to Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn.

Main Event Results at South Boston Speedway:

Finishing Position

Driver

Car Number

1

Tony Stewart

14

2

Greg Biffle

69

3

Bobby Labonte

18

4

Ryan Newman

39

5

Helio Castroneves

06

6

Tony Kanaan

6

7

Ernie Francis Jr.

5

8

Marco Andretti

98

9

Ryan Hunter-Reay

1

10

Peyton Sellers  

26

11

Michael Waltrip

15

12

Paul Tracy

3

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 9 – ROAD AMERICA

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