Deegan, Hamlin, Keselowski, Labonte, Newman join 2023 SRX roster

Deegan, Hamlin, Keselowski, Labonte, Newman join 2023 SRX roster

The Superstar Racing Experience has added four new faces to the full-time roster for 2023, two of whom are already competing weekly in NASCAR.

In addition to competing in the NASCAR Cup and Craftsman Truck Series respectively, Brad Keselowski and Hailie Deegan will spend their summers vying for the SRX Championship. It will be the first time Keselowski has competed for a title outside of the Cup Series, which he won in 2012, since winning the 2010 Xfinity Series crown.

“I’ve watched the SRX series on TV over the years, and given our limited practice and qualifying time in motorsport, it provides another outlet to save time on the track and improve my craft. “, said Keselowski. “The addition of ESPN and the return of Thursday Night Thunder is a huge plus as the series continues to bring its exciting product to fans at home. This is an incredible opportunity for me to compete and I’m thrilled that this starts this summer.

Deegan is set for her third full season in the Truck Series and her first for ThorSport Racing. Both she and Keselowski are members of Ford. She has raced sporadically in SRX since the inaugural season in 2021, scoring a second-place finish on her Knoxville debut.

“Since I did my first SRX race, I hoped the schedule would work out until I could race there full time,” Deegan commented. “Coming back to the SRX series is already exciting, but being able to run the full series makes it even better. At the start of this year, I was hoping to have no conflicts and be able to compete for the full season.

Despite their NASCAR commitments, Keselowski and Deegan are able to make time to race the entire SRX season because the latter’s races are held on Thursday nights as opposed to weekend-based NASCAR.

“When we made the deal with ESPN for Thursday Night Thunder, I imagined maybe someone from IndyCar or NASCAR would try to run all six races for the championship,” explained SRX CEO Don Hawk. “Brad was up for the challenge. I’ve known Brad for a long time, he’s not about to fail. He methodically strategizes and then commits to it.

“Hailie was on the roster that Tony (Stewart) and I had been working on since day one. The Thursday Night Thunder platform gives a superstar like her the ability to host all six SRX events, and fans are going to love it. I’m a fan and I think she will be very competitive week after week.

Keselowski won’t be the only full-time 2023 Cup player entering SRX, as Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are also making two starts apiece. Denny Hamlin, Busch’s former teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, announced plans Wednesday to race the season opener at Stafford Motor Speedway on July 13.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in the SRX season opener at Stafford Motor Speedway,” said Hamlin. “This track has so much history, to finally be able to race there will be a to-do list item for me. It was fun to watch
SRX has grown over the past two years, and it’s an honor they asked me to join them.

Former Cup runners Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte also confirmed their full-time campaigns on Tuesday. Newman narrowly missed out on the 2022 championship by two points to Marco Andretti with a win at Stafford, while Labonte won the following week’s race at Nashville. Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion and 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, finished third in the points battle in 2021 and 2022.

“Last year was a great experience, and the trip for me and my daughters to Victory Lane in Stafford will be remembered forever,” Newman said. “Being back on Thursday Night Thunder with Tony will also be special.”

Labonte called it “quite an honor to be invited back to the SRX Series for a third year. Everyone has done a great job of making the series more popular every year. We had a good run last year, won a race and fought for the championship. I’m really excited to be competitive again this year and competing for the 2023 series

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