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(CBS Local)- The highly anticipated Superstar Racing Experience, the brainchild of NASCAR Hall of Famers Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart, starts the engines on Saturday, June 12 in a primetime slot on CBS. Taking on the track at Stafford Speedway in Connecticut, the drivers will get their first chance to get behind the wheel of Evernham’s creation to battle it out in two 15-minute heats before going 100 laps to determine a winner.

Lindsay Czarniak, a veteran of the motorsports broadcasting world, will serve as the host for the broadcasts on CBS Television Network throughout the six-week season. With race one set to go green flag, Czarniak says that she’s most interested in the interactions and trash talking showing the drivers’ competitiveness and personality that are already taking place.

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“One of the things I’m most curious about and excited about exploring is the way that these drivers are interacting as they’re getting ready to go in the days leading up to it,” Czarniak said. “I’m really excited to see how these champions, legends and icons from the sport of racing, all different walks of racing, interact.”

READ>>>Helio Castroneves On Superstar Racing Experience: ‘Big Fan Of This Format, It’s Going To Be Great For Everyone’

With a lineup featuring Stewart, Marco Andretti, Paul Tracy, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Willy T. Ribbs, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Ernie Francis Jr., Greg Biffle and Bill Elliott, the series is well stocked with engaging personalities. And that aspect, the opportunity to show off those personalities is one of the things that Czarniak believes gives SRX an opportunity to really generate interest.

“In racing whether it’s NASCAR or IndyCar or any series, that sometimes is one of the by products of the race,” Czarniak said. “To go into a series and have drivers openly talking about how that’s going to be part of it I think just elevates the excitement. It does come from an organic place but it really is something that motivates these guys when they’re on the track. To be able to do a little bit of trash talking and also to be honing in on those personalities, for us, I think it’s a great way to get people interested in the sport.”

The big personalities are part of the appeal and the hope is that it will entice some viewers who are newer to motorsports to stick around when they catch the race on Saturday night. For Czarniak, the opportunity to bring in that new audience is one she’s not taking lightly and says that the biggest focus for her will be on trying to find the human interest connection points between the drivers on the track and those at home.

READ>>>Marco Andretti & Tony Kanaan On Superstar Racing Series: ‘It’s Totally Cool, Something That I’ve Never Done’

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“That’s very stressful and it’s the one thing that I want to say has been giving me anxiety about it because it’s a really big opportunity. It’s a great chance to expose viewers to a sport that I really love and I’ve fallen in love with,” Czarniak said. “For me, when I first got into covering racing years ago, I was introduced to it really through story telling. So I became really intrigued based on more of the human interest stories of the drivers I was following. So I’m trying to think about it that way.”

“If I’m writing my script here, that’s what I’m constantly thinking about. How do I make someone at home really want to watch? What is it that is the most relatable or the most fascinating bit that’s going to keep them tuned in,” Czarniak continued.

For the racing fans tuning in, there’s intrigue outside of the drivers themselves. Evernham designed the car that all drivers will be using specifically for this series and everyone will be using the same equipment. The idea being that everybody having the same tools to work with will showcase driver skill. Czarniak likens it to the NFL specifying only one type of system that every team can run for the entire season.

“It’s sort of like if you had a season in the NFL where you went to every team and said, ‘here you go, you can only run this offense, that’s it. Let’s figure out who’s going to sink or swim.’ So I think this is something you don’t usually see but think about that, it’s going to be interesting to see who can really adapt,” Czarniak said. “That’s the big question. Who can adapt to this but also who can react? There will be things that come out of each race that they may not expect that they’ll have to react to. I think this is going to be a test of not only their professional talent but also the mental fortitude in how they’re going to handle it. I think it’s really interesting to hear what the different strategies are going to be.”

READ>>>What Can Fans Expect From SRX Racing Series Broadcasts? ‘Access Like You’ve Never Seen Before’ Says Producer Pam Miller

Viewers will get their first chance to see those strategies and thought processes play out in real time on the track Saturday. All of those reasons, plus the access that the broadcast crew has, makes for a series that Czarniak says will bring fans a brand new experience.

“This is going to be racing like nobody has ever seen because it’s going to be the drivers who have won the highest highs and some that have had the lowest lows with extreme disappointment. But also these are the most competitive people and athletes that are out there. They’re going to be racing against each other. We are going to be able to take you inside their racecars moments before they fire up these engines,” Czarniak said. “But above all, this is going to be a race that as it goes on will continue to reset. So the drama is going to fly, the competitiveness is going to be there from the start. And the cool thing about our access is there’s nothing that we’re not going to be able to show you.”

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The Camping World SRX Series goes green flag on Saturday night at 8 p.m. Eastern Time with coverage on CBS Television Network and streaming live on Paramount+.

News Source: cbslocal.com

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Nashville Rules Package Sets Martin Truex Jr. Up for Success

Getty Martin Truex Jr. waves to the All-Star Race crowd.

The NASCAR Cup Series drivers take on Nashville Superspeedway for the first time, capping off a race weekend near Music City. The 1.33-mile concrete oval will test the drivers, but the rules package will benefit one particular driver. NASCAR will use the 750-horsepower setup, which Martin Truex Jr. used to win three races in 2021.

According to NASCAR, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver won at three ovals incorporating the 750-hp, low downforce package — Phoenix, Martinsville, and Darlington. All three tracks will return for the playoffs, setting Truex up for more success. Nashville Superspeedway, a track where Truex has five starts in the Busch Series, will use the same setup, per Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass.

The 2017 Cup Series champion did not reach Victory Lane at Nashville Superspeedway during his Busch Series career. However, he posted two top-five finishes during his time driving for Chance2 Motorsports. He finished second in 2004 behind Jason Leffler. Truex turned in another strong performance during the second 2005 race at Nashville, finishing fifth while Clint Bowyer captured the checkered flag.

Truex Will Have the Opportunity to Test Out the Track

GettyMartin Truex Jr. does burnouts in Nashville.

With Nashville Superspeedway serving as a new track on the Cup Series circuit, there is precious little data about the concrete oval. The drivers will be able to make up for the lack of information by taking part in practice and qualifying sessions before the green flag waves on Sunday, June 20.

According to Pockrass, the Cup Series drivers will head to the track on Saturday, June 19, at 2:05 p.m. ET. They will take part in a 50-minute practice session before heading back to the garage. The Xfinity Series drivers will then take on the oval at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Truex and his peers will return to Nashville Superspeedway on the morning of June 20 for their qualifying sessions. They will take laps around the 1.33-mile oval, starting at 11:05 a.m. ET, to determine where they will line up for the Ally 400. They will not have to worry about the previous race on the schedule (Sonoma) and how they fared.

Another Former Cup Series Champion Will Contend for the Win

GettyMartin Truex Jr. (bottom) races Joey Logano (top) at Richmond.

While the 750-hp setup will certainly benefit Truex, he won’t be the only driver with the opportunity to find success. Joey Logano, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang, has a similar run of success with this rules package.

Eight of Logano’s nine top-10 finishes during the 2021 season have taken place at tracks where the drivers used the 750-hp package. This list includes his seven top-five finishes, three of which were road course races. He finished second at the Daytona Road Course, third at Circuit of the Americas, and fourth at Sonoma Raceway.

The remainder of the 2021 schedule features three more road courses, which will force NASCAR to use the 750-hp setup again. Additionally, the trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway will use the same rules package. Truex and Logano will be among the favorites to win these races, along with Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.

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