Honestly… Well, it was a bit of a surprise. Pulaski County Motorsports Park has its share of history and holds a place for Virginia racing. That does not set aside certain realities of the facility. The season started as Motor Mile Speedway but was changed just weeks in to Pulaski County Motorsports Park.
The pieces fell together with a huge draw and a packed house for Thursday, July 27th. The name change highlights the region and the facility and the variety of attractions all together with a visit from a premiere racing series. The Matt Hagan connection to Tony Stewart / NHRA and the Motor Mile dealership cemented the foundation for the Superstar Racing Experience to wave a green flag over this racetrack with big time racing.
The SRX Racing show came in with a bang. The grandstands were packed. It was a pleasant site after seeing a season of open seating leading in. The showcase of a national spotlight and exiting racing should invite a few more fans to visit this track that does have a lot to offer.
(We’ll set aside some of the staffing issues that created some bottlenecks. We’ll also set aside our assistance for getting fans to their seats in the VIP viewing area housed under the control center. Our impression, after said and done, was that despite a few hiccups, the event went off very well and was quite a crowd pleaser.)
*Thank you, Mark, for getting us set where we were to get some work done on site. Thank you, Jasmine, for stepping up to fill some holes and get the edges smoothed over and for helping us help fans get to their spot. It is quite possible this event may have fallen into its own weight without Jasmine there to herd some cats and wrangle some ferrets…
The racing…? Well… It delivered on many fronts. The Collision Plus Sportsman ran with a 20 car field to start…. And then start again. In short, Kyle Barnes and Kyle Dudley were shuffled to the back but both made moves forward. Drew Bond had the starting pole but fell back as the 50 laps wound down. The shuffle for positions kept the racing lively but it was Brad Foy at the finish for the win with Karl Budzevski in for 2nd and Kyle Dudley racing back up to 3rd. Jacob Porter and Richard Caldwell rounded the top 5.
*Considering the short track attention, it would have been nive for ESPN to roll a 5 minute highlight recap of the support race before they got to the SRX main… But maybe we’re just wishing…
The SRX event was a ringer. Some cars were needing some heavy wrench time after the race was run. The next race is a bit of a haul to Michigan and Berlin raceway so the work on those cars will need as much time as they can get.
The heat races went off OK but Clint Bowyer had an engine go into “mystery mode” after heat 1 but got running hot enough to win heat 2. The car served well enough in the main to bring it in for 2nd place. Tony Stewart raced on for 3rd after being shuffled around a bit and taking a hit or two. Kyle Busch, making his SRX debut, drove it in for the win.
For the most part, the SRX racing is an exhibition, for fun, show for short track fans to see some of the biggest stars of racing turn laps on their home turf. However, the message does not always get to the drivers as the green flag drops and “race mode” is on. In short, some cars were damaged quite well. It made for exciting racing for the fans but an expensive fix for the next week.
A full house at Pulsaki County Motorsports Park was a sight to see. Having top tier racing stars come to the hills of southwest Virginia was a big deal. Some of these same drivers (Hailie Deegan, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch) were headed to Richmond Raceway for NASCAR weekend. Some fans don’t get a chance to see drivers like this in person so the short track visits with SRX is an exciting boost.
The SuperStar Racing Experience is a short, summer series designed to highlight short tracks and fans. Yes, the drivers bring the name but the fans fill the seats. Let’s hope this attention to this part of Virginia racing boosts some attendance forward for the local stars that make it happen week in and week out!
PHOTO Gallery – SRX at Pulaski County Motorsports Park – July 27, 2023