Doug Coby wins first race of short-track series

STAFFORD SPRINGS, CONNECTICUT - JUNE 12: SRX driver Doug Coby celebrates after winning the Inaugural Superstar Racing Experience Event at Stafford Motor Speedway on June 12, 2021 in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. (Photo by Elsa/SRX/Getty Images)

Doug Coby won the very first SRX race. (Picture by Elsa/SRX/Getty Images)

The very first race of Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham’s Super star Racing Experience was not won by a super star.

That’s not a minor to Doug Coby. He’s a terrific chauffeur and a six-time Modified Trip champ. He revealed it on Saturday night. However he likewise wasn’t a home name going into the night to the majority of the fans tuning in to CBS to have a look at the brand-new racing series. 

Coby was selected for the race because of his success at Stafford. He has over 30 wins and was invited to the race as part of the series’ desire to include stars from the the six local tracks on the SRX schedule to see how they stacked up in equal cars to drivers who mainstream fans recognized. 

“Short tracker won it tonight,” Coby said.

His familiarity with the track was evident from the start. He won the second heat and led 80 of the feature race’s 100 laps. Coby beat out drivers like Stewart, Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves and Greg Biffle. 

After Coby got out of his car, the fans at Stafford chanted his name. In his post-race interview he paid tribute to a friend named Don King who had died earlier in the week. King was one of the first people to help launch Coby’s racing career. 

First of six Saturday nights

The race at Stafford Speedway was the first of six consecutive Saturday nights of SRX racing at short tracks across the country. The format is pretty simple and straightforward. Twelve drivers compete in two heat races to set the field for the main event. The main event at Stafford was 100 laps and the whole event was done in about two hours and 15 minutes — far shorter than a typical NASCAR race. 

The race likewise featured many familiar names to NASCAR fans on the television side. Former NBC and ESPN play-by-play announcer Allen Bestwick was on the call. Danica Patrick was the analyst. Former Fox pit reporter Matt Yocum was the pit reporter for SRX. Former TNT host Lindsay Czarniak was the telecast host. 

It was a straightforward broadcast that succinctly explained what was happening and didn’t dumb anything down. At the slight risk of being hyperbolic, the production value of the SRX telecast was better than what Fox’s NASCAR telecasts have become. Fox set a brand-new NASCAR standard when it started broadcasting the series in 2001. Since then it’s become hokey and the production quality has declined in recent years. 

The racing itself was, well, it was racing. There were a few wrecks but passing wasn’t plentiful. That could change over the next few weeks. You can’t expect the very first occasion to be a barnburner. Even if the racing doesn’t get any much better it’s at least a fun novelty to watch if you have actually absolutely nothing else to do on a Saturday night this summer season. 

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.