Superstar Racing Experience testing at Slinger Speedway for the July race
SLINGER – Stop asking how fast Superstar Racing Experience cars can get around Slinger Speedway.
Ray Evernham knows the lap times Ken Schrader was running in a car that hadn’t been on track anywhere before Tuesday.
But if he told you, it wouldn’t be long before Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, Helio Castroneves and Willy T. Ribbs found out. Competitors that they are, they would see Schrader’s numbers as a target to beat when the series returns to Strong Bank quarter-mile in two months.
And that’s not the point.
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“On the sidewalk, we should be able to run for a second of what the latest models are leading there,” said Evernham, NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief and SRX co-founder.
“I hope the pace of the race slows down. Because what I don’t want is for cars to go so fast that they can’t go side by side. I agree that we slow down. We really didn’t work on speed. What I’m happy about is that the speed is there and it’s super comfortable, which was most important.
The July 10 race at Slinger is the fifth round of SRX, the first year of the short track series scheduled for six consecutive Saturday nights in June and July with live coverage on CBS Television.
The series is modeled after the old International Race of Champions series, for which Evernham worked. The field of 12 includes drivers such as NASCAR Hall of Famers Stewart, Labonte and Bill Elliott and Indianapolis 500 winners Castroneves and Tony Kanaan. Each race will have a guest driver with local knowledge; in the case of Slinger who will be the winner of the Slinger Nationals four days earlier.
The SRX crew tested Monday night at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa and were heading to Eldora Speedway in Ohio for Wednesday. Evernham was therefore happy to conclude quickly at Slinger on Tuesday afternoon.
“It looks like the guys are going to be good and racy with this,” Evenrham said. “The equipment was good. Once we settled into our setup, the car, in terms of speed and handling, it was a very good test. I think the car had a lot more speed than people thought, and due to the fact that it stuck (throughout a 60+ lap race) these Goodyear tires really seem to be suitable for that.
“We almost felt like Maytag repairers. We made a few changes at the start, did a few races, we got it right and it was like, wow, we really don’t know how to improve it.
In addition to Schrader, who did all of the driving, Wisconsin shorting legend Scott Hansen was on hand, as was Steve Apel, five-time Slinger super late model champion, who made a helpful suggestion regarding the springs. before, said Evernham.
The car doesn’t drive like the super late models Schrader raced at the Slinger Nationals years ago, he said, but it’s not supposed to.
“It wasn’t designed to be a short track curb car, it wasn’t designed to be a road racing car, it wasn’t designed to be a dirt car, it is just configured to try to do these three things. So obviously there are give and take, ”Schrader said. “But what impressed me the most is how quite different these three (types of) cars are and they’ve been able to come up with something that feels really great either way.
Likewise, the car seems to be a good compromise between difficult to drive but tolerant enough that drivers unfamiliar with the track can be comfortable in side-to-side racing.
“We’re on a race track, they’re going to give a trophy and pay them off,” Schrader said. “They are doing whatever it takes to win the race.
“The car shouldn’t cause a problem that destroys half the field on the first lap. Not to say that a driver in the car couldn’t do that. But the car shouldn’t do that.