Tony Stewart‘s all-star summer racing series is moving to ESPN and a new night as the network plans to use SRX to revitalize its “Thursday Night Thunder.”
ESPN said Monday it signed a multi-year agreement with Superstar Racing Experience that begins in July. SRX will air on six consecutive summer nights as “Thursday Night Thunder,” which was ESPN‘s branding for motorsports programming that started in the 1980s.
The old programming showcased grassroots racing from across the country.
“Thursday Night Thunder is where guys like me, who were just starting our careers in USAC, got the chance to make a name for ourselves because of its presence on ESPN,” Stewart said. “It‘s great to see Thursday Night Thunder return, but to also be a part of it all over again with SRX.”
SRX launched in 2021 in partnership with CBS, which gave the stock car races a prime time Saturday night slot. SRX pits stars from NASCAR, IndyCar and other series against each other in identically prepared cars.
— Associated Press —
AND: Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) and ESPN have announced a multiyear media rights agreement that will see the series air exclusively on ESPN. In Summer of 2023, the races will air on six consecutive Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN App, bringing back the iconic “ESPN Thursday Night Thunder” branding.
Thursday Night Thunder, which originally aired on ESPN in the 1980‘s, saw legends of racing including Tony Stewart launch their careers. SRX co-owner Stewart will bring the superstars of racing back to Thursday Night, pitting NASCAR, IndyCar, and other racing champions against each other in prime time on ESPN.
“Thursday Night Thunder is where guys like me, who were just starting our careers in USAC, got the chance to make a name for ourselves because of its presence on ESPN,” said Stewart, SRX Co-Founder and 2021 SRX Champion. “It‘s great to see Thursday Night Thunder return, but to also be a part of it all over again with SRX.”
The 2023 SRX Schedule (all times Eastern)
Thursday, July 139 p.m.ESPNThursday, July 209 p.m.ESPNThursday, July 279 p.m.ESPNThursday, Aug. 39 p.m.ESPNThursday, Aug. 109 p.m.ESPNThursday, Aug. 179 p.m.ESPN
Race locations will be announced later.
Don Hawk, series Chief Executive Officer, said: “When we had the opportunity to pitch the concept of Thursday Night Thunder on ESPN, it was my firm belief this would be another disruptive and monumental moment in SRX and racing history – reuniting race fans with ESPN on short tracks with Superstar drivers all across the U.S. for years to come.”
“Thursday Night Thunder is where I met Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. A relationship between SRX and ESPN seemed like the right fit at the perfect time, and I couldn‘t be more excited for this summer.”
“SRX has been an impressive property in its first two seasons and has produced competitive and exciting action,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN President, Programming and Original Content. “We look forward to bringing live racing back to summertime Thursday nights on ESPN with SRX.”
Sandy Montag, SRX Co-Founder, said: “Seeing the overwhelmingly positive fan reception to the launch and growth of SRX has been especially rewarding. I have worked with Jimmy [Pitaro] and Burke [Magnus] for years, and we are incredibly excited to be in business with ESPN, and can‘t wait to see SRX on the Worldwide Leader.”
— ESPN —