2019 GT-1 Champion at the SCCA Runoffs (and 2020 polesitter to boot) and seven-time Trans Am Champion Ernie Francis had an impressive Saturday night in the new SRX Series, the short track series similar to IROC started by Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham, in a car Evernham had a big hand in designing. Francis finished sixth in the feature race in the first race of the six-race series. More impressively, Francis was the only driver to finish in the top five in both heat races and was running second in the feature before getting shuffled back on the final restart.
Despite a limited short track racing experience, Francis more than held his own against racing superstars Stewart, Greg Biffle, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Paul Tracy, Willy T. Ribbs (another SCCA Trans-Am legend), Bill Elliott and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Hélio Castroneves.
The unique format and the car, unfamiliar to all drivers, is designed to put the onus on driver talent – and SCCA drivers are the best around.