For the second time in as many weeks, Busch and Keselowski found themselves battling for the lead during the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) main event, this time Thursday night at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich.
SRX, founded by Tony Stewart, Ray Evernham, Sandy Montag and George Pyne, features six short track races on a mix of pavement and dirt with drivers running identical cars.
Busch took the lead after a restart with fewer than 30 laps left out of a total of 100. He then spent the rest of the race defending against Keselowski to secure the victory, similar to his previous win at Pulaski County (Vas.) Motorsports Park.
Busch expressed that this location is incredibly demanding and presents numerous challenges, including the need to control the acceleration and deceleration, maneuver the steering wheel, and maintain stability with the tires.
Berlin is known for being a challenging short track. Brad performed exceptionally well, and I wasn’t confident that I could surpass him until Castroneves aggressively competed against him. At that moment, I noticed Brad’s tires losing traction, indicating that he was pushing his limits. This gave me hope that I might have a chance as well.
Brad Keselowski finished in second place, while Ryan Newman managed to secure third place, allowing him to retain his position as the leader in the series standings among drivers who participated in all the events.
Podium celebration, SRX Series Berlin Raceway
Photo by: SRX / Wayne Riegle
“I exerted excessive force and slightly depleted the front end. I take responsibility for that,” admitted Keselowski, a native of Michigan. “We had a successful race, winning a heat race, which was positive. We managed to move up from the back to second place, which was also good. Additionally, we led for the majority of the laps, which was a positive outcome. However, I pushed too hard and lacked sufficient energy towards the end of the race.”
With only two races left, Newman is currently at the top of the series rankings with a total of 146 points. He has a comfortable lead of 33 points over Keselowski. The reigning series champion, Marco Andretti, is in third place, trailing the leader by 34 points.
Next Thursday, the upcoming race in the six-race series will take place at Eldora Speedway. Notable racers such as Ron Capps from NHRA, Stewart, Andretti, Bobby Labonte, Newman, Castroneves, Ken Schrader, Halie Deegan, Keselowski, Chase Briscoe, Matt Kenseth, and Tony Kanaan will be participating in the event.
The event begins at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN.
Main Event Results at Berlin Raceway:
1. Kyle Busch
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Ryan Newman
4. Marco Andretti
5. Hailie Deegan
6. Ken Schrader
7. Tony Stewart
8. Helio Castroneves
9. Bobby Labonte
10. Kevin Harvick
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Johnny Benson Jr.
Race winner Kyle Busch
Photo by: SRX / Wayne Riegle