(CBS Local)- Race week is finally here. The Superstar Racing Experience begins on Saturday, June 12 at Stafford Speedway in Connecticut. Among the drivers set to take the track for the first time in the new cars is this year’s Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves.
“I’m a big fan of this format and I believe it’s going to be great for everyone,” Castroneves said to reporters on a media call Monday.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Mild Temps In Twin Cities Sunday, Light Snow Possible Up North Overnight
The 46-year-old Castroneves has raced just twice this year and he’s come away a winner in both first taking the Rolex 24 at Daytona before winning at Indy. The Brazilian driver made light of that record on Wednesday saying he’ll need to continue that winning streak in SRX.
“Wow, I need to keep up the score or the percentage otherwise I’ll be in trouble. As they say, ‘oh you’re a veteran you can do it’. I know I’m a veteran but I’m still learning,” Castroneves said. “It’s going to be the first time that I’m running this type of cars on totally different tracks and it will be interesting to see. I’m excited about SRX.”
After his win at Indy, Castroneves taking to the track in SRX brings an even bigger spotlight to the new series than before. Fans already curious to see how the drivers will perform and what the cars will look like on these tracks now also have a chance to see how the reigning Indy 500 champ adapts.
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"We kept looking at the car that would have to do a lot of different things… I didn't really want to reinvent the wheel. I wanted to use a lot of pieces that were already proven from other types of cars."@SRXRacing Co-Creator @RayEvernham shows the making of the SRX car. pic.twitter.com/XkzIevKXu2
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) June 7, 2021
“Winning the Indy 500 brought a lot of attention and I’m very happy and with a new series starting we’re going to have a lot of attention with that. More than happy to expose that,” Castroneves said. “We’re talking about amazing former champions that did incredible in motorsports racing against each other. It’s because we’re all passionate about racing that we’re all doing this.”
While Castroneves is a reigning champ, he’s not the only driver with championship pedigree that will be battling it out at Stafford on Saturday. Co-founder Tony Stewart is joined by Paul Tracy, Bobby Labonte, Willy T. Ribbs, and Castroneves’ countryman Tony Kanaan and several others. Castroneves said that while all of the drivers may be friendly off the track, once things get going, fans will see that competitive nature return quickly.
“Even though we’re friends and we maybe relax a little bit now, as soon as you put the helmet on, trust me, there is no friendship. We’re going to go for it. And I believe that’s where you’re going to see the real racing. They’re going to have great entertainment that’s for sure,” Castroneves said.MORE NEWS: Daunte Wright Shooting: For Kim Potter, Will 'Wrong Gun' Defense Work?
The engines fire up this Saturday, June 12 for the inaugural SRX race at Stafford Speedway with CBS Television Network airing coverage of the race at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and streaming on Paramount+.