|LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 15, 2018) – Matt Brabham captured victory in the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks race No. 2 at the Grand Prix of Long Beach Sunday in convincing fashion. Leaving the thousands of fans whom lined the 11 turn 1.968-mile street circuit on their feet the entire race in pure amazement how thrilling Stadium SUPER Truck races truly are.
SST Rookie Cole Pott’s of Scottsdale, Arizona driving the HallmarkTrust.com entry would work his way past truck after truck from his eighth starting position into the fourth position by Lap-4.
Following Potts to the front of the field was the twelfth starting Matt Brabham of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia driving the DeVilbiss/Headstrong entry. Brabham put on an amazing display of driving making his way from the rear of the field all the way to the sixth position by Lap-2.
Right before the competition caution would wave over the field on Lap-4 Brabham would sneak around the Potts truck for the fourth position.
However, Brabham did not stop as he would move past Aaron Bambach for the third position a lap later, and then set his sights on the LIVE teammates of Paul Morris and Jeff Hoffman to grab the lead on Lap-7.
As the second competition caution would wave over the field Brabham would use that as his opportunity to separate himself from the rest of the field, and 2017 SST World Championship Runner-Up did just that pulling away to a sizeable distance away from second and third place.
On the re-start Potts would look to work his way around Yucca Valley, California’s Blade Hildebrand whom was running a career best in the second position. Hildebrand would slip up the track in the corner allowing Potts to move by into the second spot setting his sights on the lead position.
Thirteenth starting Gavin Harlien of Mesa, Arizona driving the United Fiber & Data entry would patiently wait for the openings created by Brabham as the two picked off truck after truck moving through the field towards the front.
Saturday’s race winner has raced very well at Long Beach over the course of five previously contested events, and today would prove to be no different as Harlien would place himself in all the right places at the right time avoiding contact, and making good clean passes to move himself into the third position on the final lap. Brabham and Potts however were just too far ahead for Harlien to catch them.
Brabham would capture his second SST victory at Long Beach ahead of Potts, and Harlien who would round out the podium.
Orange, California driver Robby Gordon sporting the Toyo Tires/ KMC Wheels livery this weekend would hang back in the pack waiting for things to sort out avoiding all of the carnage the first half of the race. After the competition caution Gordon would continue to pick off truck after truck thru the field to ultimately finish in the fourth position after contesting Harlien multiple times for the third spot.
Paul Morris of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia would move into the second position early in the event from his fourth starting position, but the savy Australian motorsports legend would fade back a few positions at the end of the race getting credited with the fifth position at the finish.
Today’s pole sitter Aaron Bambach of Rochester Hills, Michigan driving the Strategic Staffing Solutions truck would lead the first three laps of the race before Jeff Hoffman and Paul Morris would slip by sending Bambach back to the third position. Hanging around the top-five majority of the race Bambach would loose the fifth spot to Paul Morris on the last lap. Bambach would go on to get credited with the sixth spot.
Davey Hamilton Jr. of Indianapolis, Indiana driving the VP Racing Fuel and Lubricants/ Always Evolving truck would run a smart race battling mid-pack admits the chaos for majority of the race. Keeping his truck pointed in the right direction for all eleven laps Hamilton would go on to finish respectively in the seventh position.
Burbank, Calif. driver Erik Davis in just his second start in Stadium SUPER Trucks of 2018 would put himself in the right positions at the right time on Sunday hitting his marks and driving a super clean race avoiding all the carnage around him. Davis would drive his Always Evolving/Assault Industries truck to a very respectable eighth place finish.
After becoming the highlight of Saturday’s first race after rolling his SPEED Energy/ RPM Off-Road truck down the front stretch multiple times Apdaly Lopez would look to gain redemption from his second starting position on Sunday. Things did not go much better as Lopez would fade to the back of the pack after a few laps and make contact with Troy Diede. Lopez would go on to be credited with the ninth position.
Third Starting Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Pennsylvania driving the United Fiber and Data/ Think Loud Development entry would drive a clean race and stay out of trouble bringing the No. 57 across the finish line in the tenth place.
Blade Hildebrand of Yucca Valley, California driving the Empire Destructive/ HeatWave truck would run a great race batting Jeff Hoffman hard for the third position mid race before the two would become locked together on Lap-8. Both drivers would need to come to a complete stop to become untangled loosing multiple positions in the process. Hildebrand would go on to be credited with thirteenth place.
Phoenix, Arizona driver Jeff Hoffman driving the LIVE truck would show strong signs of competing for a podium early in the event running in the top three, and at one point was even scored as the leader at the first competition caution. But in Stadium SUPER Trucks racing things happen unexpectedly and as Hoffman and Blade Hildebrand were battling hard for position Hoffman would get the bad end of the deal loosing multiple positions after getting spun out by Hildebrand.
Lodi, California driver Troy Diede would encounter all kinds of issues in today’s event. First he would make contact with Apdaly Lopez going flipping over and landing back on his wheels. Next he would loose the handle on his Diede Construction truck on Lap-7 backing it hard into the tire barrier causing extensive damage to the fuel cell. Going over the jumps the fuel cell became more and more loose to continue safely ultimately having USAC officials to make the call to have Diede pull to the side of the track, and be scored in the twelfth position.
Eleventh starting Arie Luyendyk Jr. of Scottsdale, Arizona driving the United Fiber & Data/ Think Loud Development truck would loose a drive shaft on Lap-5 ending his day early, crediting him with the fourteenth position.
The overall standings for the two races of the Grand Prix of Long Beach would see Matt Brabham and Robby Gordon tie for the overall weekend points championship. With Brabham’s fourth place finish on Saturday, and victory on Sunday he would win the tiebreaker for a better finish in Sunday’s event. Saturday’s race winner Gavin Harlien would round on the third position.
The next event in the season-long SST World Championship will see the thrills and spills of the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks return to Barbagallo Raceway in Perth, Western Australia; May 4-6 for rounds seven and eight.
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