Robby Gordon holds off Brabham for Long Beach win

by Justin Nguyen

With two laps remaining in Sunday’s SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks race, Robby Gordon took the lead from Matt Brabham and never looked back.

After his wreck with Gordon in Race #1, Blade Hildebrand started on the pole for Sunday ahead of E.J. Chiba; Gordon started fourth, with Zach Van Matre between him and Chiba. Saturday winner Brabham started at the back with runner-up Sheldon Creed.

After a strong start by the top three, the field organised into single file. Brabham and Creed, who started ninth, began making their moves through the grid as they went through Seaside Way. Chiba eventually dropped out of the top three as the first lap came to an end.

At the start of lap two, Gordon took second from Van Matre as Hildebrand increased the gap between himself and the field. Van Matre eventually surrendered third to Creed. In turn eight, Van Matre and Gavin Harlien collided and their bumpers attached, sending the two into the wall. With the duo unable to disconnect, the yellow flag was waved as lap three began, serving as the mandatory competition caution.

Hildebrand led Gordon and Creed to the restart, the latter quickly passing Gordon for second. Creed took the lead from Hildebrand on the ramp leading to turn eight, and held the position when Hildebrand’s attempted overtake in turn nine failed.

On lap four, Brabham moved into second after passing Gordon and Hildebrand as they approached turn one. Hildebrand slipped to fourth with Gordon moving to third. Reigniting their battle on Saturday, Creed and Brabham dueled for the lead until the two bumped into each other entering turn nine, causing Creed to hit the tyre barrier and Gordon to take second.

Gordon claimed first on lap five. The following lap, Jeff Hoffman attempted to pass Cole Potts for third but went wide into turn one’s run-off area. The predetermined competition caution came out shortly after with Gordon continuing to lead Brabham.

At the restart, Harlien pounced on Potts on the Shoreline Drive frontstretch for third. After his prior incident, Creed quickly re-entered the top five and passed Potts for fourth.

Carnage ensued on the next lap when Potts and Hoffman could not brake into turn one, sending the former into the run-off again while the latter slowly recovered. Hildebrand, who was running behind them, slid into the tyre barrier, while Bill Hynes spun after clipping Potts’ rear bumper.

When the penultimate lap began, the top four had isolated themselves from the remainder of the grid. Brabham took the lead from Gordon as they approached turn two. On the final lap, Gordon reclaimed the top spot in the same area and held off Brabham to take his first win of 2019 and 21st in SST.

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverLapsStatus
147Robby Gordon12Running
21083Matt Brabham12Running
3855Gavin Harlien12Running
492Sheldon Creed12Running
5747Jeff Hoffman12Running
6168Blade Hildebrand12Running
7660Cole Potts12Running
829E.J. Chiba12Running
9557Bill Hynes12Running
10322Zach Van Matre2Accident

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