With the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series off for the weekend, Sheldon Creed returned to the SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks for the Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. In Friday’s qualifying session, he was the fastest of ten drivers.
Driving the #2 Continental Tire truck, Creed set a lap time of 1:45.072, ahead of Matt Brabham‘s 1:45.083. It was a strong continuation for Creed, who had swept the season’s most recent races at Texas Motor Speedway. Behind the two-time champion Creed and defending champ Brabham, two-time series winner Robby Gordon was third as the only other driver in the 1:45 category.
Gavin Harlien, points leader Blade Hildebrand, and Jeff Hoffman comprised the middle of qualifying. Cole Potts, who missed the first two races after suffering a concussion during qualifying for the Mint 400, makes his return to the series at Long Beach. With his 1:48.374 time, he was seventh fastest. Bill Hynes was eighth.
In ninth and tenth were a pair of non-regulars. Zach Van Metre, making his first career SST start, had a time of 1:54.850; although a newcomer to SST racing, Van Metre participated in the series’ Supercheap Auto commercials in Australia as a stunt driver. Qualifying tenth was E.J. Chiba at 1:58.715; the Japanese driver made his SST début at Texas in 2018, where he finished eighth and eleventh in the weekend’s two races.
As SST uses an inverted field, Creed will start Saturday’s race from the back.
SST Long Beach qualifying results
|2||83||Matt Brabham||1:45.083||+ 0.011|
|3||7||Robby Gordon||1:45.819||+ 0.747|
|4||55||Gavin Harlien||1:46.647||+ 1.575|
|5||68||Blade Hildebrand||1:46.875||+ 1.803|
|6||47||Jeff Hoffman||1:48.226||+ 3.154|
|7||60||Cole Potts||1:48.734||+ 3.662|
|8||57||Bill Hynes||1:52.059||+ 6.987|
|9||22||Zach Van Matre||1:54.850||+ 9.778|
|10||9||E.J. Chiba||1:58.715||+ 13.643|