Cole Potts wins inaugural SST round at Mid-Ohio

by Justin Nguyen

July has proven to be a good month for Cole Potts in the Stadium Super Trucks. Just two rounds and two weeks after winning the first race at Honda Indy Toronto, Potts won the Saturday slate at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the series’ maiden trip to the circuit.

Matt Brabham led Friday qualifying ahead of Robby Gordon, meaning the field inversion placed them at the back with eighth- and seventh-fastest Bill Hynes and Greg Biffle at the front for Saturday’s race. Gavin Harlien started third, ahead of Potts, Arie Luyendyk Jr., Jeff Hoffman, with Brabham and Gordon behind them.

Although Hynes led the early opening lap, Harlien quickly moved up to second and took the lead coming to lap two. Biffle dueled with Harlien for first place on the lap, during which Biffle was forced off course and had to miss a ramp (legal for safety reasons, provided he did not advance any spots), leading to Luyendyk claiming second. At the back, Brabham, Potts, Gordon, and Hoffman battled for position.

On lap three, Hynes went into the grass and slipped further, enabling Biffle and Potts to pass him. The field would separate into two packs by the end of the lap, with fourth-placed Potts and fifth-placed Brabham tailing and leading their respective groups. The competition caution came out during lap four, with Harlien leading Luyendyk, Biffle, Potts, Brabham, Gordon, Hoffman, and Hynes.

At the restart, Biffle began attacking Luyendyk for second, clearing him shortly after a jump. In turns four and five, Potts went off-course and Hoffman spun into the grass while racing Gordon before rejoining the track. At the front of the field, Biffle tapped Harlien aside to take the lead with Luyendyk in tow; after the contact, Harlien fell off the pace and had to pit.

Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

Biffle, running his first race since Road America in August 2018, began to isolate himself from the field as Luyendyk, Brabham, and Potts scuffled for spots on the podium. The second competition yellow was waved with three laps remaining, with Potts nipping Luyendyk for second beforehand. At the time, the running order consisted of Biffle, Potts, Luyendyk, Brabham, Gordon, Hynes, Hoffman, and Harlien.

After a somewhat prolonged caution to allow crews to readjust the ramps, the race resumed for a two-lap sprint. Following a side-by-side run in the Keyhole, Potts took the lead from Biffle after landing the ensuing jump. Luyendyk eventually fell back, enabling Brabham and Gordon to enter podium range; the two made contact as they fought for third, the former clearing to take the spot.

On the final lap, Brabham began his attack on Biffle for second, during which Potts distanced himself from the grid. Biffle would maintain his position, but neither could catch Potts as he took his second win of 2019 and third in SST. Behind the podium finishers were Gordon, Hoffman, Luyendyk, Hynes, and Harlien.

“I learned a lot off the track, on the track, big jumps, ended up second in the Continental Tire truck,” Biffle said after the race. “But I learned a tremendous amount. The good thing about that is I got one more race tomorrow.”

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverLapsStatus
1460Cole Potts11Running
22100Greg Biffle11Running
3883Matt Brabham11Running
477Robby Gordon11Running
5647Jeff Hoffman11Running
6525Arie Luyendyk Jr.11Running
7157Bill Hynes11Running
8355Gavin Harlien11Running

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