For the second year, the Stadium Super Trucks raced at Road America in support of the NASCAR Xfinity Series‘ CTECH Manufacturing 180. Three races were held over the weekend, with one on Friday and two on Saturday. In the Friday round, Cole Potts escaped with the win after a chaotic final lap that took out the dueling Matt Brabham and Gavin Harlien in front of him.
14-year-old Wisconsin native John Holtger, running his first SST race, started on the pole ahead of Bill Hynes. Robby Gordon started third, followed by another SST newcomer in Christopher Polvoorde. Brabham was fifth, followed by Harlien, Potts, and Jeff Hoffman.
Hynes quickly took the lead on the opening lap as the trucks approached the first ramp in turn three. Trapped on the outside line, Holtger began to fall back as a train led by Gordon pulled past, dropping the SST newcomer to seventh. With momentum from his line, Gordon pulled to the lead as Polvoorde and Brabham tailed him.
The field ran single file through the remainder of lap one before Brabham made a pass on Polvoorde for second as they crossed the start/finish line. Harlien charged to the inside of Brabham as they entered turn one to take the position. Eventually, the top five isolated themselves from the grid as Harlien cleared Gordon for the lead. Brabham took second from Gordon after the latter went wide in turn eight.
Harlien led Brabham, Gordon, and Potts as Polvoorde briefly went off course on the frontstretch. As lap three began, Potts claimed third on Gordon’s inside. In front of him, Brabham and Harlien battled for the lead, running side-by-side for much of the lap. Approaching the frontstretch, Brabham finally took the position away when Harlien went into the gravel.
Behind the two, Potts began to close in but could not pass either of them, a trend that persisted for the remainder of the race. On the final lap, as the trio entered the final turn, Harlien was on Brabham’s outside when the two made contact, sending them into a spin through the grass.
Potts and Gordon slipped by the carnage to finish first and second, respectively. Brabham was able to salvage his finish to take third. The victory is Potts’ third of the season.
“Had I turned in at the same point as Gavin I would have cut the corner 4-wheels to the inside,” Brabham commented on Twitter. “He was pinching me down to the inside and I was racing him to the apex. Contact happened before for the turn in. Both going for the same piece of track with room on the outside, [just] racing.”