Gavin Harlien sweeps SST Saturday Road America racing

by Justin Nguyen

Saturday saw Road America host the NASCAR Xfinity SeriesCTECH Manufacturing 180, while the Stadium Super Trucks conducted a pair of races before and after their stock car main event. Gavin Harlien went on to sweep the day’s racing.

Race #1

John Holtger, running his maiden SST weekend, was the pole sitter for the second round ahead of Bill Hynes, Harlien, Christopher Polvoorde, Jeff Hoffman, Matt Brabham, Robby Gordon, and Friday winner Cole Potts.

As Holtger paced the field through turn one, Gordon briefly went off course and rejoined. Hynes forced a three-wide battle with Holtger and Brabham that gave him the lead before Brabham did the same moments later as they went through the section bypassing turns 6 and 13. When lap two began, Harlien passed Brabham for first on the inside shortly before they entered turn one.

Brabham eventually fell off the pace with mechanical trouble before exiting the race, promoting Hynes and Polvoorde to second and third, respectively. As Harlien built an expanding lead over the field, Hoffman, Polvoorde, and Potts fought for third with Hynes sandwiched between them. Hoffman won out and took second from Hynes in the final turn.

Potts claimed third on lap three as he and the top five distanced themselves from the grid. Hynes lost fourth to Polvoorde after sliding into the grass shortly before the last corner.

By the competition caution, Harlien led Hoffman, Potts, Polvoorde, Hynes, Gordon, and Holtger.

Harlien led the remainder of the race en route to his third win of the year. Potts finished second and Polvoorde scored his first podium in his second career race. Behind the three were Hoffman, Hynes, Gordon, Holtger, and Brabham.

Results

FinishStartNumberDriverLapsStatus
1355Gavin Harlien9Running
2860Cole Potts9Running
34100Christopher Polvoorde9Running
4547Jeff Hoffman9Running
5257Bill Hynes9Running
677Robby Gordon9Running
7144John Holtger9Running
8683Matt Brabham3Running
Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

Race #2

After the Xfinity Series race’s conclusion, Holtger and Hynes once again led the SST field to the green flag. Brabham started third, with Gordon, Hoffman, and the previous race’s podium finishers in descending order at the back.

Brabham’s problematic day continued early on as he fell back while Hynes led the opening lap. The top five eventually separated from Potts and Holtger at the back as lap two progressed.

On lap three, Gordon slipped between Hynes and Hoffman entering turn one to take the lead. Hynes went wide through the turn, causing him to fall back and Hoffman to improve to second, while Harlien moved up to third. Gordon maintained his advantage as he, Hoffman, Harlien, and fourth-placed Potts pulled away from the pack.

Gordon continued to lead the way as Harlien initiated a battle with Hoffman and Potts for second on lap five. Harlien cleared the two to take the spot.

At the competition yellow, Gordon led Harlien, Potts, Hoffman, Polvoorde, Brabham, Hynes, and Holtger. After a delay to refuel the trucks, the race resumed utilising the full course.

Polvoorde led Potts to the green flag. During the lap, Hynes went off course and dropped to the back. Gordon and Harlien challenged Polvoorde for the lead, trading the position as they went three-wide before Polvoorde retained the top spot by lap’s end.

Potts passed Gordon for third on the start of the new lap, though Gordon took it back before the Speedville Bridge in turn eight. Harlien and Polvoorde dueled for the lead as they pulled through the Kink, the former clearing his opponent in turn twelve. Behind them, Brabham capitalised on Gordon and Potts’ fight to claim third.

As Harlien stormed off to sweep the day, Potts and Gordon got by to join him on the podium. Brabham finished fourth, followed by Hoffman, Polvoorde, Holtger, and Hynes.

“Back to back today!” Harlien posted on Instagram. “Started 7th, took the win in race 3, and ended up 2nd overall on the weekend. Starting to get back in my groove and it feels good. Ready for [Portland Grand Prix] next weekend with @indycar!”

Results

FinishStartNumberDriverLapsStatus
1755Gavin Harlien10Running
2860Cole Potts10Running
347Robby Gordon10Running
4383Matt Brabham10Running
5547Jeff Hoffman10Running
66100Christopher Polvoorde10Running
7144John Holtger10Running
8257Bill Hynes10Running

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