Robby Gordon wins Race 1 in SST Mid-Ohio return

by Justin Nguyen

Two weeks after racing at the track with the IndyCar Series, the Stadium Super Trucks returned to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Friday to support the NASCAR Xfinity SeriesB&L Transport 170. In the day’s action, Robby Gordon scored his second win of the season after battling with Cole Potts throughout the event.

Practice and three-lap qualifying took place before the race. Prior to the green flag, Gordon and pole-sitter Bill Hynes considered swapping trucks as the latter was displeased with his setup, though they ultimately stayed in their vehicles after adjustments.

Casey Mears and Ryan Eversley, both of whom ran the Honda Indy Toronto rounds but skipped the first Mid-Ohio weekend, returned for the second slate; Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Greg Biffle had replaced them in the #25 SPEED Energy and #100 Continental Tire trucks, respectively. Mears started second and Eversley fourth, with Gordon sandwiched between the two. Mid-Ohio Race #2 winner Gavin Harlien, Jeff Hoffman, Mid-Ohio #1 victor Potts, and points leader Matt Brabham rounded out the lineup.

Eversley only lasted two corners before chaos ensued. On the first ramp in the Keyhole section, the sports car driver landed at an angle that caused him to hit Hoffman and go off course. In the grass, Eversley’s truck rolled once and landed back on its wheels, though he and Hoffman re-entered the track with no caution. At the front, Mears took the lead from Hynes in the Keyhole.

By lap two, Mears’ advantage swelled to what commentator Sean Sermini called “the biggest lead we’ve seen in all of 2019” as Gordon and Brabham moved up to second and third. On lap three, Gordon, Brabham, and Potts fought for podium positions as they were isolated from the leader and the remainder of the field.

Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

Leading up to the first competition caution, Potts and Gordon fought for second, the latter winning out by the yellow when Mears reached turn five. Brabham was fourth, followed by Hynes, Hoffman, Eversley, and Harlien.

Mears led the field to the green flag as Potts resumed his duel with Gordon. On lap six, Gordon began pressuring Mears for the lead, finally clearing him for the position in turn ten and holding off Mears’ charge through the next corner. The following lap, Potts took second and slipped by Gordon for first.

Gordon and Potts continued to fight until the latter spun in turn six, with Eversley avoiding contact. After the spin, Hoffman moved up to second and Brabham third. On the ensuing lap, Hoffman engaged in a side-by-side battle with Gordon that he won as they reached the second yellow. Gordon and Brabham went into the grass though the former maintained his ground. Mears was fourth, with by Potts, Eversley, Hynes, and Harlien behind.

As Potts paced the grid on the restart, Potts quickly pounced to take fourth from Mears. Later on the lap, Hoffman fell back after going wide into a turn, which Gordon capitalised on to take the lead; Hoffman would drop to fourth.

Hoffman went off track again after fighting with Brabham, plummeting to the back and promoting Mears to third. At the front, Gordon and Potts resumed their battle. On the final lap, Potts and Harlien went into the grass during their fights with Gordon and Brabham, respectively.

Gordon stormed off to take his twenty-third SST win and first since the Grand Prix of Long Beach, with Mears taking his first-ever podium in second and Potts in third.

“I’ve never rolled anything before. I say I did a pretty good job at that,” Eversley quipped on Twitter after finishing fourth. “And then we got P4, and I think we were pretty fast so that was dumb and awesome.”

UPDATE: SST officials announced on Saturday that Potts’ cut through the grass on the final lap has resulted in a one-place penalty, promoting Eversley to third.

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverLapsStatus
137Robby Gordon11Running
2225Casey Mears11Running
34100Ryan Eversley11Running
4760Cole Potts11Running
5647Jeff Hoffman11Running
6555Gavin Harlien11Running
7883Matt Brabham11Running
8157Bill Hynes11Running

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