Sheldon Creed moves through field, wins SST Portland Race 1

by Justin Nguyen

It did not take long for Sheldon Creed to win again in the Stadium Super Trucks. Four months removed from his latest run in the series, the two-time champion continued his winning ways by taking victory in Race #1 at Portland International Raceway.

After dominating Friday qualifying in an effort that saw him drive fellow NASCAR driver Greg Biffle‘s Continental Tire truck in addition to his own SPEED Energy vehicle, Creed started at the back of a nine-driver grid that commentator Sean Sermini called “the deepest talent pool we’ve had in Stadium Super Trucks.” Bill Hynes started on the pole, followed by Biffle, Jeff Hoffman, Casey Mears, Gavin Harlien, Matt Brabham, Cole Potts, and Robby Gordon.

The field organised single file through the first turn and ramp, with Hynes getting a strong jump to maintain the lead. At the back, Creed quickly began attacking Gordon for eighth. Biffle and Hoffman battled for second as Hynes led the opening lap, with Biffle winning out.

As lap two began, Biffle attempted to close down on Hynes entering turn one, but locked his brakes and went wide before recovering to stay in second. Creed, Brabham, and Mears went three-wide as Creed slipped up to fifth. Mears eventually fell to last.

On lap three, Biffle tried the same move on Hynes, diving into the inside groove, sending him, Hynes, Hoffman, and Harlien erratically through the turn’s chicane. Nevertheless, Biffle held onto his position as Hynes began to sink. Creed and Harlien drafted their way to the front, enabling the latter to catch up to Biffle before the two made contact, turning Biffle in turn twelve.

Creed slipped by the sideways Biffle to take the lead with Hoffman in tow. At the rear, Hynes went wide into turn one before returning to the course.

The competition caution came out during lap four. At the yellow, Creed led Hoffman, Harlien, Biffle, Brabham, Potts, Gordon, Mears, and Hynes.

Much of the field bunched up coming to the restart on the following lap, leading to a scramble for position through turns one and two as Creed pulled away. With Creed and Harlien comprising the top two, Biffle and Hoffman fought for third in a duel of tyre manufacturers (Biffle’s Continental Tire vs. Hoffman’s Toyo Tires), with the latter winning out.

Lap seven saw the second competition yellow. The top three consisted of Creed, Harlien, and Hoffman, with Biffle, Gordon, Brabham, Potts, Mears, and Hynes on the outside looking in.

At the restart, Hoffman moved to the inside line as the rest of the field drafted their way on the outside, causing him to drop to the back. As a result, Biffle moved up to third.

Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

With two laps to go, Potts and Brabham dueled for fifth, with the latter clearing him. On the final lap, Biffle and Gordon – two former NASCAR competitors during the 2000s – battled for third. As Biffle kept Gordon at bay in addition to fighting with Harlien for second, Creed distanced himself to take his third win of the year and thirty-sixth of his career.

Harlien held off Biffle for second in a Continental Tire podium sweep. Gordon took fourth, followed by Brabham, Potts, Mears, Hynes, and Hoffman. For Biffle, it is his third podium finish in as many weekends competing in the series.

“Third place in Stadium Super Trucks today racing with Continental Tire on board,” Biffle posted on Facebook. “First time in the truck this weekend so let’s hope for a better finish tomorrow!”

Race results

192020Sheldon Creed10Running
2555Gavin Harlien10Running
3216Greg Biffle10Running
487Robby Gordon10Running
5683Matt Brabham10Running
6760Cole Potts10Running
742021Casey Mears10Running
8157Bill Hynes10Running
9347Jeff Hoffman7Running

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