SST returning to Lake Elsinore in October 2020

by Justin Nguyen

The SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks are heading back to stadiums. On Monday, the series announced via social media that the trucks would return to Lake Elsinore Diamond in Lake Elsinore, California in early October 2020.

Lake Elsinore Diamond currently hosts the Lake Elsinore Storm baseball team of the California League. The team, which reached the league championship game in 2019, began play at the ballpark when it opened in 1994.

The diamond first hosted SST in 2017 with the Race & Rock World Championship season finale. To construct the course, approximately 150,000 square feet of dirt was used, while the track layout featured a large crossover jump. In addition to the championship battle between Jerett Brooks (in place of eventual champion Paul Morris) and Matt Brabham, the weekend attracted names like NASCAR Cup Series veteran-turned-SST regular Casey Mears, Trans-Am racer Adam Andretti, motocross rider and the first female SST driver Sara Price, and AMA Supercross great Ryan Villopoto. 2014 X Games SST gold medalist Apdaly Lopez and two-time champion Sheldon Creed won the weekend’s two races.

A year later, the park opened the 2018 SST season with one round. Although Lopez took the checkered flag again, the finish led to confusion regarding the Joker Lap; although they had to go through the route at one point in the race, drivers were not permitted to take the Joker on the final lap. This issue was exacerbated by some drivers not having radio communications and a late-race restart taking place with two laps remaining. After review by series officials, Bill Hynes, who went through the Joker on the restart, was revealed to have done so on the penultimate lap rather than the last lap and was granted his first career SST win. Officially, Lopez and Hynes are ruled race co-winners, while second-placed Jeff Hoffman shared his position with Brabham (who originally finished seventh).

Although the series has primarily raced on street circuits and road courses since 2014, stadium events have occasionally appeared on the schedule. While the 2019 slate did not have such dates, the 2018 season ended at the Foro Sol ballpark as part of the Race of Champions (though it utilised a head-to-head format). Lake Elsinore is also the third stadium in Southern California to have held SST races, joining the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and San Diego’s SDCCU Stadium in 2013, but the first baseball park to do so.

The event fills the “Southern California Stadium” gap previously planned for early February in the tentative 2020 schedule revealed last November. With the date, the Adelaide 500 scheduled for 20–23 February will be the 2020 season opener for the SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks, racing alongside the Australian Boost Mobile Super Trucks.

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