Stadium SUPER Trucks

Arie Luyendyk Jr., Matt Brabham win in SST season restart at Road America

5 Mins read
Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

After a six-month hiatus, the Stadium Super Trucks returned to action on Saturday at Road America with two races. Arie Luyendyk Jr. overcame an early flip to win Race #1, while Matt Brabham beat out Robby Gordon in a dramatic battle for the Race #2 victory.

With a grid inversion from Friday’s qualifying, a pair of series newcomers in Zoey Edenholm and Jett Noland started the first race on the front row. Conversely, fastest qualifiers Brabham and Gordon were at the back. The latter’s son Max, who led practice on Friday morning, started last in the eleven-driver field. Zane Smith and Sheldon Creed, who missed qualifying as they were competing in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series on Friday, began the day in seventh and eighth.

The first halves in both races were run on the shortened course that bypassed turns six to twelve, while the full configuration was utilised for the second.

Race #1

Edenholm led the first lap, while Brabham quietly exited the event with a mechanical failure, a similar fate that befell him in 2019’s Road America Race #2; his girlfriend Kimberly Bogle elaborated in an Instagram story that his battery cable had disconnected during the lap.

As lap two began, Noland, Holtger, and Barry Boes passed Edenholm for the top spots in turn one. Holtger took the lead on the frontstretch to begin lap three. Behind the top two, Robby Gordon drafted Boes to close the gap before making the pass for third.

On lap four, a poor landing for Luyendyk launched him into a roll that caused him to lose his hood; though he continued racing, the caution was called. At the time, the running order consisted of Holtger, Noland, Gordon, Creed, Boes, Luyendyk, Bill Hynes, Max Gordon, Edenholm, and Smith.

As the race resumed on the full layout, Creed took third from Gordon while Holtger continued to lead. Luyendyk climbed through the field to reach second by the lap’s completion.

After Holtger did not hit the Continental Tire ramp coming to the start/finish line and the start of lap six, Luyendyk moved up to first. Entering turn five, Hynes collided with Max Gordon while moving to the inside line for sixth; Gordon rolled into the sand trap before his #77 truck rested on its side.

“No brakes. Max was fine. That happens in racing,” Hynes tweeted.

A red flag was called to facilitate cleanup, and Gordon eventually rejoined the event. At the time, Luyendyk led Gordon, Creed, Holtger, Noland, Boes, Smith, and Edenholm.

The ensuing green flag also served as the white flag. The two-time champions Gordon and Creed chased down Luyendyk as the leaders separated from the field. However, as rain began to fall on the track, Gordon and Creed began fighting for second which allowed Luyendyk to rebuild his margin.

Entering turn twelve, Gordon slid wide into the trap and lost the runner-up spot to Creed. Boes spun into the sand, while Holtger and Noland also went off-road.

At the front, Luyendyk drove off to his third career victory and first since the 2018 Detroit Grand Prix Race #2. Gordon and Holtger ran side-by-side to the finish for third, a battle that the former won. Smith, Noland, Edenholm, Boes, and Max Gordon rounded out the finishers.

Although the race was Luyendyk’s first SST event at Road America, it is technically not the first time he scored points there. In 2018, Casey Mears drove the #25 truck at the road course and added 25 points to Luyendyk’s total.

“That was cool,” Luyendyk began in a candid post-race Instagram story shared by his wife and Bogle. “I freaking flipped on a jump, came back, and won the thing.”

Results

FinishStartNumberDriverLaps CompletedTotal Points EarnedStatus
1625Arie Luyendyk Jr.830Running
282Sheldon Creed828Running
397Robby Gordon826Running
4544John Holtger822Running
5766Zane Smith818Running
6266xJett Noland815Running
7121Zoey Edenholm814Running
8432Barry Boes813Running
91177Max Gordon712Running
10357Bill Hynes611Mechanical
111083Matt Brabham111Mechanical
Additional point for each position gained
Fastest qualifier (1 bonus point): Matt Brabham
Most laps led (3 bonus points): John Holtger
Points earned are unofficial and approximate
Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

Race #2

The second race ran later than scheduled due to a lengthy NASCAR Xfinity Series race that was marred by weather delays.

Hynes, Max Gordon, and Brabham led the field to the green flag. Gordon took the top spot as they approached the final corner to lead the opening lap, while Brabham moved up to second.

As the leaders crossed the line to begin lap two, chaos quickly unfolded when Holtger’s truck—which was running fourth—leaned to the left while in the air. The ensuing landing turned his truck and caused it to flip once before landing back on all four wheels. No caution was waved as Holtger eventually exited the race.

Similar to Luyendyk’s late battle in Race #1, Gordon faced challenges from a pair of two-time champions as Brabham and Creed gave chase. Brabham ultimately won the battle with a pass entering turn two, and Gordon kept Creed at bay before being overtaken in turn fourteen.

By the competition yellow, Brabham led Creed, Max and Robby Gordon, Noland, Luyendyk, Boes, Smith, Hynes, and Edenholm.

At the green flag, Brabham and Creed began their fight for first and quickly distanced themselves from the field. Behind them, the Gordon father-son duo battled for third.

Creed led the first lap of the restart, but Brabham forced a side-by-side duel exiting turn three. The two ran aside one another before Brabham finally cleared him, while Robby Gordon claimed third from his son. Meanwhile, Hynes went around in turn eight but rejoined the event.

Gordon took second from Creed as they approached the Kink. By lap seven, the margin between the top two and the field ballooned, while Luyendyk fell off the pace before stopping in turn five and retiring from the event. A lead change took place exiting turn twelve as Gordon cleared Brabham.

Brabham retaliated with a pass in turn one as lap eight commenced. The two traded the position multiple times throughout the lap, with Brabham edging out Gordon as they took the white flag. The momentum slung Gordon to the lead in turn one, though Brabham reclaimed it in the next corner. Gordon responded with a move on the outside into turn twelve and cleared him.

A final attempt by Brabham on the inside in the final corner paid off as he took the lead. Gordon cut through the grass to force a drag race to the checkered flag.

Brabham would beat out Gordon for his second win of the season, second at Road America, and the twenty-first of his career. Creed held off Noland and Max Gordon to finish third and complete the champions-only podium. On Twitter, Hynes remarked Gordon was “more upset” with Creed for their battle race than with him for the wreck in Race #1; “Apparently Sheldon was blocking him and slowing him up,” he noted.

“Awesome race with @robbygordon,” Brabham posted on Instagram. “We swapped the lead almost every corner coming to the checkered on the final lap, including the last turn!”

Results

FinishStartNumberDriverLaps CompletedTotal Points EarnedStatus
1383Matt Brabham930Running
297Robby Gordon929Running
3102Sheldon Creed927Running
4666xJett Noland920Running
5277Max Gordon916Running
6766Zane Smith916Running
7432Barry Boes914Running
8521Zoey Edenholm913Running
91125Arie Luyendyk Jr.614Mechanical
10157Bill Hynes511Mechanical
11844John Holtger110Accident
Additional point for each position gained
Most laps led (3 bonus points): Matt Brabham
Points earned are unofficial and approximate
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