Stadium SUPER Trucks

2022 SST season opener pencilled in for Long Beach, no KOH

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Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

Assuming no changes in the next three months, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on 9/10 April will be the 2022 Stadium Super Trucks season opener. On the other hand, development of Robby Gordon‘s SPEED UTV programme has prevented the trucks from appearing at the week’s King of the Hammers. Gordon, the SST founder and president, posted on Instagram hyping up the season opener at Long Beach on Wednesday.

Save for the cancelled 2020 race, Long Beach is the only track to be on the SST schedule every year since the inaugural season in 2013. The street circuit has traditionally been the second or third weekend that the trucks visit outside of 2021 when COVID-19 postponed the Grand Prix to September and turned it into the final round. By starting the year at Long Beach, SST will skip the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on 26/27 February, which opened the 2021 season.

Jerett Brooks and Gordon are the defending race winners, and the latter is the only driver with three Long Beach victories.

A full 2022 schedule has not been announced, though one can expect the trucks to continue supporting the NTT IndyCar Series at various road courses and street circuits. Particular tracks to keep an eye on include Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2/3 July), Honda Indy Toronto (16/17 July), Big Machine Music City Grand Prix (6/7 August), and Portland International Raceway (3/4 September). SST visited Mid-Ohio twice apiece in 2019 and 2021 as an undercard to both IndyCar and the NASCAR Xfinity Series, though the latter has been replaced by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on 9 July which could remain a support option. Toronto hosted SST from 2013 to 2016 and again in 2019, though the next two races were called off due to the pandemic which prompted SST to consider a 2022 return. SST supported the inaugural Music City Grand Prix in Nashville in 2021, while the series appeared at Portland in 2019; Portland will also host Xfinity on 4 June. Unfortunately, one can rule out any dates in Australia even if the pandemic did not exist as the Boost Mobile Super Trucks are basically dead with their trucks being sent back to America.

In Gordon’s Instagram post, a commenter asked about the trucks heading to KOH, to which Gordon replied, “unfortunately we are too busy with @speedutv testing”.

Held annually on Means Dry Lake in Johnson Valley, California, King of the Hammers is a prestigious off-road race that spans multiple days and disciplines beginning with the Toyo Tires Desert Challenge on Saturday. One such event, scheduled for 1 February is an exhibition by Great American Shortcourse, who formed a partnership with SST last March which included the creation of a joint championship weekend and the Off Road Race of Champions at KOH. The former, which SST hoped to hold at Lake Elsinore Diamond, fell through as GAS had its own season finale at Glen Helen Raceway while Gordon was preparing for the Baja 1000. SST held a demonstration at KOH ahead of the 2013 season.

The Off Road Race of Champions was initially on the 2022 GAS schedule reveal, but the clash with SPEED UTV testing means GAS will only conduct an exhibition event. Had it occurred, the ORROC would have pitted the GAS class champions against each other in stadium trucks, with the winner receiving a scholarship to run the full 2022 SST season. Said classes were Pro 2 (won by Dave Mason Jr.), Pro Lite (Christopher Polvoorde), Pro Buggy (Trey Gibbs), Production 1000 UTV (Dallas Nord), Production Turbo UTV (Chance Haugen), and Mod Kart (Connor Barry). Of the six, only Polvoorde has prior SST experience as he ran the Road America weekend in 2019 during which he scored a podium. The new GAS season will begin at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on 19/20 March.

SPEED UTV is a utility vehicle manufacturer that Robby Gordon Motorsports has been developing since 2020, and is another division of the RGM family that includes SPEED Energy, SPEED RC Cars, and SST. While its vehicles are available for non-racing purposes, they have seen action in competitive racing environments such as Best in the Desert with Gordon’s son Max. In early January, one of the company’s customers Jorge Wagenfuhr entered a SPEED UTV into the Dakar Rally‘s Open class, completing three stages.

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About author
Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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