When the Stadium Super Trucks last visited the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in September, Robby Gordon snapped Matt Brabham‘s Fastest Qualifier streak. Fast forward to April and the trucks’ return trip to Long Beach, and Gordon once again led the way in qualifying.
Gordon topped the twenty-minute practice/qualifying session on Friday with a best time of 1:46.666. He will seek to strengthen his grip on the California street circuit as the holder of the most SST Long Beach wins with four, which included winning Race #2 in 2021.
Brabham, who returns to the trucks after participating in Indy Lights testing at Indianapolis, finished nearly two seconds back. He is a three-time winner at Long Beach. 2018 Race #1 winner Gavin Harlien was third ahead of his first start since 2019; Harlien took a two-year hiatus to focus on academics. Jerett Brooks, 2021 Race #1 victor, was fourth.
Following sophomore Robert Stout was Davey Hamilton Jr., who last raced the trucks in 2018 and intends to race the full schedule. Hamilton live-streamed his qualifying run on Facebook.
A pair of SST débutants qualified eighth and ninth, respectively, as Ryan Arciero was ahead of Cleetus McFarland. Rounding out the top ten was Shaun Richardson of the now shuttered Boost Mobile Super Trucks, who is running his first American SST weekend since 2017.
“Out here in Long Beach straight FLYIN!!! Didn’t wreck in practice so that’s great! #FunHaverFlightSquadron is off to a great start,” posted McFarland on Instagram.
While a second-place qualifying effort is nothing to scoff at, it was not an incident-free day for Brabham as he spun and nearly tapped the wall, but was able to reverse and rejoin without damage or further issue. The final hairpin claimed Zoey Edenholm and Bill Hynes as victims of spins, with Edenholm doing so twice, and the two qualified outside the top ten which will place them on the front row for Saturday’s race.
Lap times were slower than in 2021 (Gordon’s pole-winning time that year was over two seconds quicker than Friday’s), which could be attributed to the weekend’s hotter weather and consequently a slicker track.
The first of two races will take place on Saturday at 4:30 PM Pacific Time. Race #2 is scheduled for 3:30 PM after the NTT IndyCar Series event.
|2||83||Matt Brabham||1:48.6441||+ 1.9780|
|3||55||Gavin Harlien||1:48.7225||+ 2.0564|
|4||27||Jerett Brooks||1:49.2036||+ 2.5375|
|5||28||Robert Stout||1:49.4359||+ 2.7698|
|6||14||Davey Hamilton Jr.||1:50.0497||+ 3.3836|
|7||77||Max Gordon||1:50.4369||+ 3.7708|
|8||32||Ryan Arciero||1:50.6864||+ 4.0203|
|9||1776||Cleetus McFarland||1:52.1133||+ 5.4472|
|10||12||Shaun Richardson||1:52.2972||+ 5.6311|
|11||21||Zoey Edenholm||1:53.2484||+ 6.5823|
|12||57||Bill Hynes||1:55.4514||+ 8.7853|