Stadium SUPER Trucks

Gavin Harlien wins SST Bristol Race 1

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Credit: Stadium Super Trucks

The Stadium Super Trucks at Bristol Motor Speedway seemed like a crazy idea on paper, but Race #1 on Saturday went by without a hitch.

Well, unless you are race organiser and driver Cleetus McFarland.

McFarland, who brought the trucks to Bristol as part of his Bristol 1000 weekend, was spun out by Max Gordon shortly after the final restart as they navigated through turn three (sharp left turn onto Bristol’s backstretch pit road), shredding McFarland’s left-rear tyre. All three of McFarland’s starts to date have seen him suffer a crash, including a rollover while racing Gavin Harlien at Nashville that prompted him to jokingly accuse Harlien of being responsible for the Bristol contact. Gordon, the Fastest Qualifier, was spun out himself earlier in the race while racing Zoey Edenholm.

Bill Hynes dominated from the pole by leading through the two competition cautions, but Harlien worked his way from the back to catch him on the penultimate lap. Harlien completed the pass on the backstretch pit lane and led the rest of the way to secure his third win of 2022.

“That was a wild race. A lot of carnage. Obviously, I just tried to stay out of it. I ended up getting the dub, I see a couple of wrecked trucks,” said Harlien in his post-race interview. He had been racing with a spare helmet given to him by a fan and firesuit as he lost his bag of gear on his flight to the track.

Harlien subsequently received a lighthearted shower of boos by the fans with encouragement from himself and McFarland as “I think a lot of people know me as the guy who wrecked Cleetus in his last race. I hope I don’t have too much hate, but I’m glad I could put on a show for you guys.”

Hynes settled for second to notch his fifth career podium. Coupled with his third at Mid-Ohio #1, 2022 is his first season with multiple podium finishes.

Robby Gordon rounded out the podium in his first start since Long Beach. After qualifying second to his son and consequently starting in the penultimate position, he climbed up to fourth by the first yellow flag. Once again, the pit road exit provided a passing opportunity when he attempted a three-wide overtake on Harlien and McFarland, but instead stacked up the field and allowed Robert Stout to pass him.

Gordon and Stout battled for third on the ensuing restart and the former won out.

“When you mentioned it, running Bristol, I was a little, ‘Ehh, I don’t know about Bristol. I didn’t know how you were going to make a track.’ I was actually over in Asia when you and Kyle (Loftis) came down and built a track, took a truck here… This is cool,” Gordon told McFarland.

“We changed the track after qualifying. We’ll change the track again for tomorrow. We’ll put a jump right here (on the frontstretch) at Bristol Motor Speedway, and we’ll do a little bit of a chicane coming off the bank here. What a great weekend. […] It’s amazing the influence that Cleetus has and all of his friends and this is a great event, so thanks for making the inaugural awesome.”

Fielding Shredder was the best finisher of the five newcomers in seventh. “Diesel” Dave Kiley retired from the race after suffering left-front damage.

Race #2 will take place on Sunday, 4 September, at 2 PM Eastern.

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriver
11155Gavin Harlien
2157Bill Hynes
3127Robby Gordon
41028Robert Stout
5967Ben Maier
61377Max Gordon
78007Fielding Shredder
86801Dave Sparks
9352Derek Bieri
10521Zoey Edenholm
112.50Matt Carriker
1271776Cleetus McFarland
134435Dave Kiley
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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