Los Angeles, Calif. – Making its return to the birthplace of stadium off-road racing SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks invaded the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a full night of racing action with three distinct divisions testing their skills on the uniquely prepared high flying dirt and asphalt course. Robby Gordon, Larry Swim, and Jerry Whelchel were able to conquer the multiple challenges to record wins in Round No. 3 of SST Competition.
Robby Gordon, of Orange, Calif., driving the #7 SPEED Energy / MAPEI / Toyo Tires truck held off points leader Rob MacCachren to capture his first win in Stadium SUPER Trucks history.
The 20-Lap SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks final began from a staggered start and saw first place starter Gordon jump out to the early lead. Entering turn 1, third place starter Ricky Johnson of El Cajon, Calif., opted to test the cross-over option for a chance to take the over the lead. Not going as planned Johnson’s evening quickly came to an abrupt end as a flat tire resulted in getting him off course in the middle of the peristyle. Trouble also found Jeff Ward on the opening lap as he became stuck in the sand step-up resulting in losing multiple laps to the leader.
Rob MacCachren wasted no time moving from his fourth starting position, quickly moving into the second spot. Gordon led the pack back to the start-finish line for the opening lap ahead of MacCachren and Brawley, Calif., native Justin Lofton. The following laps saw the lead drivers hold their positions and race incident free for 8-laps.
Caution flew on lap-10 following a re-start where Gordon raced back out to four truck length lead ahead of McCachren and Lofton. Arie Luyendyk Jr. found trouble rounding the last corner of Lap-12 resulting in a roll over on the side of his No. 25 machine bringing out a full course red flag.
On the re-start, Justin Lofton running in third place lost the handle on the Solar City No.6 rounding the peristyle resulting in loosing multiple positions back to fifth place. Phoenix, Ariz., native P.J. Jones, would capitalize on the Lofton’s misfortune moving up into third position.
Trouble found Lofton once again on lap-16 as the hard charging Lofton made contact with Iron River, Mich., driver Nick Baumgartner exiting the chicane causing extensive damage to the front end of his race truck. The damage resulted in the No. 6 to lose the hood and drop out of competition one lap later.
Gordon raced the #7 SPEED Energy / MAPEI / Toyo Tires truck to the Round No.3 victory ahead of MacCachren and P.J. Jones.
After the race Gordon commented on winning Stadium SUPER Trucks Round No.3:
“To win a Stadium truck race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the history off-road here is truly something special. I can’t give enough thanks to my partners in believing in me to make my dream a reality.”
Jerry Whelchel, the only competitor to compete in every single Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group event made his return to stadium racing a successful one taking the lead on Lap 3 en route to taking the win in the 10-lap SUPER Buggy final.
Adrian Cenni and Apdaly Lopez started the 12-lap SUPER Buggy final and raced around the challenging course until Lopez stalled on the front stretch of lap-3. Cenni, of New York, NY fell back several positions after making contact with another driver. While trying to make up lost position, Cenni chose the cross-over jump and landed hard breaking the right front suspension.
Cenni would drop out on lap-5 after Rino Navero would jump over the concrete retaining wall brining out the red flag.
Welchel went on to capture the win over Tyler Winburry and third place finisher Phil Bollman.
The Monster Truck Final saw Larry Swim driving the SPEED Energy BIGFOOT defeat BIGFOOT No.15 Darron Schnell in a close matched Chicago style duel.
The Inaugural season of SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks continues Saturday night, May 4, in San Diego, Calif. at Qualcomm Stadium with a full slate of Stadium SUPER Trucks, Monster Trucks, SUPER Buggy, and SUPER Trophy Kart racing.
Tickets to SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks at Qualcomm Stadium start at just $25 for adults with kid’s 12 & under are $10 off with a purchased adult ticket at the stadium box office or through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.