DETROIT, Mich. – E.J. Viso took his second Menards Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS victory in as many days at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Saturday, besting 16-year-old Scotty Steele by 1.540 seconds in the high-flying Stadium Super Trucks.
Viso, 29, inherited the lead from Steele on lap three of five around the 2.35-mile race circuit, and cruised to victory lane. Despite his smooth drive, Viso’s Momo/Gridstar truck experienced his biggest challenge after taking the checkered flag halfway through his cool-down lap. Viso displayed the tough nature of the trucks, which are modeled after scaled-down TRAXXAS radio control trucks, buy rolling it in a failed attempt at a victory burnout. In true TRAXXAS fashion, track workers pushed the truck back on its wheels, with Viso still strapped inside. He then drove his perfect truck straight to victory lane.
“I don’t know what happened I think something is wrong with my truck, it can only go fast. When I go slow it just flips upside down,” the Venezuelan driver joked with series owner Robby Gordon. “It’s super exciting every time I jump in the truck. It was a short race and I had to start attacking from the beginning, but it was a lot of fun again and I look forward to going for a weekend sweep Sunday.”
Four steel ramps were positioned throughout the course, with the trucks jumping as much as 15 feet in the air and more than 100 feet down course bringing cheers and gasps from the huge Belle Isle crowd.
“This is my second podium after finishing third at Las Vegas last year,” said the young driver Steele from Peoria, Ariz. “This is a much faster track than what Caesars Palace was in Vegas and I feel like I did a really nice job today. I was aggressive from the start, and while I made a few mistakes, I held off Aaron (Bambach) for third for my best finish.”
Bambach, from nearby Rochester Hills, Mich. drove a smooth and fast race, making few mistakes in his first weekend of driving a Stadium Super Truck. The veteran road course racer who has competed several times at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in different series, drove the BZ’s Twisted Blend/3deminsional.com truck without putting a mark on it en route to third-place finish.
The Menards Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS will race once more on Belle Isle at 1:55 p.m. Sunday. The overall weekend winner will be determined by an average finish from all three races, with any ties broken by the highest finishers in Sunday’s race. Sunday’s race can be seen live on the internet at www.stadiumsupertrucks.com. A replay of the Menards TRAXXAS races from Detroit will be shown on NBCSN June 20 at 10:30 p.m. PDT (1:30 a.m. June 21 EDT). The Menards at the Brickyard TRAXXAS races from Indianapolis will be shown on NBCSN June 13 at 9 p.m. (PDT) (midnight EST).
Pos. Truck No. Driver Sponsor Hometown
1. 19 E.J. Viso Momo/Gridstar Racing Caracas, Venezuela
2. 5 Scotty Steele Steele Racing
3. 87 Aaron Bambach 3dimensional.com/BZ’s Twisted Rochester Hills, Mich.
4. 25 Arie Luyendyk Jr. Quicken Loans Scottsdale, Ariz.
5. 7 Robby Gordon Menards/SPEED Energy Orange, Calif.
6. 47 Keegan Kincaid TRAXXAS Crandon, Wisc.
7. 50 Burt Jenner Gladiator Los Angeles, Calif.
8. 18 Apdaly Lopez VisitMexico.com/RPM Tecate, B.C., Mexico
9. 91 Henrique Cisneros Momo/Gridstar Racing Caracas, Venezuela