Harlien-Stadium-Super-Trucks-6-8-2017
June, 7 2017 (Mesa, Arizona)
– Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks (SST) were a thrilling highlight racing through the streets of Belle Isle during this last weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix. Off Road “Ace,” X-Games Athlete, and now a road circuit specialist, 17-year-old Gavin Harlien, from Mesa, AZ captured his first Overall Weekend Championship Victory with two podium finishes and the #1 Quickest Qualifier in the #55 Royal Purple Synthetic Lubricants SST Truck.

While most his age are just settling in for summer vacation or making plans for college, Gavin has been thrilling motorsport fans all over the world as a serious front runner in the Stadium Super Truck Series. Coming off of four straight podium finishes, Harlien came to Detroit motivated for a race win or better.

The ultra-quick Belle Isle Street Circuit was new territory for Gavin having never raced here. As usual, the recent graduate of Brophy College Preparatory High School had done his homework and was well prepared. The one and only qualifying session of the weekend came early on Friday and Harlien beat out the rest of the field and nailed down the P1 position by nearly a second and a half. Harlien picked up exclusive extra points (as the Fast Qualifier) and was awarded a $4,000.00 check as his first prize of the weekend. This would later factor in for the march towards an overall victory.

For SST Race #1 of the Detroit Grand Prix presented by Chevrolet and Lear Products, Gavin started dead last. Stadium Super Trucks inverts the field by putting the fastest qualifiers (or top finishers) in the last positions for the start of each race. Gavin rolled off the line in the 11th position based off the 11 truck field. The SST Trucks roared through the streets racing door-to-door, launching high into the air off the purpose-built ramps, and speeding bumper-to-bumper through the sweeping 2.3 mile street circuit.

By Lap 3, Gavin had made quick work of several trucks and moved up into the 5th position by the first competition caution. On the restart, Gavin moved into the front group with the lead pack until a pile up in Turn 7 which collected Paul Morris, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Matt Brabham. Harlien expertly threaded the needle between the three trucks and made it through untouched and into the 2nd position. He would hold that spot behind his good friend, SST Champion, and the race winner; Sheldon Creed. Matt Brabham finished in 3rd. Gavin commented after the race, “I need to buy a lottery ticket today after that move!”

Sunday’s SST Race #2 would have Harlien and the #55 Royal Purple Truck starting at the back of the field again due to the total points accumulated thus far. When the green flag dropped, Gavin went straight to work. Matt Brabham, the driver from Australia was the only one Gavin wanted to stay close because he was in direction contention for the overall weekend points. Gavin had to finish within two spots of Brabham to claim the championship for the weekend. Naturally, the drivers picked their way up through the field and took advantage of the competition caution’s restarts. Brabham was able to get around Harlien on Lap 6 and they would remain in 2nd and 3rd positions respectively till they took the checkers. Sheldon Creed took the 1st place victory for the second day in a row.

Despite Creed’s double wins, Harlien captured the overall weekend championship trophy by scoring the most points. Gavin earned points by being the quickest qualifier, passing competitors during the race, and overall finishing points. “I have to admit I was nervous going into today’s race.” said Harlien “All I could think about before the start is where I had to finish.” “My Dad told me to focus on this race alone and nothing else.”

This is Gavin’s first overall weekend win and his 6th straight podium finish. Harlien is now ranked 5th in the 2017 Stadium Super Trucks. Gavin would like to thank Royal Purple for their support and giving him the chance to represent them this season.

Next, Harlien Racing and the Speed Energy Stadium Super Trucks head to Texas Motor Speedway on June 9th-10th where Gavin hopes to win the overall title once again.

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