Making its return to the birthplace of stadium off-road racing, SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks invaded the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Sunday with three distinct divisions testing their skills on the 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.
Gordon, driving the No. 7 SPEED Energy / MAPEI / Toyo Tires truck, held off points leader Rob MacCachren to capture his first win in Stadium SUPER Trucks.
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 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.
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 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 rollover on the side of his No. 25 machine bringing out a full course red flag.
On the restart, 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. 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 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 No. 7 SPEED Energy / MAPEI / Toyo Tires truck to the Round No.3 victory ahead of MacCachren and Jones.
“To win a Stadium truck race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the history of off-road here is truly something special," related Gordon. "I can't give enough thanks to my partners in believing in me to make my dream a reality.”
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 three. Cenni 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 five after Rino Navero would jump over the concrete retaining wall, bringing out the red flag. Welchel went on to capture the win over Tyler Winburry and 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.
Stadium SUPER Trucks Feature (20 Laps): 1. Robby Gordon; 2. Rob MacCachren; 3. P.J. Jones; 4. Nick Baumgartner; 5. Justin Matney; 6. Lalo Laguna; 7. Mike Jenkins; 8. Greg Adler; 9. Justin Lofton; 10. Adrian Cenni; 11. Arie Luyendyk Jr.; 12. Jeff Ward; 13. Ricky Johnson.
Monster Truck Final: 1. Larry Swim; 2. Darron Schnell.
SUPER Buggy Feature (12 Laps): 1. Jerry Whelchel; 2. Tyler Winbury; 3. Phil Bollman; 4. Eric Jacobus; 5. Eddie Tafoya; 6. Rino Navero; 7. Adrian Cenni; 8. Apdaly Lopez; 9. Steven Arlia; 10. Kyle Quinn.
Stadium SUPER Trucks LCQ (6 Laps): 1. Justin Lofton; 2. Greg Adler; 3. Nick Baumgartner; 4. Mike Jenkins; 5. Adrian Cenni; 6. Jeff Ward; 7. Justin Matney.
Stadium SUPER Trucks Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Arie Luyendyk Jr.; 2. Ricky Johnson; 3. Robby Gordon; 4. Nick Baumgartner; 5. Mike Jenkins; 6. Justin Matney; 7. Justin Lofton.
Stadium SUPER Trucks Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. P.J. Jones; 2. Rob MacCachren; 3. Lalo Laguna; 4. Greg Adler; 5. Adrian Cenni; 6. Jeff Ward.
SUPER Buggy Heat (6 Laps): 1. Adrian Cenni; 2. Apdaly Lopez; 3. Jerry Whelchel; 4. Tyler Winbury; 5. Rino Navero; 6. Eddie Tafoya; 7. Eric Jacobus; 8. Phil Bollman; 9. Steven Arlia; 10. Kyle Quinn.