Toyo Tires and Robby Gordon Grab Victory at the Grand Prix of Long Beach Finale
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 9, 2017) – Series veteran Robby Gordon had his Toyo Tires and KMC Wheels hooked up on Sunday afternoon jumping out to an early lead from the ninth starting position. With no one able to contest Gordon the Orange, California native would capture his second SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks victory of the 2017 season in convincing fashion.
From the wave of the green flag you could tell it was Gordon’s race to win as he weaved through the hornets’ nest of trucks in front of him. As all of the other competitors made contact with each other Gordon steered clear and was able to move into the second position by Lap-2.
Successfully making a move on Burbank, California driver Erik Davis at the start of Lap-3 for the lead was all that was needed. The final 9 laps Gordon went uncontested to claim victory at Long Beach once again.
Fast qualifier and Saturday winner Matt Brabham of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia driving the SafeCraft Safety Equipment truck would start in the twelfth position and would not have ability to the make it to the front as easy as Gordon. Getting stuck behind some slower trucks Brabham really had to work his way to get to the front. Never having a real good chance to contest Gordon for the lead, Brabham would settle for second place.
Gavin Harlien of Mesa, Arizona had a career weekend behind the wheel of his Royal Purple Synthetic Oil truck. Capturing a third place finish on Saturday, Harlien was eager to improve his position on the podium. Moving to the front of the field early in the event from his eighth starting spot, Harlien was able to hold off the charging trucks behind him to finish third for the second day in a row.
LIVE/ United Fiber and Data driver Paul Morris of Norwell, Queensland, Australia made early contact in the race with another driver where his hood would blow up in his face and hinder his vision for the first half of the event. Morris would shake the piece blocking his view during the competition caution, and would pass truck after truck to move into the fourth position. After challenging Gavin Harlien multiple time for the third position unsuccessfully, Morris held his ground and would finish in the fourth spot.
TruFuel driver Jeff Hoffman of Phoenix, Arizona raced to the front of the field from his sixth starting position and would remain there the entire race. Battling hard with the likes of Paul Morris, Matt Brabham, and Gavin Harlien. Hoffman would go on to finish in the fifth position for the second day in a row. After having seven asphalt races now under his belt in 2017 Hoffman has now gotten very comfortable behind the wheel of his SST to where he can be a front runner each time out.
Scottsdale, Arizona driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. in the LIVE/United Fiber & Data truck would hangout around near the rear of the field most of the race after making contact with the tire wall. The younger Luyendyk would recover to finish the 12-lap event in the sixth position one spot better than the day prior.
For the second day in a row Indianapolis, Indiana driver Davey Hamilton would run at the front of the field at the beginning of the race contending for his first ever podium. However, after the competition caution Hamilton would feel the swarm of other trucks behind him falling back position after position to ultimately finish in the seventh spot.
Anaheim, California driver Myles Cheek making his second ever SST start on Sunday proved the young racer was feeling right at home in a SST truck as he hung around the front of the field from his fifth place starting position until getting loose battling Gavin Harlien for the third position on Lap-5. Cheek would bounce off the tire wall and damage the front end of his CMI Precision Machining/ Outlaw LED truck. After making a trip down pit road to remove the hood, Cheek would limp the No. 257 around the track the final circuits to be credited with the eighth position.
After bicycling his truck and crashing hard into the wall on Saturday afternoon Erik Davis of Burbank, California would start from the pole position on Sunday. Davis would lead the first two laps of the race before being over taken and running mid pack until a Lap-8 spin. Davis would recover and finish the Always Evolving truck in the ninth position.
United Fiber and Data/ LIVE driver Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Pennsylvania whom was fighting a case of the flu all weekend would fight through it and run a steady and clean race go on to finish the ten-lap event in the tenth position.
After hard contact on Saturday afternoon the SST crew worked hard overnight to get Lodi, California driver Troy Deide ready for Sunday afternoons race, but after pulling onto the track for the sight in lap Diede immediately pulled Diede Construction entry directly onto the pit road with brake issues. The No. 441 would not start the race and was credited with the eleventh position.
The overall standings over the three races would see Matt Brabham first, with Robby Gordon claiming second, and Paul Morris rounding out the top three.
SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks will continue the 2017 SST World Championship with Rounds No. 8, 9, & 10; May 5, 6 & 7 at the Barbagallo Raceway in Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
Tickets to the race are available through the SuperCars website at http://www.supercars.com/perth/.
SST Grand Prix of Long Beach
Long Beach, Calif.
April 9, 2017
Round 7 Results
1. Robby Gordon; Orange, California; Toyo Tires/ KMC Wheels
2. Matt Brabham; Gold Coast, Queensland, Aus.; Safecraft Safety Equipment
3. Gavin Harlien; Mesa, Arizona; Royal Purple Synthetic Oil
4. Paul Morris; Norwell, Queensland, Aus.; LIVE/ United Fiber & Data
5. Jeff Hoffman; Phoenix, Arizona; TruFuel
6. Arie Luyendyk Jr.; Scottsdale, Arizona; LIVE/ United Fiber & Data
7. Myles Cheek; Anaheim, California; CPI Precision Machining/ Outlaw LED
8. Davey Hamilton Jr.; Indianapolis, Indiana; Always Evolving/ AerNow/ Outlaw LED/ Dahl Tug and Barge
9. Erik Davis; Burbank, California; Always Evolving/ AerNow/ ReplayXD
10. Bill Hynes; Nazareth, Pennsylvania; United Fiber & Data/ LIVE
DNS Troy Deide; Lodi, California; Deide Construction