AutoMatters+ Story On SST

AutoMatters+ covered three of Robby Gordon’s “SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road SUPER Trucks Presented by Traxxas” events in 2014. The last of these was at a new venue: a challenging, purpose-built racetrack at MGM Resorts Village across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Luxor. This provided the room for a much longer track, as well as better vantage points from which to see the racing, than did last year’s location at Caesar’s Palace.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but an encounter I had while still in the parking lot would be very meaningful by the end of the evening. Shortly after I parked my car, another pulled up right beside me. I started a conversation with its occupants and learned that the family — which included two little kids — was visiting from California. This was not their first SUPER Trucks event and everyone was really excited to be there. Hold that thought and we’ll come back to this near the end.

In addition to SUPER Trucks racing, fans enjoyed a full evening’s entertainment that also included Legend car racing, live music from “The Roxy Gun Project” and Traxxas R/C scale models.

The SUPER Trucks racing was wild. Trucks launched off of high jumps and often careened into each other, lap after lap. The most exciting feature of the track was an over-and-under jump. It literally sent SUPER Trucks flying directly over other SUPER Trucks that were racing along the track right in front of the jump — and yes, there were some spectacular crashes there, too.

Many spectators watched the spectacle from atop what looked like a huge, flat-topped water tank. I was absolutely blown away with the event — especially the final SUPER Trucks race. The action got so intense and there was so much going on all over the track that I didn’t know where to look, or where to point my cameras (and speaking of cameras, hopefully they’ll have more light next time).

If you love racing, do yourself a favor and go to the SUPER Trucks event in Las Vegas this year. It is motorized mayhem!

Since this was their season finale, Robby and the drivers had one last, very special treat in store for their fans. They did something that I have never seen done before. After the racing was over, the drivers drove their trucks to where the fans could get next to them and check them out. Then some of the crew members removed colorful body panels covered in racing graphics from their SUPER Trucks and gave them to several very lucky and appreciative fans as souvenirs! They, in turn, got them autographed by the drivers. Then they carried away their treasures, which included huge truck hoods.

I asked a crewmember whether the panels — some of which were undamaged from the racing and others which were repairable — are expensive. They said yes, but that they were giving them away to show their appreciation for their fans.

One fan walked up to Robby and proceeded to show him a two-page document that he had written. Robby actually took the time to read it. Then, with a warm smile on his face, Robby shook his hand. I have never seen race fans treated nearly as well as they were that evening.

Remember the family that I told you about earlier? Well, shortly after I returned to my car in the parking lot after the races, they just happened to walk up to their car. I asked them whether they had gotten any souvenirs, to which they excitedly told me that they had. Then the woman showed me the racing number plate that Robby had given her from his personal SUPER Truck — the one that he had raced that evening. She told me that Robby had explained to her that those number plates were hard to come by, yet despite that, since her family members were loyal, long-time fans, he not only gave her that number plate but offered to give her family the other one, too!

Needless to say, the whole family — kids and all — was absolutely thrilled. The mom told me that they will hang them on the walls of their kids’ rooms. She added that their garage walls are covered in colorful racing body panels.

Thanks to Jan Wagner – AutoMatters+ #370

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