An off-road racing Hall of Famer won the first event in Robby Gordon’s new Speed Energy Super Truck series Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Rob MacCachren, with 20 off-road championships and 200 race wins, took the lead in the 12-truck field on the third of 18 laps on a clay-based dirt track that included seven turns and nine jumps plus a sand pit.
Justin Matney was second with Gordon third. P.J. Jones, battling for a top-3 finish, flipped on the last lap so Arie Luyendyk Jr. wound up fourth and Jones was credited with fifth place.
The roof was open for the crowd Gordon estimated at between 13,000-15,000 and the debut of his 12-event tour. It’s modeled after the Mickey Thompson off-road stadium series that was popular in the 1980s. Motorsports’ Hall of Famer Thompson and his wife, Trudy, were murdered in March 1988 and that series eventually was discontinued. Gordon won Thompson series’ class championships in 1988 and 1989.
Gordon, a race winner in NASCAR, Indy Car and various sports car series and with multiple off-road championships on his long resume, called the inaugural event “a thrill. It’s a sport that belongs and for the truck marketplace, it’s a no-brainer.”
Justin Lofton, fastest in Friday qualifying, won the opening 8-lap heat ahead of MacCachren and Jeff Ward. Lofton won the NASCAR Camping World Truck series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway last season and was eighth in the point standings.
Heat 2 was stopped four times. Jones, of Scottsdale, a last-minute entry, flipped twice but the son of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones still finished third among the six drivers. Luyendyk Jr., of Phoenix and son of two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, didn’t finish after getting upside-down. Greg Adler won with Gordon second. Matney took the 6-lap last chance qualifying race after leader Mike Jenkins flipped.
Four of the 16 entries Gordon said he expected didn’t participate. Among the missing: J.J. Yeley, of Phoenix, who is starting 37th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series STP Gas Booster 500 in Martinsville, Va.
Myles Cheek won the Super Trophy Kart race while Eddie Tafoya was first in the Super Buggy final.
The crowd numbers look to be about the same as an normal NationWide or Truck series race. Did everyone notice Nascar is no longer releasing crowd numbers?
Not to mention all the seats that got covered with banners so they dont look empty.
SST doesn't sell the front 9-10 rows for safety reasons. Or were you talking about Martinsville? I haven't turned on the cup race.
Martinsville. And almost all the Nascar tracks now.