Robby Gordon won a rain-soaked and water-logged SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas race at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Saturday, calling it the worst weather conditions he has ever competed in over a more than 30-year career.
Jerett Brooks, a 16-year-old from Alpine, Calif. finished second and Justin Lofton of Westmorland, Calif. came home third.
The race was literally anyone’s to win from start to finish of the 10-lap event, with all the trucks experiencing issues with the standing water on the temporary circuit that makes up the 14-turn 1.8-mile course built for IndyCars. Gordon, Lofton and PJ Jones battled for the lead throughout the race, trading it among each other as the others spun out in the wet conditions.
Brooks, who raced with a conservative style, managing to stay in touch with the leaders and wait for the front runners to eliminate themselves in the wet. Lofton, who led with just more than one lap remaining, spun for the second time in the race at the 90-degree right hand Turn 1 which allowed Gordon to take the lead which he would not relinquish.
“That was a lot of fun, but it was probably the slipperiest conditions I have ever raced in,” said Gordon who is also the founder of Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas. “I have to thank IndyCar and the Green Savoree team (promoters of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg) for allowing us to race here in front of so many great race fans. It was a really good race despite the rain and we’re looking forward to putting on another good show tomorrow (Sunday).
The series will run its second round Sunday at 2 p.m., immediately preceding the IndyCar season opener.
Gavin Harlein, 16, of Mesa, Ariz., who sat in a Stadium Super Truck for the first time Friday, came home fourth with Mexico’s off-road racing specialist Apdaly Lopez rounding out the top five. Scotty Steele of Peoria, Ariz. survived multiple spins to finish sixth, with veterans Jones and former IndyCar star Davey Hamilton finishing just ahead of ninth-place finisher Sheldon Creed who retired with mechanical issues.
Round 2 of the second season of SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday when nine identically prepared trucks participate in the first race of the 2014 season.
SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas
Round 2 – Sunday, March 30, 2014
Starting lineup determined by each driver’s fastest lap, with a blind draw of numbers that determined the top three rows would be inverted.
Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas Fact Sheet
Race: Round 2 of 13 of 2014 Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas
Track: Grand Prix of St. Petersburg circuit
Circuit Type: Downtown temporary street circuit
Event Schedule: Round Two – Saturday, March 30, 2:30 p.m.
TV Schedule: NBCSN, Thursday, April 18, 1 a.m. EDT
Track Layout: 1.8 mile, 10 turns
Defending Winner: First event at St. Petersburg Series
Contact: Chris Hecht, email@example.com
Web Site: www.stadiumsupertrucks.com
Truck No. Driver Sponsor Hometown
5 Scotty Steele Steele Racing Peoria, Ariz.
6 Justin Lofton Cometic Gasket Westmorland, Calif.
7 Robby Gordon SPEED Energy Orange, Calif.
14 Davey Hamilton Traxxas Nampa, Idaho
18 Apdaly Lopez VisitMexico.com Tecate, B.C., Mexico
55 Gavin Harlien IronClad Mesa, Ariz.
59 Craig Potts Potts Racing Scottsdale, Ariz.
74 Sheldon Creed Traxxas Alpine, Calif.
77 Jerett Brooks Synergy Electric Alpine, Calif.
98 PJ Jones American Racing Wheels Scottsdale, Ariz.