Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks return to action this weekend, joining the NTT IndyCar Series for the inaugural IndyCar Classic weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. As is usually the case, the SST field will race twice during its 2019 season opener, with dual events on Saturday and Sunday set to kick off the latest championship chase.
This weekend will mark SST’s first visit to COTA since 2015, when the series joined Red Bull Global Rallycross as part of the final X Games to feature four-wheel racing. In an event that featured 1989 NASCAR Cup champion Rusty Wallace, Nitro Circus star Travis Pastrana, and Pro 4 stars Kyle LeDuc and CJ Greaves, it was Sheldon Creed who took the gold medal over Gordon and Arie Luyendyk Jr. in the 10-lap final. Creed joins 2014 X Games gold medalist Apdaly Lopez as the only SST winners at COTA so far.
The action comes early and often for the SST field in the spring, with three events in four weekends set to start the season. A week after returning to COTA, the series stays in the Lone Star State for another visit to Texas Motor Speedway, this time as part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Two weeks after that, SST returns to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach as well. Summer rounds at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road America are also part of the 2019 schedule, although a number of other events—including the series’ status in Australia—have not yet been announced.
While the SST driver lineup tends to be a revolving door, many of the series’ mainstays are expected to be back. Gordon himself is of course expected to be at every event, as is defending series champion Matt Brabham and 2018 runner-up Gavin Harlien. A preseason testing video confirmed that Creed, a two-time series champion, is expected back for a limited schedule, as is longtime SST racer Bill Hynes. Gordon’s Dakar Rally teammates Cole Potts and Blade Hildebrand and 2017 series champion Paul “The Dude” Morris are also likely contenders for full-time duty, while recent years have seen NASCAR stars like Casey Mears and Greg Biffle make their SST debuts.
Friday will see SST practice and qualify at COTA, with a qualifying shootout to determine the fastest drivers on Saturday morning before a pair of races on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. No changes are expected to SST’s typical system, which starts with an inverse grid from qualifying, awards bonus points to each driver based on how many positions they gain in the race, and inverts the finishing order from the first race to set the grid for the second.