One of the longest and most storied events in North American auto racing is also one of the mainstays of the schedule for Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will once again play host to Gordon’s high-flying series, hosting two rounds of action on Saturday and Sunday as SST wraps up an intensive stretch of three events in four weeks.
Long Beach made its debut on the SST schedule in 2014, where Gordon and EJ Viso made it two IndyCar and GPLB veterans in the top two spots. Viso cracked the top spot in 2015, while Sheldon Creed swept the first Long Beach doubleheader for SST in 2016. Matt Brabham and Gordon traded race wins two seasons ago, while Gavin Harlien and Brabham split the victories here last year.
Long Beach is well known for attracting a number of one-off or partial-schedule drivers to SST competition. Names like Apdaly Lopez, Aaron Bambach, and Erik Davis joined series regulars like Brabham, Harlien, Gordon, Jeff Hoffman, and Blade Hildebrand here last year, so don’t be surprised to see a slightly larger entry list for this weekend’s action.
Coming into California, Hildebrand actually holds the points lead, having taken his first career SST victory in the opening weekend of the season at Circuit of the Americas. The sophomore holds a three-point advantage over defending champion and other COTA winner Brabham, 88-85; however, the combined efforts of Ryan Beat and Sheldon Creed would have the series’ new Continental Tire truck atop the points if run by a single driver. Creed earned 67 points by sweeping the series’ return to Texas Motor Speedway two weeks ago, while Beat added 37 more with a podium finish in COTA.
That said, the points battle remains close at this early stage of the season. Gordon sits in third with 79, Harlien is fourth with 77, and Hoffman rounds out the top five with 71. With not only 25 points on the line for a win, but also bonus points for the fastest qualifier, driver who leads the most laps, and any position a driver gains after starting on SST’s inverted grid, gaps can change very quickly.
After qualifying on Friday afternoon, Stadium Super Trucks action from the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place on Saturday at 4:15PM PT and Sunday at 4:05PM PT. As always, the racing can be live streamed on the series’ Facebook page.