When was the last time you saw an Andretti and a Mears compete in the same race?
After this week, you won’t have to wait any longer. The generation of driver is different—it’s Adam and Casey, not Mario or Michael and Rick—but the names will adorn the side of two different United Fiber and Data/Live-backed Stadium Super Trucks in this weekend’s event from Road America.
The Friday-Saturday show will mark the 13th and 14th rounds of the 2018 SST calendar, and the series’ first action since back-to-back weekends in June as part of Verizon IndyCar Series events on Belle Isle and at Texas Motor Speedway. This time, though, they’ll be joining the NASCAR Xfinity Series on the bill, as the series makes its first visit to the fabled Wisconsin road course in its sixth year of existence.
The 2018 season so far has seen all nine full-time drivers make it onto the podium at least once, with drivers Gavin Harlien, Arie Luyendyk Jr., Jeff Hoffman, Cole Potts, and Bill Hynes each scoring their first SST victories along the way. Five different drivers have won the six most recent SST rounds, with Harlien (the only one of the group to win twice), Luyendyk, and Hoffman joined by Indy 500 veteran and third-generation racer Matt Brabham and series founder Robby Gordon.
Brabham currently leads the points at 337, with three wins and seven podiums to his name; Harlien sits 30 points back in second, with the same win total and one more podium. Although they’re well back of the two leaders, the battle for third is a tight one, as Luyendyk (251) is engaged in a close fight with Gordon (248) and Hoffman (235) for the spot.
Joining them are Andretti and Mears, neither of whom are strangers to SST after racing in 2017’s season finale in Lake Elsinore. Andretti is best known for appearing in SCCA Trans-Am competition, while Mears, who will score points as a substitute driver on Hynes’ behalf, carved out a successful career in NASCAR after switching from open-wheel racing. Also joining them on the grid will be series newcomer Tommy Dawson, as well as the rest of the series’ 2018 regulars.
Despite the two-plus month break before Road America, fans of SST have had plenty to talk about in the past few weeks. The biggest announcement was that of the inaugural Robby Gordon Off-Road World Championships at Glen Helen Raceway, which will take place from November 30 to December 2. The new round will serve as the 2018 series finale, and will join a visit to Surfers Paradise in Australia as the final two events on the schedule.
Inspired by the former Mickey Thompson Off Road Grand Prix, the event will add two classes of UTVs, two classes of motocross, a freestyle motocross Best Trick competition, and an amateur Jump Contest to the featured SST racing. In addition, SST will utilize Glen Helen’s motocross track instead of its short course off-road track in order to produce more exciting action. While no drivers have been confirmed for the event yet, the 2017 SST finale saw big names like Mears, Ryan Villopoto, Sara Price, Burt Jenner, and Greg Adler join the series regulars; perhaps foreshadowing his entry, the series also shared a photo of NASCAR star Greg Biffle preparing to test Mears’ truck on Tuesday.