Perhaps there’s no better way to celebrate spring finally being here than by watching Stadium Super Trucks spring into action in three of four consecutive weekends to kick off their 2019 season. Last weekend saw SST launch its latest campaign with a doubleheader at Circuit of the Americas, and this week, they remain in the Lone Star State with two more rounds at Texas Motor Speedway.
After multiple years of partnering up with IndyCar, this year’s Outdoor Powersports Off-Road Rumble pairs up with NASCAR as it moves from June to March. The move makes sense when considering the COTA round, as the series only needed to pack up its trucks and ramps and move across the state. It also enables TMS, which has heavily promoted SST ever since welcoming it to the track just a few short years ago, to package the action with one of its strongest weekends of the year.
Picking up where the series left off in January at the Race of Champions, which served as the 2018 championship finale, sophomore Blade Hildebrand and defending series champion Matt Brabham opened the 2019 schedule with a victory apiece in last weekend’s doubleheader from COTA. Hildebrand’s victory was his first in SST competition, and he celebrated by bringing his truck up on two wheels before rolling it; consider it series founder Robby Gordon’s revenge, as Gordon couldn’t get by Hildebrand for the race win but successfully pulled off the bike after the checkered flag and probably had a chuckle after seeing the roll in his rear view mirror.
Sunday’s race saw Brabham, who was also the quickest qualifier of the weekend, hold off fellow SST veterans Jeff Hoffman and Gavin Harlien for the victory. All told, six of the eight drivers who competed at COTA stood on the podium. The others were both returning after spending time out of the truck: Travis PeCoy, who last competed in SST in 2014, filled in for Cole Potts, while Bill Hynes competed for the first time since running at TMS last June. Both scored a top-five finish on the weekend.
Coming into the 2019 season, Continental Tire announced that it would become SST’s second tire manufacturer for 2019, joining Toyo as the brands backed four trucks apiece in the opener. Continental will also serve as title sponsor of an SST truck in 2019, which defending Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Lite champion Ryan Beat immediately drove to a podium in the Saturday race. Beat will be joined by two-time SST champion and 2018 ARCA champion Sheldon Creed, as well as NASCAR superstar Greg Biffle, in the truck over the course of the season. Biffle will be in Texas working with Kyle Busch Motorsports on its NASCAR Truck Series program, but it’s Creed who will run the truck this weekend.
Stadium Super Trucks will first take to the track at Texas on Saturday for qualifying, and will run dual main events before and after the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. As always, expect the races to be live streamed on the SST Facebook page, and aired on the CBS Sports Network at a later date.