Third-generation racing prodigy Matthew Brabham holds a 63-point lead coming into the only back-to-back race weekends on the Stadium Super Trucks schedule, kicking off this weekend with an appearance at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.
Owing to the series’ unpredictability, it’ll be impressive if he can continue to keep building it.
Thus far, Brabham has only made the gap larger between himself and second-place Gavin Harlien, gaining an extra 18 points during the series’ most recent event at Barbagallo Raceway. He did so despite missing the podium on both days of action, placing seventh and fourth while Harlien raced to ninth and sixth—but the biggest difference were Brabham’s 12 passing points and one bonus point for being the fastest weekend qualifier.
The Perth weekend was actually all about Jeff Hoffman, whose second and first place finishes made him the only dual podium finisher of the event. In the first race, Arie Luyendyk Jr. returned to the top step of the podium, while defending series champion Paul Morris finally earned his first podium of the season. In the second, a pair of rookies completed the podium, with Adelaide 1 winner Cole Potts in second and Blade Hildebrand earning his first podium of the season by running third.
In fact, none of the three drivers entering Detroit in the top three in the standings cracked the podium at Barbagallo; series founder and two-time champion Robby Gordon sits in third, six markers behind Harlien despite finishes of fifth and 11th in Perth. The remaining full-time driver, Bill Hynes, fell to ninth in the standings behind Hildebrand after the rookie’s strong performances last time out.
Alongside a majority of the full-time drivers, series mainstay Aaron Bambach has been confirmed to return to the grid for the weekend. Bambach made his first appearance of the season in Long Beach, where he finished 14th and sixth in the doubleheader. Russell Boyle will also return to the series for the first time this season.
Gordon, however, will not take part, as he’s competing in the Baja 500 this week. In fact, the only SST rounds he’s ever missed have all come on this race weekend in 2016 and 2017.
If there’s any track that should be familiar to these drivers, it’s Detroit, which has been a part of the series schedule since 2014. That year, former IndyCar driver EJ Viso swept the tripleheader, while Gordon, Viso, and Burt Jenner split the rounds in 2015. Brabham took his first two SST victories in Detroit in 2016, while Sheldon Creed swept the doubleheader last year.
After this weekend, the series will head immediately to Texas Motor Speedway for the No Limits Off-Road Rumble before taking a two-plus month break. Strong performances on both weekends will be crucial for any driver looking to eat into Brabham’s championship lead—or more importantly, for Brabham to pull away for good.