One of the most exciting things about Stadium Super Trucks is seeing them take to the track in Australia during some of Supercars’ most prominent race weekends. Barbagallo Raceway received its first visit from Robby Gordon’s high-flying hybrid of off-road trucks, metal ramps, and road racing last year, and was a no-brainer for inclusion once again on this year’s schedule.
Six rounds into the season, Australian-American racer Matthew Brabham remains the driver to beat by a wide margin. Although Gavin Harlien was the only driver to podium in both Long Beach races last month, Brabham earned enough bonus points to actually extend his championship lead over Harlien from 34 points to 35 coming into this weekend’s action. The key was a dominant Sunday performance that saw Brabham earn a total of 39 points, highest of any driver in any race this year.
He’ll be looking to expand upon that advantage even further in the next event in Perth, where he finished 10th, third, and fourth last year. Sheldon Creed (twice) and Gordon himself were the winners last year, while Harlien scored two podiums in the Saturday and Sunday races.
Defending series champion Paul “The Dude” Morris will be looking to a return to his home country to help him get back on track in the championship chase. After relying on injury replacement Jerett Brooks in Lake Elsinore, Morris returned to action in Adelaide, but has yet to crack the podium this year; as a result, he’s currently eighth in points, over 100 back of Brabham—but only 25 out of the top five.
While Morris made the jump from Aussie guest driver to SST title winner, the Australians who still only moonlight in the series have proven to be quite competitive. Chief among them is Travis Milburn, who placed second in the inaugural Barbagallo race last year and added another podium in the Adelaide finale in March. The 61 points he scored in the first tripleheader of this season still have him in the top 10 of the standings.
Fellow Australians Toby Price and Greg Gartner also joined Milburn in Adelaide this year, while Gartner, Craig Dontas, Shaun Richardson, Jake Kostecki, and Beau Robinson were among those who raced in Barbagallo last year as part-time entries. (Kostecki’s massive crash in the first round of the weekend was one of the most exciting moments of 2017.) This weekend, it’ll be Matt Nolan joining Gartner and Milburn to complete the 12-truck field.
In addition to Brabham, Harlien, Gordon, and Morris, five drivers have started every SST race thus far: Lake Elsinore co-champion Bill “The Thrill” Hynes, “The Bachelor” star Arie Luyendyk Jr., standout sophomore Jeff Hoffman, and rookies Cole Potts and Blade Hildebrand.
Stadium Super Trucks Rounds 7 and 8 from Barbagallo Raceway will take place on Saturday at 12:50PM local time and Sunday at 12:20PM local time. After departing Perth, the series will take a nearly month-long break before joining the Verizon IndyCar Series for consecutive weekends on Belle Isle in Detroit (June 1-3) and at Texas Motor Speedway (June 8-9).