The only back-to-back weekends of the 2018 Stadium Super Trucks season see the series taken on two courses that couldn’t possibly be more different. This past weekend, they were on the streets of Belle Isle as a part of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix; this upcoming weekend, they’ll take on a course cut out of a high-speed oval as part of the No Limits Offroad Rumble at Texas Motor Speedway.
TMS president Eddie Gossage brought Robby Gordon’s racing series back to the Lone Star State last year as a way to not only expand his June race weekend, but also fill Texas’ gap in closed-course off-road motorsports. While Red Bull Global Rallycross had competed at TMS in 2012 and both series competed at X Games Austin in 2014-15, GRC’s Dallas round from 2016 was a one-off stop, and its departure would’ve left the state without any events of the type.
The inaugural event, SST’s only doubleheader of the 2017 season to see both races take place on the same night, was split by a pair of series veterans. Longtime Gordon compatriot PJ Jones won the first race, while two-time series champion and Gordon protege Sheldon Creed won the second. The same format will return this year, with the trucks racing first at 5:15PM CT and again 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Verizon IndyCar Series DXC Technology 600.
While there have been no indications as of Tuesday that Jones or Creed will be competing on Saturday, the true star of the show—the massive dirt gap jump located in the TMS infield—will certainly be returning. With its construction having started before the trucks even turned a wheel in Detroit, expect it to be one of the most thrilling elements of the SST season, no easy feat in such an action-packed series.
Also returning will be Gordon himself, who skipped the Detroit doubleheader to compete in the Baja 500 in the Trophy Truck class. While a top-10 result in one of off-road’s most grueling events is certainly respectable, it’s not the kind of result that Gordon settles for. Expect him to be back with a vengeance in Texas, as he looks to improve on last year’s second and fourth place finishes here.
All told, seven of last year’s 10 drivers who competed at TMS are due to return, with rookies Cole Potts and Blade Hildebrand the lone exceptions. Gavin Harlien was the lone dual podium finisher from last season, posting finishes of third and second in the two rounds, while current SST points leader Matt Brabham placed third in the second race. Coming off finishes of first and third in Detroit, Harlien will look to repeat that form as he attempts to reel in Brabham’s sizable points advantage.
Elsewhere, Arie Luyendyk Jr. will look to ride the momentum of his first career SST victory in Detroit last weekend in hopes of improving on last year’s seventh and eighth place results. Defending series champion Paul “The Dude” Morris will once again look to get back on track after a wild wreck in the second Belle Isle race, while fellow veterans Jeff Hoffman and Bill Hynes will also chase their first podium finishes at TMS.
Fans of Stadium Super Trucks will need to pay extra careful attention this weekend, as the No Limits Offroad Rumble is currently the series’ last scheduled event until the end of the summer. While previous seasons have seen the last-minute addition of events, SST’s stint supporting the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Road America on August 24-25 is currently slated to be its next round.