LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2018) – Gavin Harlien of Mesa, Arizona managed to avoid the carnage in the first half of the race to work his way past competitor after competitor and hold off a late charge by Robby Gordon to earn his first SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks victory.
Pole sitter Arie Luyendyk Jr. who would encounter mechanical issues during qualifying would start from the first position, and immediately jump out to a sizable lead in front of third starting Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Pennsylvania driving the United Fiber and Data entry.
As Luyendyk would pull away, the man on the move was United Fiber & Data teammate Gavin Harlien who would move past truck after truck from his eleventh starting position to move into contention with the lead pack. Harlien whom has shown strong signs of competing for a win at Long Beach in the past was on top of his game today quickly moving into the second position by Lap-4.
Friday’s fast qualifier Robby Gordon of Orange, California driving the Toyo Tires/ KMC Wheels truck wasted no time finding his way to the front following the Toyo tire tracks of Harlien advancing though the field quickly from the fourteenth starting spot.
As Lap-6 approached Luyendyk would start to see the handling of his truck start to go away, and Harlien was right there to capitalize taking over the lead. Gordon would follow Harlien past Luyendyk into the second position.
However, the red flag would fly over the track at the start of Lap-8, as Tecate, B.C., Mexico driver Apdaly Lopez would catapult the SPEED Energy/ RPM Off-Road entry off the side of the Toyo Tires front stretch ramp barrel rolling down the front straight away. The young desert Trophy Truck champion would climb out of the truck un-injured with a wave to the crowd. The race however was deemed official, as the clean up crew would need extensive time to clean up the racetrack.
Harlien would go on to capture his first Stadium SUPER Trucks victory, while Gordon would be credited with the second position and Luyendyk would round out the top three.
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia driver Matt Brabham sporting new DeVilbiss/Headstrong/Bullet Liner livery this weekend would hang back in the pack waiting for things to sort out avoiding all of the carnage the first half of the race. After the competition caution Brabham would continue to pick off truck after truck through the field to ultimately finish in the fourth position after contesting Luyendyk Jr. multiple times for the third spot.
Davey Hamilton Jr. of Indianapolis, Indiana in his return to racing after a scary sprint car accident last November put him out of the drivers seat for nearly five months. Keeping pass running in the top three the first four laps the younger Hamilton showed signs of feeling right back at home in the seat of his VP Racing Fuels and Lubricants/ Always Evolving Truck. Not loosing any ground to the lead pack Hamilton would go on to score his best career Stadium SUPER Trucks finish with a fifth place effort.
Blade Hildebrand of Yucca Valley, California making his first start at the Grand Prix of Long Beach would keep his truck in one piece learning more and more each lap from his tenth starting position. The Empire Destructive driver would record a respectable finish earning the sixth spot.
Also making his first ever start at the Grand Prix of Long Beach Scottsdale, Arizona driver Cole Potts driving the HallmarkTrust.com truck would follow SST rookie Hidebrand to earn a seventh place finish.
Making his return to Stadium SUPER Truck competition after a year hiatus Erik Davis of Burbank, Calif. driving the Always Evolving/ Assault Industries No. 75 would bounce around the front of the field from his second starting position before falling back into the mix of things. Davis would be placed in the eighth position at the conclusion.
Lodi, California driver Troy Diede making his return to Stadium SUPER Trucks racing in the Diede Construction entry would run a smart cautious race holding his ground. Diede would be scored with ninth position.
2017 Stadium SUPER Trucks World Champion Paul Morris of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia would be stuck in the middle of chaos from his eight starting position. Beating and banging into each other trying to break free into open track Morris would spin around the LIVE/Think Loud Development entry on Lap-6, and be stuck against the tire barrier loosing multiple positions on track. When the checkered flag waved Morris was sitting in the tenth spot.
United Fiber and Data/ LIVE driver Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Penn., would run an amazing first three lap’s keeping pace with the leader Luyendyk Jr. at the front of the pack. However, in Stadium SUPER Truck racing nothing is ever certain lap after lap. Attempting to make a daring pass after the mandatory competition caution Hynes would not brake early enough, and need to use the escape road to slow down for the corner. One little mistake would take “The Thrill” out of a great finish with being credited with eleventh.
Phoenix, Arizona driver Jeff Hoffman driving the LIVE/ Think Loud Development truck struggle to gain positions after being collected in a Lap-2 scramble with Aaron Bambach where the two drivers would become stopped on track facing each other. That wasn’t the only trouble for Hoffman would encounter, as he would have nowhere to go after teammate Paul Morris would block the entire track on Lap-6. Hoffman would be scored with the twelfth position.
After his wild ride down the front straight away on Lap-7, Apdaly Lopez would go on to be credited with the thirteenth position after his beaten and broken the race would need to get towed back to the SST paddock with extensive left front suspension damage.
Rochester Hills, Michigan driver Aaron Bambach making his first SST start of 2018 would lose the handle on his Strategic Staffing Solutions truck on Lap-2 after making heavy contact with Jeff Hoffman. Bambach would pull his truck into the pit lane to see if SST technicians could diagnose a problem. Bambach would be credited with the fourteenth position.
The second and final round of the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks at the 2018 Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place Sunday at 4:05 PM PT just after the completion of the IndyCar Series event.
Fans can tune into the race by visiting http://www.stadiumsupertrucks.com or by viewing the Stadium SUPER Trucks Facebook Live at http://www.facebook.com/StadiumSuperTrucks
SST Grand Prix of Long Beach
Round 4 Results
Long Beach, Calif.
April 14, 2018
1. Gavin Harlien; Mesa, Arizona; United Fiber & Data/ LIVE/ Think Loud Development
2. Robby Gordon; Orange, Calif.; Toyo Tires/ KMC Wheels
3. Arie Luyendyk Jr.; Scottsdale, Arizona; United Fiber & Data/ LIVE/ Think Development
4. Matt Brabham; Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; DeVILBISS/ Hawk Performance/ HeadStrong/ KMC Wheels
5. Davey Hamilton Jr.; Indianapolis, Indiana; VP Racing Fuels and Lubricants/ Always Evolving/ Dahl Tug and Barge/KMC Wheels
6. Blade Hildebrand; Yucca Valley, California; Empire Destructive/ HeatWave/ MPI/ King Shocks
7. Cole Potts; Scottsdale, Arizona; HallmarkTrust.com/ ICP/ Security State Bank
8. Erik Davis; Burbank, California; Always Evolving/ AerNow/ ReplayXD
9. Troy Diede; Lodi, California; Diede Construction
10. Paul Morris; Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; LIVE/ United Fiber & Data/ Think Loud Development
11. Bill Hynes; Nazareth, Penn.; LIVE/ United Fiber & Data/ Think Loud Development
12. Jeff Hoffman; Phoenix, Arizona; LIVE/ United Fiber & Data/ Think Loud Development
13. Apdaly Lopez; Tecate, B.C., Mexico; SPEED Energy/ RPM Off-Road
14. Aaron Bambach; Rochester Hills, Michigan; S3 Strategic Staffing Solutions
2018 SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks World Championship Winners
Round No. Race Location Race Date Winner
1 Lake Elsinore, California January 27, 2018 Bill Hynes
Overall: Jeff Hoffman
2 Adelaide, SA, Australia March 2, 2018 Cole Potts
3 Adelaide, SA, Australia March 3, 2018 Robby Gordon
4 Adealide, SA, Australia March 4, 2018 Matt Brabham
Overall: Matt Brabham
5 Long Beach, California April 14, 2018 Gavin Harlien
6 Long Beach, California April 15, 2018
2018 Stadium SUPER Trucks World Championship Schedule
Round 1: January 27, 2018; Lake Elsinore, California
Round 2: March 2, 2018; Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Round 3: March 3, 2018; Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Round 4: March 4, 2018; Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Round 5: April 14, 2018; Long Beach, California
Round 6: April 15, 2018; Long Beach, California
Round 7: May 4, 2018; Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Round 8: May 5, 2018; Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Round 9: May 6, 2018; Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Round 10: June 2, 2018; Detroit, Michigan
Round 11: June 3, 2018; Detroit, Michigan
Round 12: June 9, 2018; Fort Worth, Texas
Round 13: June 9, 2018; Fort Worth, Texas
Round 14: August 24, 2018; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Round 15: August 25, 2018; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Round 16: October 19, 2018; Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Round 17: October 20, 2018; Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Round 18: October 21, 2018; Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Round 19 November 23, 2018; New Castle, New South Whales, Australia
Round 20: November 24, 2018; New Castle, New South Whales, Australia
Round 21: November 25, 2018; New Castle, New South Whales, Australia
Round 22: November 30, 2018; California
Round 23: December 1, 2018; California
About SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks
Influenced by the former Mickey Thompson Stadium Off-Road Racing Series, where drivers such as Gordon, Casey Mears and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson got their start, Gordon created SST in response to the public’s overwhelming interest in trucks and off-road racing. His plan to re-launch the former stadium series has led to exciting racing on both asphalt and dirt, while producing one of the most extreme forms of action sports today.
Other than the trucks launching 20 feet in the air covering distances more than 150 feet, what sets the SST program apart from other series is the fact that all the SST trucks are identically prepared and delivered to drivers in race-ready condition. Race winners are decided by driver skill rather than individual team engineering and budgets. Drivers and their personal mechanics are assigned specific SST mechanics who together tune and make minor adjustments to the 600-horsepower trucks.
Media Contact: Chris Hecht
SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks