The final SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks race of the Clipsal 500 weekend was held on Sunday. In a weekend filled with drama on the track, tensions ran high among the grid as it took the green flag.
For the third straight day, Bill Hynes started in the first two positions, this time on pole. Races #1 and #2 winners Craig Dontas and Sheldon Creed started 5th and 12th, respectively. Hynes surrendered the lead to Jeff Hoffman during the first lap before the race was interrupted by a crash; Dontas entered a turn too deep, causing his truck to flip onto its side before rolling. Erik Davis was clipped by the sideways truck and spun, but was able to recover. Dontas was unharmed in the wreck and his truck was rolled back onto its wheels by track workers.
The race was red-flagged (the second instance of the weekend) as a result of the crash. Due to time constraints, race control elected to shorten the eight-lap event to five laps and forgo the competition caution.
After a five-minute red flag, Hoffman led the field to the green on the restart. Paul Morris drove his way up the grid to 2nd and caught up to Hoffman by the hairpin. The two went side-by-side, making contact as they jumped off the ramps, and Morris took the lead as they crossed the start/finish line. The shortened race increased the drivers’ aggression, evident when Robby Gordon attempted to force three-wide on lap four, though was unable to make the pass.
With Morris leading, Royal Purple teammates Hoffman and Gavin Harlien dueled for 2nd as the laps counted down. When the field entered turn four, the pack went five-wide before Sheldon Creed spun. Further chaos ensued when Harlien collided with the wall, spinning in front of the field and collecting Toby Price, Travis Milburn and Davis.
Matt Brabham, who started 8th, saw himself in 2nd after the wrecks. However, he was unable to catch up to Morris as the 2014 Bathurst 1000 winner drove away to claim the victory. Brabham finished 2nd and Hoffman joined the two on the podium.
Gordon and Creed finished 4th and 5th, respectively, followed by Greg Gartner, Harlien, Davis, Milburn, Price and Hynes. After his flip, Dontas was forced to retire from the race, his second consecutive DNF after winning Friday’s race.
The win is Morris’ first in the Stadium Super Trucks. In 26 prior starts, Morris’ best finish had been 2nd, which he attained four times. Morris also became the second first-time series winner during the Adelaide weekend, joining Dontas.
With the Clipsal 500 weekend in the books, the Stadium Super Trucks will return to the United States for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10–12.
Featured image courtesy of @SSuperTrucks