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SST: Long Beach Race #2 Recap

The second SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks race from Long Beach took place on Sunday afternoon. Held shortly after the conclusion of the Verizon IndyCar Series race, the race wraps up the fifth year of SST racing in the city.

An inverted grid meant Troy Diede and Erik Davis, who failed to finish Saturday’s race, started on the front row. In contrast, Race #1 winner Matt Brabham started in last. Davis took the lead from Diede at the start and Bill Hynes followed until he spun at the end of the first lap. Arie Luyendyk Jr. also had problems of his own, clipping the tire barrier but continuing on.

A lap later, Robby Gordon, who started 9th, caught Davis and passed him for the lead in the final corner. Davey Hamilton took 2nd from Davis shortly after. Two laps later, Gavin Harlien passed Hamilton for 2nd place, and the first of two competition cautions came out during the lap.

On the ensuing restart, Gordon continued to lead Harlien. Myles Cheek’s truck went wide as it attempted to turn, causing its left rear end to hit the tire barrier and spin him. The contact forced Cheek to go to the pits to repair his truck. Paul Morris also suffered damage during the green flag run, losing his hood. The second competition caution was flown on lap seven; although SST drivers who pitted were often eliminated from race contention, Cheek was able to return to the race.

The green flag waved on lap eight and Brabham made a charge towards Gordon. In the final turn, Davis spun, but continued to race. On the final lap, Brabham provided pressure on Gordon, but his hopes of sweeping the weekend ended as he was unable to pass the two-time series champion. The win is Gordon’s second of the season and third at Long Beach (first since 2014). Although he did not win both races, Brabham clinched the overall victory with a runner-up finish. During his victory celebration, Brabham weaved his truck around a jump, spinning it and causing it to roll in the process. He exited the truck and waved to the crowd as he waited for track officials to arrive.

Harlien finished 3rd for the second consecutive race. Morris overcame his hood damage to finish 4th, followed by Hoffman, Luyendyk, Hamilton, Cheek, Davis and Hynes. Diede was the lone driver to finish outside of the top-10.

The next scheduled race for the series is in Perth, Australia. Held as a support event to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, the Perth SuperSprint race weekend will take place on May 5–7.

Featured image courtesy of @SSuperTrucks

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