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SST: Detroit Race #2 Recap

sst detroit 2017 race 2

The second SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks race from the Detroit Grand Prix took place on Sunday afternoon. Sheldon Creed, just removed from testing a Trans-Am car, hoped to sweep the weekend.

Compared to the eleven-truck grid on Saturday, Sunday’s race only had ten trucks as the #7 SPEED Energy truck of Robby Gordon (driven by Davey Hamilton Jr. to a 7th-place finish on Saturday) was not entered. Átila Abreu started Race #2 on the pole alongside Arie Luyendyk Jr., while Creed started in 8th. A strong start by Luyendyk allowed him to take the lead early on, followed by Luyendyk and Paul Morris. In the back, Creed began his charge up the front, reaching 3rd in just two laps.

On lap four, Abreu and Creed passed Luyendyk for the lead. As the Brazilian and Californian battled for 1st, Luyendyk knocked over a set of cones in a turn, causing him to drop back. Creed eventually took the lead from Abreu on the lap.

A lap later, Bill Hynes went around after hitting a chicane barrel. At the front, the battle for 2nd heated up as Luyendyk applied pressure on Abreu for the position, while Gavin Harlien, who started in last, closed in on the two. The competition caution came out during the lap to group the field together.

The restart came with seven laps to go and Creed continued to lead with Luyendyk in 2nd. Matt Brabham, who started 9th, moved his way up the grid and took 3rd from Abreu. After a lap of racing, the second competition caution waved to fix a chicane. During the period, confusion arose as Luyendyk argued with Creed that he was the leader; Race Control told Creed that he was penalized for hitting a cone and ordered him to surrender his lead. However, Creed did not oblige, prompting speculation that his radio was broken. The trucks stopped on the track as officials tried to decipher the situation, though Creed began to drive off. Erik Davis followed to attempt to signal that Creed had been penalized. As the trucks started rolling again, Creed obeyed the order and dropped to 2nd behind Luyendyk for the restart.

The green flag waved with five laps remaining in the race. Luyendyk led the early portion of the lap before Creed passed him. As the lap progressed, Jeff Hoffman was involved in an accident when he hit the wall in turn four; Hoffman had lost his hood earlier in the race. Luyendyk fell to 3rd when Brabham passed him for 2nd, with the Dutchman continuing to lose ground on the leader when he entered a curb too deep and allowed Harlien to catch up.

With three laps left, the final caution came out to set up a two-lap segment. Creed, Brabham and Harlien comprised the top-3 for the last restart. Brabham tried to take the lead away from his former Traxxas teammate, but Creed was able to pull away and take the victory, his 31st in the series. Brabham and Harlien remained in their positions to record podium finishes.

During the two-lap sprint, behind the three, Paul Morris began to fight for 4th after restarting in 6th. As he battled with Abreu for 5th, Morris applied a feint on the Brazilian, causing him to spin off course. Morris’ teammate Luyendyk kept the Australian at bay during their duel for 4th, which ended when Morris collided with Luyendyk as they approached a tire barrier, spinning Luyendyk and securing 4th for Morris. The two UFD Racing teammates had clashed in past races, with Morris proclaiming the “gloves are off.”

Davis finished 5th, followed by Luyendyk, Bill Hynes, Abreu, Hoffman and Aaron Bambach.

The next race on the SST schedule is Texas Motor Speedway, also as a support event for the Verizon IndyCar Series, on June 9–10.

Featured image courtesy of @SSuperTrucks

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