Over a week since its running, Bill Hynes has been declared the winner of the SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks’ opening round at Lake Elsinore Diamond as a result of confusion deriving from the drivers’ usage of the Joker lap. The announcement comes Wednesday following a review by series officials and members of the United States Auto Club (USAC), the SST’s sanctioning body.
In the Feature race, drivers were required to take a Joker Lap to separate the field, but were prohibited from doing so on the final lap. With two laps to go, Blade Hildebrand rolled his truck to bring out the caution and set up a final restart, on which Hynes elected to run the Joker along with Matt Brabham while the leaders did not. Hynes was initially bumped to ninth and Apdaly Lopez was the winner following a wild finish with Jeff Hoffman and Robby Gordon, but after video review, series officials concluded Hynes had taken the Joker before the white flag was waved, which placed him at the front of the field and was therefore the first-place finisher. However, Lopez retained his win, meaning he and Hynes were co-winners, while runner-up Jeff Hoffman also kept his spot, sharing it with Brabham, who originally placed seventh.
Prior to racing, the drivers were briefed on the rules for the event. During the race, USAC informed drivers through one-way radio of the white flag rule, but in the event that a driver’s radio was unavailable, the rule would default to what they were told in the pre-race meeting. Afterwards, series officials interviewed various drivers on the rule, to which they realized there was a misunderstanding.
“After the completion of the event confusion arose to whether it is possible for a driver to use a joker lap on a restart with less than two laps remaining,” Gordon stated in a press release. “USAC officials announced via one-way radio transmission to drivers that no joker laps were allowed to taken thru the completion of the race. However, if a driver did not have radio communication the understanding of the rules would be reverted back to what was told at the drivers briefing. In a private questioner given to all drivers participating in the event the response ultimately showed there was confusion during the drivers briefing on the use of a joker lap on a green flag lap and white flag lap.”
“Bill Hynes, driver of the United Fiber & Data truck, took the joker lap on the green flag lap, and not the white flag lap as originally thought. With that said USAC and SST have overruled the finish of the main event on January 27th, and Bill Hynes has be rewarded with the main event win from the opening round of the 2018 SST Championship at Lake Elsinore.”
“I am beyond pumped to capture my first Stadium Super Trucks victory,” Hynes commented in the release. “After USAC and SST reviewed all of the video footage, timing and scoring, there was no doubting the winner of this race!”
“I have participated in the series since 2014, and I have worked extremely hard to be able to race door to door with professionals such as Matt Brabham, Sheldon Creed, Paul ‘The Dude’ Morris, and the legend himself, Robby Gordon. Robby and ‘The Dude’ have spent time working with me over the years, and they have opened up their tracks to me to test the trucks and provide the one-on-one coaching time that I needed. I can’t thank them enough for giving me the tools to compete in this series.”
The win is Hynes’ first in 72 career SST starts. Prior to this victory, his best finish had been third at Valvoline Raceway in Sydney, Australia in 2015. Although he and Lopez officially split the Lake Elsinore win, Hynes is the points leader entering the Adelaide Street Circuit weekend in early March, holding a three-point gap over Lopez with 42. Brabham sits in third with 36 points, and Hoffman is in fourth with 34.
Revised race results
|9||8||25||Arie Luyendyk Jr.||13||Mechanical|
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