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SST: Charlotte Dirt Track Race #2 Recap

Continuing its weekend as a support event with TORC, the Saturday night Stadium Super Truck race at the Charlotte Dirt Track saw a weekend sweep by the series defending champion and points leader. Sheldon Creed dominated the second and final segments of the race en route to his ninth win of the season.

The 14-lap event was split into three segments: the first two were seven laps long while the final was a two-lap sprint to the finish. Race organizers also added a Joker Lap that must be taken at least once in the first two segments.

Creed started in last, but began to move through the field quickly. Pole-sitter Arie Luyendyk Jr., who finished last yesterday after losing a tire, lost the lead on the first lap after he elected to skip the Joker. TORC regular Jessie Johnson ran the Joker and inherited the lead as a result. Johnson led the remainder of lap one and all of lap two before Paul Morris took the lead, leading for two more laps. Meanwhile, Luyendyk fell to eighth, but managed to regain ground on the rest of the field; while Creed led lap five, Luyendyk was able to take the lead by the time of the competition caution. Luyendyk and Creed did not take the Joker on the restart, with Johnson reclaiming the lead. On the following lap, Creed elected to do so, allowing him to contend with Johnson for first. Luyendyk ran the Joker with three laps left in the segment, reshuffling his position to second behind Creed for the final restart. Creed led the two last laps to claim the victory. Luyendyk finished second and Johnson took the last spot on the podium. Creed attributed the Joker Lap to playing a crucial factor in the race. “A lot played into that. You could go early and risk a yellow coming or go late,” he stated in victory lane.

Matt Brabham, yesterday’s runner-up, finished fourth. Morris and Sara Price finished fifth and sixth, respectively, while Robbie Pierce, Brian Ickler and Bill Hynes followed. Robby Gordon spun at the start/finish line with one lap to go and finished last. When Creed celebrated his victory by balancing his truck on its right-side tires, he drove in front of Gordon’s truck, prompting the two-time series champion to bump into Creed and roll him onto his side.

Johnson, the brother of six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and running his first SST race since its inaugural season in 2013, replaced Kenny Wallace in the No. 36 SafeCraft Safety Equipment truck for the race. Wallace, who had TV obligations for the NASCAR Cup Series, had initially been scheduled to be replaced by Chris Hecht until Johnson was offered the ride. Two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton, who competed in two TORC races in 2012 and 2015, was also originally announced by the series’ Twitter and Facebook pages to be running in the SST race before they were deleted.

The series’ next stop is on September 13–14, where they will be competing in the Sand Sports Super Show in Costa Mesa, California.

Featured image courtesy of @PLANETROBBY

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