One thing that Robby Gordon hoped to do when he debuted the Stadium Super Trucks a year ago was to give drivers with many different backgrounds a chance to experience a new type of racing. Drivers that have come into the series have seen racing in open-wheel, NASCAR, off road, and even motocross. But this series gave them a chance to race on an equal playing field, where it's all about the drivers rather than the equipment.
The Speed Energy Formula Off-Road competition had little time to relax as after a race just one week ago in Indianapolis, the trucks were repaired, and were rolled up to the Motor City in Detroit, to go along with more racing series on the weekend.
A three-race weekend would mean that attrition and confidence would make for a strong showing. A nine-driver field would include some returning faces, plus some new blood making their debut.
Friday's race saw newcomer Henrique Cisneros take the pole due to the invert from practice speeds, but he quickly was able to work his way out ahead of the pack and show that he could handle the flexing of the trucks. At the same time, EJ Viso made his return to the series after a strong showing in Long Beach earlier this year, making his way up through the field as well. Cisneros had a strong lead on the field, but on the front stretch with a few laps to go, things went awry.
Off the first of two jumps the truck got sideways, and with little time to correct, he would slide over the second jump a bit crossways, nailing the inside wall, ultimately ending his afternoon in competition.
Viso would take advantage, and cruised to victory in the MOMO sponsored truck.
Saturday's lineup would see Cisneros return to the show after his truck got repaired, and would start out front once again as the front few rows got inverted. At the drop of the green, it was clear that the guy on the move once again was Viso, as he would start sixth and quickly work his way around experienced SST drivers Robby Gordon and Keegan Kincaid.
He would take the lead at the halfway point and then would hold on once again to take the victory over Scotty Steele. Newcomer Aaron Bambach would finish third, his first podium finish in just his second race in one of these trucks.
Sunday's action once again focused on Viso, who this time would start shotgun on the field. He had the chance to become the first driver in SST to complete a sweep of a three-race weekend. No driver had even swept a two-race weekend much less three, so all the focus was on Viso when the green waved on Sunday. Apdaly Lopez had the pole and quickly took the top spot entering the first corner, and began pulling away. The battle was on for second place as Kincaid and Burt Jenner all were going after it. Viso held back and stayed in the rear for the most part, but would make his way up to fifth by the mid-race caution.
After the final green flag waved, it was getting intense, and intense in a hurry.
Lopez made a slight mistake in one of the sweeping corners, causing the truck to get on two wheels and that gave Jenner the lead, but Kincaid as well was after it. Viso, meanwhile worked his way to the top-five, then broke through into the podium. By the time the white flag was in the air, he was runner-up. The pressure was on as he, Jenner and Kincaid all were doing battle for the lead. Down the short straightaway, Viso looked low, and drove deep into the corner, lighting his tires and rubbing against Jenner. Ironically, the contact kept Viso from spinning out and allowed him to take the lead.
Jenner would keep pushing, but in the end he would lose spots and it would be Arie Luyendyk taking the runner up position. At the back, things got really exciting as Steele would get into the outside tires entering the next-to-last corner, but Kincaid had a bigger issue.
He slid wide and the left side of his truck collided the tire wall, flipping the truck onto its side, and ending his weekend.
Meanwhile, out front, despite a late charge, Viso held on and would complete the complete weekend sweep at the Detroit Grand Prix. He now becomes the first driver to complete such a feat, and showed that he took to these trucks very quickly, and could be a factor every time he decides to run in this series.
There is little rest for this series as they are back in action next weekend at possibly their biggest event yet. It is a one-race weekend for the sport, but it's at the biggest event they could ask for during the summer months, and will have the biggest line-up of trucks and drivers.
The next race for the Speed Energy Formula Off-Road tour will be Sunday, June 8, in Austin, Texas, as part of the X-Games. Live coverage on ABC will cover the entire race, the first time any SST race will have live television coverage of any race. Visit StadiumSuperTrucks.com for all the information on what will happen in just one week at their biggest event to date.