A year ago, to kick off the Stadium Super Trucks season, it was a first for the series. It would head below the equator and head to Australia to give fans the first international series of events for the sport. What ended up happening is each day more people would hit the stands to experience the thrill these trucks provide.
When the weekend ended, a record crowd of over 90,000 people would witness one of the wildest finishes all season for the sport.
What better way to kick off the 2016 season than returning back to Adelaide, Australia, at the Clipsal 500 for three races in front of the largest crowds they ever had in the sport. Returning back was the defending series champion, young Sheldon Creed, now sporting the No. 1 plate on the side of his Traxxas red machine. He would be the first man to take away the championship from the series creator, Robby Gordon, who this year has changed colors to showcase the Arctic Cat sponsorship.
Other drivers familiar with the series such as Keegan Kincaid, Burt Jenner, and Matt Mingay all decided to return for the season opening event.
With the weather being perfect for the entire weekend, the sport’s greatest were ready to hit the asphalt, and the ramps. The first race would bring about a thrill for everyone involved, and make the crowd stand up proud in what they witnessed.
The battle would start at the back of the pack as Creed would start shotgun on the field, as would Australia’s Paul Morris. But, as the laps would click away, the two would make their way to the front of the field, and would go wheel-to-wheel. Creed’s truck started seeing fiberglass break apart as he and Morris banged one another for lap after lap, neither yielding an inch.
Coming to the final lap, Morris held just over a truck-length lead, but Creed was putting the pressure on him at each corner.
He would bang into the rear bumper, then the side of the fenders, but still could not make it past Morris. A few corners till the finish, Creed found the line and made the pass, seemingly for the win. But, entering the final corner, the ramp jump brought Morris closer, and on landing he found the bump-and-run would get him the inside line entering the front stretch.
Creed would not give up the lead that easy, as Morris went wide. The two would go side-by side, with Creed hitting both ramps, while Morris missed the second ramp hoping to keep momentum on the ground. But, Creed held on and took the opening weekend victory and opening season trophy in dramatic fashion.
Race 1 Results
- Sheldon Creed
- Paul Morris
- Keegan Kincaid
Getting the field of trucks ready for the next round of action was on the schedule for the entire SST crew, as they had to fix up some fiberglass, repair some suspension components, and make sure the entire field was safely ready to compete once again.
The Adelaide crowd was ready to get loud for the trucks once again, and for a second consecutive day the weather was spectacular for the competition.
A thrilling finish from the first race yielded just as an exciting start for the second race, however the excitement came at a price.
The field would be inverted from the finish the day before to set the starting line-up, meaning Toby Price and Mingay would start at the front of the field. Price would get the jump on the line, with Mingay falling into second. Jenner would make it into second behind Mingay, but before the first lap would be complete, he would have an eye opening view of what happened in front of him.
Price would smoke the tires entering the ramp before the final corner, which got Mingay out of shape, and he had no chance to fully correct. The Hot Wheels SST would hit the ramp and suddenly go sideways, landing on the right side tires and suddenly go into a violent end-over-end roll, tearing off the right-rear tire and coming to a rest on the driver’s side. Jenner somehow avoided getting into the tumbling carnage, even though he ran over the tire and rim that did break away, and went on.
Mingay, meanwhile, would climb out of the truck and would get the crowd pumped up because he was perfectly fine, and also knew the fans at that particular corner got some of the best photos of the entire weekend.
The yellow flag would be put out for track clean-up, but when the field went back to green, it was all about the battle out front.
Jenner was able to avoid the carnage and move his way past Price for the lead after the halfway caution to bunch up the field, and make sure the field knew that he was meaning business. For 2016, Jenner’s truck looks a lot like the one Gordon has piloted for the last three seasons. The Speed Energy colors were there, as were the orange beadlock tires. The drive to the front was exactly what one would expect from Gordon, but instead it was the No. 50 plate on the cab.
Jenner would keep the pace and cruise to his first win of the 2016 season, with Price placing in second and Gordon capturing his first podium of the year in third.
Race 2 Results
- Burt Jenner
- Toby Price
- Robby Gordon
The crews for the SST series had work to do on many of the trucks to fix body panels, but a majority of them had to kick in extra help in order to get his truck repaired for the final race. Among things needing fixed were body panels, wheel hub, axle and also some suspension components just to make it back out for the final event.
Luckily for him, the crew got the job done. These trucks were built to withstand a lot of punishment and have come back fro worse accidents to compete again.
The final race of the weekend once again saw spectacular weather, and the entire event went off spectacular as the large crowds once again got to witness machines that aren’t exactly made for a street course, but when needed could handle like a sports car.
The last race did not see any incidents, but instead intensity.
Each fan in the stands got every bit of their money’s worth as just like last season, the two top drivers in the series would duke it out for the win. It was Gordon vs. Creed, and once again it seemed like the kid has taken over as the top dog. Creed would again hold off Gordon for his second win of the weekend. It was quite a bit of a difference from a year ago, where he and Gordon would battle for second, and it ended with Creed taking a massive leap over the final ramp, only to slide sideways and onto his side across the finish line, but coming back on his wheels to thrill the fans.
Race 3 Results
- Sheldon Creed
- Robby Gordon
- Matt Brabham
Now the entire SST team packs up to head back to the U.S. because it is a quick turnaround for the trucks, drivers, and crews. Another multi-race weekend is on the horizon as the trucks will head to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the third consecutive year to compete on their street course. The trucks will be there from March 11-13 for their action, and are hoping to see some great weather as they had in Australia.
Visit StadiumSuperTrucks.com to get tickets to see these off-road vehicles hit the asphalt.