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Speed Energy Formula Off-Road

The Speed Energy Formula Off-Road presented by Traxxas (popularly known as the Stadium Super Trucks) is an American off-road racing series. The series was formed by former IndyCar and NASCAR driver Robby Gordon in 2013. Sanctioned by the United States Auto Club (USAC),[1] the Trucks originally competed primarily in American football stadiums, but in 2014 began racing mostly on street circuits.

Speed Energy Formula Off-Road
Formula Off-Road logo.png
CategoryOff-road racing
CountryUnited States
Australia
China
RegionNorth America
Australia
Asia
Inaugural season2013
ClassesStadium Super Truck
Tire suppliersToyo Tires
Drivers' championPaul Morris
Official websitehttp://www.stadiumsupertrucks.com
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
2012 exhibition at Crandon

By 2011, there was speculation that after his NASCAR career was over, Robby Gordon would bring back the concept of stadium off-road racing that Mickey Thompson had invented.[2] Gordon announced the formation of the Stadium Super Trucks (SST) in 2012, modeling the series after Thompson's MTEG stadium series;[3] early in his career, Gordon had won the 1989 MTEG championship as a 20-year-old.[2] The Stadium Super Trucks held an exhibition race at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway after the conclusion of the World Championship races on September 2, 2012.[4]

The Stadium Super Trucks began with a twelve-race season in 2013.[5] The series held their first official race at the University of Phoenix Stadium on April 6, 2013.[6][7] The race was won by Rob MacCachren,[6] Justin Matney finished second, and Gordon passed the flipped-over truck of P. J. Jones on the final lap for third.[8] Gordon and MacCachren battled throughout the 2013 season, and Gordon won the championship by seven points.[9] As support events, the series scheduled monster trucks, quad bikes and Side by Side UTVs.[10]

 
Race at Crandon in 2013

On December 11, 2013, Gordon announced that the series will be among the events held at the X Games Austin in 2014.[11] On March 4, 2014, the series was rebranded as the "Speed Energy Formula Off-Road Presented By Traxxas".[12] The series' X Games final was held at Circuit of the Americas on June 8.[13] Apdaly Lopez won the gold medal; Sheldon Creed and Gordon earned silver and bronze, respectively.[14]

On September 23, 2014, sponsorship marketing company Elevation Group purchased a 40 percent stake in the series.[15] In 2015, the series entered a partnership with all-terrain vehicle manufacturer Arctic Cat, which led to the creation of the Arctic Cat Stadium Side-by-Side (SXS) Racing Series as a support series to the SST.[16]

In late 2014 and into 2015, the series expanded outside the United States and Canada, starting with the 2014 Race of Champions in Barbados.[17] With the support of driver Craig Dontas and former Adelaide 500 general manager Nathan Cayzer, Formula Off-Road expanded into Australia for the 2015 season.[18] In May, the trucks were invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.[19]

Formula Off-Road returned to stadiums in December 2017 with the inaugural Stadium Super Trucks World Championship Finals in California's Lake Elsinore Diamond baseball park.[20] Although he did not compete for the weekend, Paul Morris clinched the 2017 championship with Jerret Brooks driving his No. 67 truck.[21]

In May 2018, Gordon formed a three-year partnership with Boost Mobile to keep the series in Australia beyond the 2019. As part of the agreement, the series' Australian operations were handled by Cayzer and Morris' Paul Morris Motorsport.[18] However, in September, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) revoked their licence over safety concerns, a decision particularly spurned by an incident in the May race at Barbagallo Raceway in which Matt Nolan's truck's wheel came off during a wreck and hit a spectator bridge.[22][23]

A court hearing overseen by the Supreme Court of Victoria took place a month later. The series' defense, led by Queen's Counsel barrister Stewart Anderson, said new wheels would be built with forged billet aluminium that makes them heavier and less likely to detach than the current cast alloy. Retired Supercar driver Larry Perkins also gave his support after inspecting them earlier in the year, comparing the trucks' safety to the Supercars. Anderson further stated CAMS and SST had formed an agreement in February in which the former expressed satisfaction at the series, yet CAMS made the decision to suspend the series in May and did not inform SST officials until July, which Gordon stated was a breach of contract.[23] On October 11, judge John Digby ruled in favor of CAMS.[24]

Six days after the ruling, the series aligned with the Australian Auto Sport Alliance's Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS) to remain in the country. The AASA, which is not affiliated with CAMS, and the NSW Sport and Recreation approved Formula Off-Road for competition in AMRS events following a risk assessment.[25] The trucks' first race weekend under the AMRS banner took place nine days later at the Sydney Motorsport Park.[26]

To close out the 2018 season, the series organized the Robby Gordon Off-Road World Championships at Glen Helen Raceway from November 30 to December 2.[27]

DriversEdit

The series typically featured racers who have competed in off-road events; in the inaugural race, off-road racers included Robby Gordon, Championship Off-Road Racing driver Rob MacCachren, TORC driver Sheldon Creed and motocross rider Jeff Ward. The 2013 season also featured drivers from other disciplines, like Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Paul Tracy (IndyCar), Nick Baumgartner (Olympic snowboarding) and Traxxas owner Mike Jenkins.[6] Other drivers who have competed in the series include Moto X biker Jeremy Stenberg[28] and four-time AMA Supercross Championship winner Ryan Villopoto.[29]

Like Gordon, other NASCAR drivers have competed in the series. At X Games Austin 2015, among the NASCAR competitors were 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace,[30] road course ringer Boris Said[31] and former Nationwide Series driver and eleven-time X Games medalist Travis Pastrana.[32] P. J. Jones also made starts for Gordon's Robby Gordon Motorsports team in NASCAR,[33][34] while Justin Lofton raced in NASCAR with Speed Energy sponsorship.[35] In December 2017, Xfinity Series driver Casey Mears, the son of off-road and stadium truck racer Roger Mears, made his Formula Off-Road debut at Lake Elsinore.[36]

In 2016, Sara Price became the first female driver in series history when she made her debut at Toronto.[37]

TracksEdit

During its inaugural season, the series raced predominantly in stadiums filled with dirt like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, while also running on street circuits as a supporting event for the IndyCar Series. Eventually, the series focused almost exclusively on street courses. "Before you know it, we're doing 10 street races instead of stadiums and dirt races, which brings it to a completely different fan audience," Gordon stated.[38] On the street courses, aluminum ramps are placed on the track;[10] the ramps are 17 feet, 6 inches long and 2'8" high, and trucks enter them at speeds of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h).[39]

The series eventually began an expansion into Australia, which began in 2015 with races at the Adelaide Street Circuit in Australia as a support event for the V8 Supercars' Adelaide 500.[40] Further Australian events were held at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit as a support race for the Gold Coast 600,[41] at the Valvoline Raceway for the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship[42] and at the Homebush Street Circuit for the Sydney 500.[43]

In 2017, Formula Off-Road ran at Barbagallo Raceway as an undercard for the Perth SuperSprint, marking the first time the series raced on a permanent circuit.[44] In June, the series made its debut on an oval track at the Texas Motor Speedway, running as a support event for IndyCar's Rainguard Water Sealers 600.[45] Later in the month, the series raced at the Hidden Valley Raceway in Australia's Darwin as part of the Supercars' Darwin Triple Crown weekend.[46] On July 29, the series partnered with Monster Jam to race at Beijing National Stadium in China, the first Chinese-based event for Formula Off-Road.[47][48] Two months later, the series raced at Watkins Glen International as a support event for IndyCar's Grand Prix at The Glen; instead of the 3.37-mile (5.42 km) layout used by IndyCar, the trucks raced on the 2.45-mile (3.94 km) course.[49] The Glen was removed for the 2018 IndyCar Series season, and Formula Off-Road instead announced plans to join the series at Road America; for the event, the trucks raced on a shortened course that bypasses turns 6 to 12.[50] For the final laps of the Road America race, however, the drivers raced through the entire course.

TrucksEdit

 
The Stadium Super Truck of Robby Gordon at the 2015 Clipsal 500 Adelaide

Powered by a 600-hp Chevrolet LS V8 engine,[51] the trucks weigh 2,900 pounds (1,300 kg) and are built with a steel-tube frame and fiberglass body. The trucks are 13'5" long and 5'2" high, feature a three-speed transmission and can reach speeds as high as 140 mph (230 km/h).[39] A portion of the frame protects the driver from rolls. The truck's high center of mass and soft suspension makes the vehicle prone to rolling. Next to the driver is a 5-US-gallon (19 l) jug that catches fluids which may have spilled from damage that the truck sustains.[52] Each truck has Department of Transportation-approved Toyo Tires.[53]

In 2012, Gordon ended his NASCAR career, believing the top teams had a large advantage over the smaller teams due to the amount of money spent. As a result, Gordon wanted the Stadium Super Trucks to be a "drivers' series"; with this philosophy, all trucks are identical to each other,[54] though drivers are allowed to change some aspects of their trucks, such as the spring rates, ride heights and camber.[55]

Media coverageEdit

The 2013 SST events were televised tape-delayed on NBC and NBC Sports Network;[56] seven were televised on NBC and five on NBC Sports Network.[5] Most of the twelve races in 2013 were televised on Sunday afternoons.[57] In 2014, NBCSN returned to broadcast the season's races, but was later replaced by CBS Sports Network in September.[58][59] The X Games events were aired nationally on ABC.[32][60]

As of the 2017 season, races are streamed live on the series' website and Facebook page. When the series raced in Australia, viewers in the country and New Zealand were prohibited from watching online and instead watched on Fox Sports.[61]

Points systemEdit

Source: [62]

Points Position
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
Heat 12 10 8 7 5 4 3 2 1
Final 25 22 20 18 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6
Bonuses
Most laps led 3
Inversion 1
Qualifying 1

ChampionsEdit

By seasonEdit

Season Driver No.(s) Races FQ W Top
3s
Pts. Margin
2013 Robby Gordon 7 14 of 14 3 3 12 407 7
2014 Robby Gordon 7 16 of 16 5 6 14 492 75
2015 Sheldon Creed 74 22 of 22 6 9 13 617 33
2016 Sheldon Creed 1 20 of 21 4 12 15 645 75
2017 Paul Morris1 67 22 of 22 3 3 10 546 1

1 Jerret Brooks drove the No. 67 truck at Lake Elsinore, with all points going to Morris

By driverEdit

Total Driver Seasons
2 Robby Gordon 2013, 2014
Sheldon Creed 2015, 2016
1 Paul Morris 2017

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "PowerPoint Presentation" (PDF). Speed Energy Formula Off-Road. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Arneson, Erik (2001). Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend. MotorBooks International. p. 274. ISBN 1616730129.
  3. ^ "About SST". Stadium Super Trucks. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  4. ^ Crowley, Jon (August 31, 2012). "Stadium SUPER Trucks Debut this Weekend in Crandon". Side x Side Industry News. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Guise, Curtis. "Former ARCA Series Champion Justin Lofton To Compete in Stadium SUPER Trucks". Race Dezert.com. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Stadium Super Trucks". Stadium Super Trucks. Green Bay, Wisconsin. April 14, 2013. NBC. WGBA. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. ^ "2013 Official Schedule". Stadium Super Trucks. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Stadium Super Trucks: Robby Gordon races to Third Place in SST debut". Marathon Rally.com. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  9. ^ Wagner, Jan (November 22, 2013). "AutoMatters: Stadium SUPER Trucks at Caesars Palace". Del Mar Times. Archived from the original on November 28, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Stadium Super Trucks are coming to a city near YOU!". Traxxas. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  11. ^ "Super Trucks event added to X Games Austin". ESPN. December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  12. ^ "SST Trucks To Race In Rebranded SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented By Traxxas". Stadium Super Trucks. March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "SST TO JOIN X GAMES AUSTIN IN 2014". Stadium Super Trucks. December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  14. ^ "STADIUM SUPER TRUCKS - FINAL". X Games. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  15. ^ Ryan, Nate (September 23, 2014). "Robby Gordon's stadium truck series adds owners". USA Today. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  16. ^ "Arctic Cat Partners with Robby Gordon's SST Series". Business Wire. August 25, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  17. ^ DiZinno, Tony (December 4, 2014). "Robby Gordon's Stadium SUPER TRUCKS come to RoC". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Rights deal signed for Super Trucks in Australia". Speedcafe. May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  19. ^ "Stadium Super Trucks Reach Another Milestone With A Prestigious Invitation to England's Goodwood Festival of Speed June 25–28". Speed Energy Formula Off-Road. May 14, 2015. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  20. ^ "Stadium SUPER Trucks World Championship Finals Set For December 15 & 16 At Lake Elsinore Diamond Stadium". Speed Energy Formula Off-Road. October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  21. ^ Nguyen, Justin (December 17, 2017). "SST: Race & Rock World Championship Recap". Overtake Motorsport. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  22. ^ Howard, Tom (September 20, 2018). "CAMS suspends Super Trucks on safety grounds". Speedcafe. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  23. ^ a b Harris, Geoffrey (October 5, 2018). "MOTORSPORT: Robby Gordon, CAMS slug it out in court". Motoring.com.au. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  24. ^ Howard, Tom; Herrero, Dan (October 11, 2018). "Court upholds Super Trucks suspension". Speedcafe. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  25. ^ Coch, Matt (October 22, 2018). "Sydney Motorsport Park confident of SST safety". Speedcafe. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  26. ^ Coch, Matt; Herrero, Dan (October 17, 2018). "Stadium Super Trucks to race in Sydney next week". Speedcafe. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  27. ^ Ochsner, Shaun (September 4, 2018). "Massive Payout for Inaugural Robby Gordon Off-Road Championships at Glen Helen". Four Wheeler. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  28. ^ "X Games Austin preview -- Jeremy Stenberg". X Games. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  29. ^ "4x SuperCross Champion Ryan Villopoto to make Stadium SUPER Trucks Debut at SST Race & Rock World Championship". Action Sports Connection. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  30. ^ Fryer, Jenna (April 2, 2015). "Rusty Wallace to Compete in off-Road Truck Race at X Game". ABC News. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  31. ^ "Boris Said to Race Off Road Trucks at X Games". K1 Speed. May 14, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  32. ^ a b "Off-Road Truck Racing: Teen Drivers". X Games. June 2, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  33. ^ "P.J. Jones: 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  34. ^ "P.J. Jones: 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  35. ^ "2012 North Carolina Education Lottery 200". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  36. ^ Spencer, Lee (December 8, 2017). "Casey Mears excited to go truckin' again ahead of SST debut". Motorsport.com. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  37. ^ Fabrizio, Tony (September 16, 2016). "Super woman: Sara Price making impact on Super Trucks Series". ESPN. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  38. ^ Baker, Matt (March 11, 2017). "Grand Prix of St. Petersburg: Life after NASCAR leads Robby Gordon to Stadium Super Trucks series". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  39. ^ a b "ATX Marks the Spot: X Games Stadium Super Trucks". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  40. ^ "Stadium Super Truck Series heading for Australia in 2015". Racer. October 16, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  41. ^ Kirby, Cameron (May 27, 2015). "Stadium Super Trucks to invade Gold Coast". Auto Action. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  42. ^ "SUPER TRUCKS SYDNEY SHOW SWITCHES VENUE". Speedcafe. October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  43. ^ "Stadium Super Trucks set for Sydney". V8 Supercars. November 6, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  44. ^ Herrero, Dan (May 3, 2017). "Brabham anticipating Barbagallo Truck advantage". Speedcafe. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  45. ^ Davison, Drew (August 27, 2016). "Texas Motor Speedway adds 'extreme motorsports' truck race in 2017". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  46. ^ Herrero, Dan (May 17, 2017). "Stadium Super Trucks to make Darwin debut". Speedcafe. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  47. ^ "Stadium SUPER Trucks To Race In Beijing, China With Monster Jam". Speed Energy Formula Off-Road. July 27, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  48. ^ Murray, Richie (July 26, 2017). "Swanson and Coons' Silver Crown Stride Unbreakable Thus Far at Toledo". United States Auto Club. Retrieved July 27, 2017. (Joe) Liguori has stepped out of his own No. 4 to wheel the Fred Gormly-RPM No. 98 after regular driver Davey Hamilton, Jr. got the call for a drive this weekend in Beijing, China with the Robby Gordon Stadium SUPER Truck Series.
  49. ^ Legare, Andrew (August 10, 2017). "WGI adds SUPER Trucks to IndyCar weekend". Star-Gazette. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  50. ^ Kallman, Dave (October 17, 2017). "Road America adds stadium off-road trucks to NASCAR Xfinity Series weekend". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  51. ^ Thomas, Phillip (June 6, 2014). "2014 X Games: Motorsports Preview – GRC, GRC Lites, and Stadium SUPER Trucks". Hooniverse. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  52. ^ Webster, Larry (October 1, 2015). "How Robby Gordon's Flying Stadium Super Trucks Have Brought the Crazy Back to Road Racing". Road & Track. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  53. ^ "Stadium Supertrucks gets set for Vegas finale". Racer. October 21, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  54. ^ O'Neil, Devon (June 10, 2014). "Racing's best-kept secret: SUPER Trucks". ESPN. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  55. ^ "SST Race Rules and Procedures" (PDF). Speed Energy Formula Off-Road. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  56. ^ Weaver, Matt (April 14, 2013). "Justin Lofton reduces NASCAR schedule next season to focus on Stadium Truck Series championship". SBNation. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  57. ^ Rettie, John (September 18, 2012). "NBC to Broadcast Robby Gordon's Stadium Super Trucks". Road & Track. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  58. ^ "ABOUT TAYLOR..." Taylor Snyder. She currently works as the field reporter for "SPEED Energy Formula Off Road Presented by Traxxas" (Stadium Super Trucks) which airs on "CBS Sports Network" (previously shown on "NBC Sports Network").
  59. ^ @SSuperTrucks (September 22, 2015). "The SST races will now be televised on the @CBSSports Network, starting on Sept. 23rd with the @ToyotaGPLB , 7pm/et" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  60. ^ "Largest TRAXXAS Field in History to Race at X Games Austin". Speed Energy Formula Off-Road. June 7, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  61. ^ "Sheldon Creed Earns Second Stadium Super Trucks Win of Season". Off-Road. May 8, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  62. ^ "STANDINGS". SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road. Retrieved December 14, 2014.

External linksEdit