Wednesday
Apr162014

Gordon Wins Traxxas SST Grand Prix of Long Beach

 
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2014) – As the Citgo truck of Venezuela’s E.J. Viso and the TRAXXAS-sponsored truck of Sheldon Creed slammed each other heading into the final lap of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS race at Long Beach, Robby Gordon watched the two leaders through his front window and inherited the win as both drivers took themselves out of contention.
 
 The race was the IndyCar veteran Viso’s to win, as he led the most laps in his first-ever SST race.  Creed, 16, always fast and aggressive, challenged Viso rather than be content to finish second, which resulted in the hard contact between the drivers.
 
 Viso finished second followed by Creed in third, St. Petersburg-winner PJ Jones in fourth and 14-year-old Gavin Harlien rounding out the top five.
 
 Gordon’s SPEED Energy/HD Supply truck became the unlikely winner after not being much of a factor throughout.
 
 “I saw what was going on in front of me and it was cool to see two great young drivers going hard and putting on a great show for the fans,” Gordon said.  “That’s what’s great about these trucks – we can beat and bang and keep going which is what the fans want to see.  It was great to have E.J. a part of the series and we know Sheldon is going to a great driver and one to keep an eye on for many years.”
 
 After the dust up between Creed and Viso, Creed fell back to fourth behind Jones, and on the race’s final turn – a 180-degree hairpin – Creed took an aggressive inside line and dove hard inside his TRAXXAS teammate’s truck and slammed Jones, driving him out of the racing lane and coming back to finish third.
 
 “Had to do it,” Creed said.  “Last lap and I saw an opening and had to take it.  That’s what makes these trucks so awesome.”
 
 “Well, I guess he had to take the chance,” Jones said.  “We’ll do this again and I’m sure I have an opportunity to make a pass like that on him somewhere down the road.”
 
 The massive Long Beach-crowd was on its feet and yelling throughout the race.  As truck after truck pounded the road circuits tire barriers and keep on moving, the crowd’s enthusiasm grew.  Jerett Brooks, twice a podium finisher in the season’s first two rounds in St. Petersburg, suffered the hardest hit of the race as he stuffed his Synergy Electric truck into the turn-8 tire wall, then drove off to the delight of the fans surrounding the 1.96-mile 11-turn circuit.
 
 Mexico’s Apdaly Lopez finished sixth, series rookie Bradley Morris finished seventh, Scotty Steele came home eighth followed by another series rookie Nick Vanis in ninth and Brooks in 10th.
 
The race from Long Beach will be seen on NBCSN on May 2 at 10:30 p.m. PST.  The first two rounds of the Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS will be seen this Thursday at 10 p.m. PST on NBCSN.
 
The next stop on the 2014 series schedule will be in Indianapolis, Ind. May 23.
 

 


Tuesday
Apr012014

Gordon Lands Second by Mere Inches to PJ Jones

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 30, 2014) – PJ Jones captured Sunday’s thrilling second round of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas race at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, beating Robby Gordon to the line by a truck length.
 
Jones, a veteran of IndyCar, USAC Silver Crown and Sprint Cars, started sixth and drove a calculated yet aggressive race to hold off Gordon and a full field of strong trucks.
 
“We had a really fast truck and kept our mistakes to a minimum, but you do make mistakes in these trucks,” said Jones, the winner of two of the last three Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas races.  “Robby and Jerett got racing each other behind me which helped, and I had to hold Robby off when he made a couple of late dives on me on that last lap.
 
“Best thing is that the crowd was really into it and people have been coming up to me all weekend saying how much they love the trucks and love watching them jump.  A lot of them said we were the reason they came here this weekend and can’t wait to see us race again.  The fans that didn’t know about us already are fans now, I’m sure.”
 
Following Saturday’s first race of the season, which had Gordon holding off Brooks and third-place finisher Justin Lofton in a driving rain storm, Jones considered Sunday’s victory redemption for a costly mistake on Saturday.  Racing in some of the worst conditions possible, Sunday’s race was a complete opposite with brilliant blue Florida skies and warm temperatures.  
 
More than 75,000 spectators lined the 1.8-mile 14-turn road circuit to watch Jones and the Traxxas-branded trucks launch off of man-made ramps on the same DOT-approved Toyo Tires that consumers can buy.  The loud raucous cheers of disbelief from the massive crowd could be heard over the trucks as fans of traditional road racing saw the truck literally fly through the air side by side.
 
Saturday and Sunday’s races at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be broadcast on NBCSN April 17 at 1 a.m. EST and 10 p.m. PST. (April 16).
 
Gordon's next race will be Round 3 of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas on April 13 at the Long Beach Grand Prix in Southern California.  Tickets to the race are available through the Long Beach Grand Prix web site at www.gplb.com. 
1. PJ Jones; 2. Robby Gordon; 3. Jerett Brooks; 4. Justin Lofton; 5. Sheldon Creed; 6. Scott Steele; 7. Gavin Harliem; 8. Apdaly Lopez; 9. Davey Hamilton. 

 

Tuesday
Apr012014

Robby Gordon Wins Round 1 of SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas At the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 28, 2014) – Robby Gordon won a rain-soaked and water-logged SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas race at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Saturday, calling it the worst weather conditions he has ever competed in over a more than 30-year career.

Jerett Brooks, a 16-year-old from Alpine, Calif. finished second and Justin Lofton of Westmorland, Calif. came home third.

The race was literally anyone’s to win from start to finish of the 10-lap event, with all the trucks experiencing issues with the standing water on the temporary circuit that makes up the 14-turn 1.8-mile course built for IndyCars. Gordon, Lofton and PJ Jones battled for the lead throughout the race, trading it among each other as the others spun out in the wet conditions.

Brooks, who raced with a conservative style, managing to stay in touch with the leaders and wait for the front runners to eliminate themselves in the wet. Lofton, who led with just more than one lap remaining, spun for the second time in the race at the 90-degree right hand Turn 1 which allowed Gordon to take the lead which he would not relinquish.

“That was a lot of fun, but it was probably the slipperiest conditions I have ever raced in,” said Gordon who is also the founder of Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas. “I have to thank IndyCar and the Green Savoree team (promoters of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg) for allowing us to race here in front of so many great race fans. It was a really good race despite the rain and we’re looking forward to putting on another good show tomorrow (Sunday).

The series will run its second round Sunday at 2 p.m., immediately preceding the IndyCar season opener.

Round 2 of the second season of SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday when nine identically prepared trucks participate in the first race of the 2014 season.

1. Robby Gordon; 2. Jerett Brooks; 3. Justin Lofton; 4. Gavin Harlien; 5. Apdaly Lopez; 6. Scotty Steele; 7. PJ Jones; 8. Davey Hamilton; 9. Sheldon Creed.