Monday, June 24, 2024

Last-lap pass clinches Nashville Race 2 win for Robby Gordon

Guess the broken axle was a blessing in disguise.

After his Stadium Super Trucks Race #1 on Saturday in Nashville was cut short by an axle failure, Robby Gordon started on the pole for the second race on Sunday via invert. He and Matt Brabham, the Fastest Qualifier and another Saturday retirement, battled throughout the day with Gordon ultimately coming out on top.

Brabham started fourth but led the opening lap, only for Gordon to repay the favour. He held the spot through the first competition caution before Brabham fought back.

Gordon committed a rare error with two laps remaining when he locked up his brakes entering turn seven and drifted wide, which allowed Brabham to take the white flag. Fortunately for Gordon, he made up for it by utilising the draft on the second run across Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge before clearing him as they went into the seventh corner. Brabham lost another spot to Gavin Harlien in said turn and finished third.

The win is Gordon’s thirtieth in SST and first since Race #2 at Long Beach last year. He also won the inaugural Nashville SST race in 2021.

“We have a thing that’s like reverse aero. It’s so weird,” Gordon explained about his last-lap overtake. “The car in second actually makes more grip in the corner then gets a heck of a tow on these long straightaways. I knew I couldn’t be leading on that last lap so I was like, ‘I really want to stay in the lead but I kind of got to let him lead so I could get the draft coming across the bridge.’ I knew that I had to be second coming across the bridge if I had a shot at him. The speed is ten miles an hour faster, so it’s a big draft.

“I came off the corner good, I got the corner good, I’m like, ‘Alright, I got this as long as I don’t lock it up in the corners.’ It was a good race, lot of fun.”

With a fourth on Saturday and a second on Sunday, Harlien won the overall weekend ahead of Max Gordon and Myles Cheek; if he failed to pass Brabham, Harlien would have concluded the weekend on a three-way tie for the overall with Gordon and Cheek. Max Gordon finished fourth in Race #2 after winning a three-way battle with Cheek and Ben Maier.

Maier spun with two laps remaining after a bump from behind by Blade Hildebrand, who locked his brakes entering turn seven. Hildebrand ran as high as third after the first competition caution but was spun by Cheek after the restart; Cheek later apologised and added, “I try to pride myself on clean driving and that was a bit uncharacteristic for me.”

Race #1 winner Robert Stout finished ninth.

Zoey Edenholm retired after spinning into the wall on lap three. Ryan Beat bowed out when his front bumper got hooked with another truck’s rear which then hit the wall, sending Beat into the barrier as well.

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Laps
1 1 7 Robby Gordon 12
2 11 1 Gavin Harlien 12
3 4 83 Matt Brabham 12
4 12 77 Max Gordon 12
5 13 957 Myles Cheek 12
6 6 68 Blade Hildebrand 12
7 8 50 Trey Hernquist 12
8 7 58 Bill Hynes 12
9 14 28 Robert Stout 12
10 3 84 Rob Radmann 11
11 2 23 David Bernstein 11
12 9 67 Ben Maier 10
13 5 21 Zoey Edenholm 3
14 10 51 Ryan Beat 2