LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 19, 2015) – E.J. Viso of Caracas, Venezuela won the third annual Speed Energy Stadium Super Trucks Presented by Traxxas race at the Long Beach Grand Prix Sunday by an impressive distance over Traxxas driver Sheldon Creed of Alpine, Calif. Viso’s 5.2-second winning margin was uncharacteristically large for an SST race, and was due to the tremendous battle taking place behind him between Creed, Arizona’s Gavin Harlien, California’s Robby Gordon and Arizona’s Scotty Steele.
Harlien, who battled with Viso for much of the event, controlled the majority of the race with aggressive braking around the 1.968-mile 11-turn street circuit, giving the veteran road racer Viso all he could handle throughout the event. “This is as much fun as I have ever had racing,” Viso said. “Harlien did a great job, especially by out braking me the entire race. He did an awesome job and it was only because I finally got around him and he got in a battle with some other trucks that I was able to get away.”
Coming through the 180-degree turn 11 just before the white flag and final lap started, Harlien and Creed touched in the middle of the slow right hander which caused Harlien to spin and give up the third spot to Gordon. “I should have never looked in my mirror, but when I did all I could see was orange, and it made me a little tense,” said the 16-year-old Harlien referring to Gordon’s bright orange SPEED Energy/Traxxas-sponsored truck. “We ran a good race but I just let that little extra pressure get to me.”
Creed displayed his normal spectacular style by flying higher and farther than any other competitor in the field over the four man-made ramps located throughout the circuit. Several times he launched off of the two front-stretch ramps nearly landing on Harlien in front of him. Creed: “There were a couple of times that I really thought I was going to land on him. I’m doing a really good job in qualifying, and we’re three for three in fast laps. Gavin did a great job and he made his truck really wide and tough to pass. He ran a great race and I was lucky to get around him.”
With a full inversion of the starting lineup from qualifying, the fastest qualifier in each race starts at the rear of the field. Creed has been the fastest qualifier at SST’s first three events of 2015 which also included the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, Australia and the St. Petersburg Grand Prix.
LIVE/Think Loud Entertainment driver Scotty Steele was fourth, Traxxas driver Keegan Kincaid finished fifth, Harlien was sixth, off-road veteran but newcomer to SST Dale Dondel was seventh in the Roberts Racing SST and Charles Dorrance of Austin, Texas in the Three Bears Racing SST was eighth.
LIVE/Think Loud Entertainment’s Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Pa. was ninth, followed by Toyo Tires driver Kyle LeDuc in 10th, Erik Davis in the Always Evolving SST in 11th and St. Petersburg winner Burt Jenner in the Gladiator SST finished 12th after a suspension failure on lap four. The Stadium Super Trucks will take several weeks off before returning to the Belle Isle Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in late May. The trucks will then be featured as part of X Games Austin and immediately return to the streets of Toronto for the Toronto Grand Prix.