P.J. Jones Tops Stadium Truck Finale
LAS VEGAS – The final race of the 2013 inaugural season of SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks saw the high-powered formula off-road vehicles tackle the temporary asphalt course at Caesars Palace under the lights of Las Vegas, just steps away from the famous Las Vegas strip.
The day would begin with SST’s taking to the track for morning and afternoon practice sessions before two-lap qualifying runs. Keegan Kincaid of Crandon, Wis., driving the Traxxas sponsored No. 47 for Mike Jenkins, laid down the quickest lap with a 23.436. Robby Gordon would qualify in the second position with a 23.558 and Jerrett Brooks qualifying third with a 24.043.
Friday night’s SST final would see P.J. Jones and Rob MacCachren pace the 30-lap SST final to green. The original start would be called back as Arie Luyendyk Jr. would charge into Scotty Steele’s truck in turn two, as the trucks became lodged together and the red flag came out. After a complete restart Jones would lead lap one, followed by MacCachren and Brooks.
For the next five laps the top three would remain the same as Jones extented his lead to nearly four truck lengths ahead of MacCachren. On lap eight, Brooks would miss his mark in turn two, allowing Gordon to slip by into the third position.
On lap 15 mechanical failure would strike multiple trucks, including championship points leader MacCachren, who would slow on the front stretch ending his run in the second position. At nearly the same time, Gordon and Sheldon Creed would also encounter mechanical woes.
Creed would retire the No. 74 Magnaflow entry early while MacCachren and Gordon would return to the race for valuable championship points.
Restarting in the fifth position Gordon did not waste any time moving back into the top three. The front runners would consist of Jones, Brooks, and Gordon for the next seven laps until Brooks would encounter a mechanical issue, allowing Gordon to take the second position. Brooks would lose several positions before eventually dropping out of competition, allowing Steele to move into the podium contention.
In hot pursuit of Jones for the remaining circuits Gordon’s quest for his fourth win of 2013 would evaporate as Jones would go on to capture his first SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks win. Gordon would cross the finish line in second, while Steele would earn his first SST podium finish.
With MacCachren encountering mechanical issues late in the SST final, Gordon would go on to clinch the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks inaugural season points championship by just seven points.