When Robby Gordon announced the formation of the Stadium Super Truck series last year, many wondered what it would be like and whether it would be true to its intent of being a spiritual revival of the Mickey Thompson Off-Road Race truck series of the 1980s and '90s.
Although high-powered truck racing is nothing new, dating back to the 1960s with the original Baja 500 and 1000 series, there has not been a nationwide series of truck racing in an urban, stadium setting since the original Mickey Thompson series. The very first event of the Mickey Thompson series was run at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1979.
The new Stadium Super Trucks series returns to the Coliseum this Saturday, April 27, 2013, and promises to bring edge-of-your-seat excitement to Southern California residents, with a unique course composed of dirt, sand, and, for the first time in Coliseum history, asphalt paving.
Although laying asphalt may seem extravagant and excessive for a temporary setting, according to Gordon, who is actively involved in the setup and layout of the race courses, it's actually logistically easier to transport, lay, and clean up than a traditional dirt track. Gordon says he also has some advanced materials and techniques in mind for future events to make setup and cleanup even easier.
"Easy" is a relative term of course. Setting up for one of the SST events still takes many days, a full crew with earth-moving equipment, and multiple big-rig truckloads of material. But based on the preview we saw a few days before the scheduled Saturday event, the effort will be well worth it to fans of off-road truck racing.
The trucks themselves are much smaller than traditional desert racing trucks. But there's nothing small about the engine, a General Motors LS7 V-8 making well over 500 hp. The estimated weight of the trucks is around 2500 pounds. You do the math. SST series driver Lalo Laguna said the trucks were some of the most fun-to-drive race vehicles he's driven in his 14 years of motorsport.
Tickets to the Saturday event are available through Ticketmaster, at the Coliseum box office, and at several off-road accessory shops in Southern California, including Del Amo Motorsports, SoCal Supertrucks, Corona Motorsports, and El Cajon Off-Road Warehouse. Check out our gallery of photos from the preview event below.