Matt Brabham overcame an accident and mechanical issues to minimise damage to his championship lead in the Stadium SUPER Trucks at Road America this weekend.
Driver of the #83 Carlisle machine, Brabham came into the weekend looking to keep his winning streak alive but was dealt a blow in the opening race.
In the four-lap shootout event, Brabham moved into the lead and was busy keeping Gavin Harlien at bay.
The two then tangled on the final corner, with both of their machines running off track and Brabham dropping back to third at the chequered flag.
Starting the second race from sixth, Brabham was keen to make an early impression and used slipstreaming opportunities to put himself into the lead by the end of the opening lap.
That advantage was lost when the 25-year-old hit a jump at the wrong angle and the truck threw a power steering belt, forcing him into the pits and out of the race.
The third race of the weekend brought about a new set of challenges, with another mechanical issue hampering Brabham’s efforts.
This time an issue with the brakes saw the 2016 Indy 500 starter head to the pits in the early stages.
The team were able to rectify the issue and sent him back out during the competition caution.
In line with the series rules, Brabham was re-gifted the laps he spent in the pits and was placed on the lead lap as the field went racing again.
Starting the second half of the race from last, Brabham again fought his way through to the lead.
It was a true bump draft battle between Robby Gordon and Brabham as the two fought over the race lead, In the final stages the issue came to a head and Brabham was demoted to fourth as the chequered flag fell.
Brabham keeps his commanding lead in the championship as the series rolls into Portland where they’ll join INDYCAR for both series’ penultimate round this weekend.
What Matt had to say…
“It wasn’t the greatest weekend, but you’re bound to have weekends like this,” said Brabham.
“We’re lucky that this year we’ve had more good weekends than bad, which is rare in racing.
“Coming back from last in the third race was fun and going up against Robby was real Talladega Nights stuff with proper ‘Ricky Bobby’ bump drafting.
“We were just having a slipstream battle and Robby tried to muscle me out and I was pushed wide.
“I am looking forward to punching my way back onto the podium next weekend in Portland.”