Back in 1979, the late and great Mickey Thompson put together an indoor off-road event that took place in various stadiums, including the Los Angeles Coliseum. This series inspired likely one of the most awesome storyline arcade games of the 1980s, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Super Off-Road. By 1996, eight years after Thompson’s murder, the entire series went bankrupt and closed up shop.
Well, Robby Gordon, NASCAR driver and son of former off-road legend, “Baja Bob” Gordon, has brought back the series under the name of Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks.
In modern times, this series might actually survive, with stations like ESPN2, SpeedTV, and other specialty channels to give it plenty of airtime. What makes this series better than the more long-distance off-road series, like Baja Racing and off-road rallies, is the fact that given the small area it covers, it is easier to film for TV.
The season kicks off in 2013 and there are some pretty impressive awards for a startup racing series, as each race pays the winning driver $40,000, the 2nd place driver gets $15,000 and the 3rd place driver takes home $5,000. In addition to money per race, there is a payout to the series champion of $500,000. Yeah, it’s not NASCAR money, but for a startup like this, that is pretty decent.
Making things even more interesting, Gordon has invited old-time off-road racers Danny Thompson, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, and Walker Evans to participate. Other drivers already locked in include: supercross and off-road race Ricky Johnson, NASCAR Truck Series racer Justin Lofton, off-road stars Justin Matney, Jessie Johnson, Luke Johnson, Andrew Caddell and Casey Currie, and rally star Samuel Hubinette.
The only sponsor listed for the series so far is R/C car builders Traxxas, so we will have to see if the series can attract more sponsorship, which should be too hard, given it is not directly competing with any other series.
Gordon promised to release more information as we get closer to the series debut, so we will pass more info on to you as it becomes available.
Second video after the jump.
Robby Gordon plans to bring back what was once known as the Mickey Thompson off-road series back into stadiums in 2013.
Much like Mickey Thompson did years ago, Robby Gordon hopes to bring off-road racing to the masses by starting a new series he will call Stadium Super Trucks. The former Mickey Thompson off-road series kicked off their season at the historic Los Angeles Coliseum so it was only fitting for Gordon to launch the new SST Series at the same venue.
Gordon made the announcement on Tuesday night, May 29th, that featured media, companies from the off-road industry, fans and drivers that are interested in particapating in the series. Gordon brought everyone together for a crowd close to 900 people to explain his vision and goals for the new series. Gordon plans to hold 10 events, including 2 at the Los Angeles Colisuem and 2 at San Diego Stadium. Other venues would be announced at a later date.
The BIGFOOT® Monster trucks will be part of the program, revitalizing the BIGFOOT® name which is the Original Monster Truck. Amateurs alike will also join in the excitement and will race in the UTV/Side-by-Side class with a $10,000 purse during every event.
BIGFOOT® creator Bob Chandler was there in attendance, explaining he has seven other vehicles similar to the BIGFOOT® truck that was a part of the announcement and will be ready to compete in an elimination-style event.
For the main truck class, Gordon plans to feature spec trucks each with the same engine and chassis – drivers will even draw for truck numbers at each race so they will not race the same truck each event. Currie Enterprises helped build the first Stadium SUPER Truck that was demonstrated at the event, and the idea is to create interchangeable trucks that are similar but can accommodate small fine-tuning adjustments for each race team. Gordon explained that teams will be allowed to adjust shocks, springs, tire pressure, steering and seating position but overall each truck would be fundamentally the same. Teams can also choose their manufacturer of wheels, tires and bodies. Only two mechanics will be allotted to each team as well, which cuts cost on teams personel and travel expenses.
One of the biggest selling points of the series is the payout. Gordon promises a BIG payday for racers in the Stadium SUPER Truck class, as the winner will receive $40,000 for first place. Second place will receive $15,000, while third place will earn $5,000. The biggest payout in off-road ever will be to whoever can claim the points championship for the season. The payout was featured in an impressive guarded armor truck that was lit underneath the Coliseum arches – it held a half a million dollars!
$500,000 goes to the 2013 season winner.
Homage was paid to the legends and originators of the sport at the announcement of Stadium Super Trucks, as Gordon, a champion of the original Mickey Thompson series that started it all, simply looks to bring back that same form of racing that Thompson made famous. Thompson’s sister, Colleen Campbell, was also in attendance as was Mickey’s son Danny Thompson.
Gordon extended an invite to the legends of the sport, such as Danny Thompson, Ivan Stewart, Walker Evans and others, including Glenn Harris who plans to compete with the new crop of drivers. Also in attendance and planning to race the series is supercross and off-road legend Ricky Johnson, as well as other young racers such as NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racer Justin Lofton, off-road racers Justin Matney, Jessie Johnson, Luke Johnson, Andrew Caddell, Casey Currie, and rally champion Samuel Hubinette. Traxxas which company builds and creates radio-controlled cars, is in support of the new series as owner Mike Jenkins was in attendance and said he was looking forward to jumping in one of the trucks.
A lot of big-name racers have already committed to racing in Stadium Super Trucks.
Gordon explained more details will be announced along the way as the series looks towards their inaugural season in 2013.