On Sunday, March 30, former IndyCar, USAC Silver Crown and Sprint Cars ace PJ Jones captured the second round of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas race at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in crowd pleasing fashion, beating Robby Gordon to the line by a truck length. After Saturday’s first race of the season, in which Robby Gordon held off Brooks and third-place finisher Justin Lofton in a driving rain storm, Jones considered Sunday’s victory redemption for a costly mistake on Saturday.
“We had a really fast truck and kept our mistakes to a minimum, but you do make mistakes in these trucks,” said Jones, the winner of two of the last three Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas races, who started from the sixth position in Sunday's race. “Robby and Jerett got racing each other behind me which helped, and I had to hold Robby off when he made a couple of late dives on me on that last lap."
More than 75,000 spectators lined the 1.8-mile 14-turn road circuit to watch Jones and the Traxxas-branded trucks launch off of man-made ramps on the same DOT-approved Toyo Tires that consumers can buy. The loud raucous cheers of disbelief from the massive crowd could be heard over the trucks as fans of traditional road racing saw the trucks literally fly through the air side by side.
“Best thing is that the crowd was really into it and people have been coming up to me all weekend saying how much they love the trucks and love watching them jump," Jones continued. "A lot of them said we were the reason they came here this weekend and can’t wait to see us race again. The fans that didn’t know about us already are fans now, I’m sure.”
Jerett Brooks, 16, finished third in his second-consecutive podium finish of the weekend. Saturday and Sunday’s races at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be broadcast on NBCSN April 17 at 1 a.m. EST.
After the Grand Prix at St. Petersburg, the series heads to the Long Beach Grand Prix before making other stops in Indianapolis, Detroit, Austin, Texas (X Games Austin), Toronto, Orange County, Calif., San Diego and the season-finale in Las Vegas.
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