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Robby Gordon wins inaugural SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road race at St. Petersburg

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On Saturday, March 29, racer and series founder Robby Gordon won a rain-soaked and water-logged SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas race at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, calling it the worst weather conditions he has ever competed in over a more than 30-year career. Jerett Brooks, a 16-year-old from Alpine, Calif. finished second and Justin Lofton of Westmorland, Calif. came home third.

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“That was a lot of fun, but it was probably the slipperiest conditions I have ever raced in,” said Gordon who is also the founder of Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas. “I have to thank IndyCar and the Green Savoree team (promoters of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg) for allowing us to race here in front of so many great race fans. It was a really good race despite the rain and we’re looking forward to putting on another good show tomorrow (Sunday)."

The race was literally anyone’s to win from start to finish of the 10-lap event, with all the trucks experiencing issues with the standing water on the temporary circuit that makes up the 14-turn 1.8-mile course built for IndyCars. Gordon, Lofton and PJ Jones battled for the lead throughout the race, trading it among each other as the others spun out in the wet conditions.

Gavin Harlein, 16, of Mesa, Ariz., who sat in a Stadium Super Truck for the first time Friday, came home fourth with Mexico’s off-road racing specialist Apdaly Lopez rounding out the top five. Scotty Steele of Peoria, Ariz. survived multiple spins to finish sixth, with veterans Jones and former IndyCar star Davey Hamilton finishing just ahead of ninth-place finisher Sheldon Creed who retired with mechanical issues.

Brooks, who raced with a conservative style, managing to stay in touch with the leaders and wait for the front runners to eliminate themselves in the wet. Lofton, who led with just more than one lap remaining, spun for the second time in the race at the 90-degree right hand Turn 1 which allowed Gordon to take the lead which he would not relinquish.

Round 2 of the second season of SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas is scheduled for 2 p.m. immediately preceding the IndyCar season opener. The race will be telecast on NBC Sports Network on Thursday, April 18 at 1 a.m. EDT.

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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