What does riding in a Stadium SUPER truck feel like?
Matt Brabham has been around racing his entire life.
His grandpa, Jack, was a three-time Formula 1 world champion, and his dad, Geoff, won Le Mans in 1993. Brabham has followed suit, competing in the Indianapolis 500 two years ago and being part of this year’s winning team of the Bathurst 12 Hour in his native Australia.
But Brabham can’t think of a better racing series than the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER trucks. That circuit is in town as part of Texas Motor Speedway’s summer race weekend and will be competing before and after the IndyCar race on Saturday.
"It's just mental. It's crazy. It's entertainment," Brabham said. "It's basically every facet of motorsports jammed into one. You’ve got dirt racing, circuit racing, jumps, crossover jumps. It’s just all thrown into one, like a crazy mash up of everything. It’s just so much fun.
"It’s some of the best racing out there for sure."
There’s no question about that and it’s part of the reason why TMS wanted the series back after having it debut a year ago. The series was founded in 2013 by former NASCAR and IndyCar driver Robby Gordon.
The course is set up in the infield that also includes a stretch along pit road and the frontstretch. The highlight is a 12-foot tall, 70-foot long jump.
The trucks are something to see, too. At 2,900 pounds, they can go as fast as 140 mph and fly more than 20 feet in the air. There’s also hairpin turns in which the trucks will drive on two wheels.
Wrecks are welcomed, of course.
"We’re kind of encouraged to move each other out of the way and ‘rubbing is racing’ kind of style of going about it," Brabham said. "Obviously the IndyCar race is going to be pretty entertaining. They’ll be quite close racing, but I think our racing is by far the closest because we’re always door to door.
"It’s just so entertaining. There’s nothing that I’ve seen around the whole world of racing that draws the fans close to the fences like these SUPER trucks do. You can pretty much hear the fans cheering from outside the trucks. The action that happens with it is phenomenal.”
More than that, it’s something new and fresh to draw in motorsports fans. Racing attendance and TV ratings have dipped over the past decade, and this caters to the shorter attention spans most have today.
Fans can bore watching races with "cars going in circles," and this provides a different element that should excite what’s become a stagnant sport.
"It’s something that’s really fresh and exciting," Brabham said. "It's so different and new that I think it really draws the fans in again. Obviously racing has been around for a long time, but this is quite a new kind of modern. Short, quick races. High entertainment. That's the trend where everything's going.
"I’ve never seen something attract younger kids into motorsports more than this does. The SUPER trucks are drawing in a new fan base and hopefully it grows motorsports as a whole."