Add Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Max Gordon to the grid when the 2021 SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on 23–25 April. On Tuesday, the series announced both drivers’ entries with Luyendyk in the #25 VP Racing Fuels truck and Gordon in a #77 with a livery yet to be revealed.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 season only featured one weekend in America with a pair of races at Road America in August. In the first race, Luyendyk overcame an early flip to score his third career victory and first since Detroit Race #2 in 2018. His first career win came earlier in 2018 at Perth, where the Australian Boost Mobile Super Trucks—whose season began last weekend—will race in September.
Luyendyk is one of just three drivers who have run at last one race in every SST season since its inaugural year in 2013, alongside Robby Gordon and Sheldon Creed. While Luyendyk has never run a full campaign like the others, he has 55 career starts with 13 podiums and three wins. Gordon and Creed are also entered for St. Petersburg.
“I just went for a run because I’m prepping for the weekend and something big, guys: I’m returning to Stadium Super Trucks,” Luyendyk began in an Instagram story. “Last time I was in a truck, I won, but that was a long time ago, like a year ago. I haven’t driven anything. I was straight off the couch, guys.
“I’m pumped. I’m also a little nervous because I don’t know how it’s gonna go down. I wanna thank my wife for letting me go, first of all, and also VP Racing Fuels and obviously Robby Gordon. We’ll see what we got. Let’s go.”
Gordon’s 12-year-old son Max became the youngest driver in SST history by a very wide margin when he made his début in the 2020 Road America weekend. The younger Gordon led the weekend’s practice session followed by finishing ninth and fifth in the two races. While the Gordons are not the only father/son pair to race in SST, they were the first to compete against each other in the same weekend; the same story was to have taken place during the Boost Mobile Super Truck season kickoff with Paul and Nash Morris prior to the latter’s withdrawal due to injury.
Max spent Tuesday conducting a shakedown of the St. Petersburg field’s trucks, including his own #77. The #77 featured no paint scheme as it will be added as the weekend nears; his Road America truck had sponsorship from SPEED Energy, SPEED RC Cars, and Menards.
Besides the Gordons, Luyendyk, and Creed, other drivers with locked-in entries for St. Petersburg include Matt Brabham, Bill Hynes, Jett Noland, and Robert Stout. Additional drivers might join the lineup in the coming days, though they have not been confirmed.