One week after he came up short of winning the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 (finished 22nd) or being top rookie, Matt Brabham found his way to victory lane this past weekend.
Twice, in fact – and coming in a fill-in role, no less – replacing Stadium SUPER Truck Series founder Robby Gordon, who is preparing for the Baja 1000.
Brabham won the first and third scheduled races in the Stadium SUPER Truck Series events at Belle Isle, part of the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend in Detroit.
The second race was red flagged and not completed after Australian driver Matt Mingay was seriously injured on a Lap 3 incident.
Brabham then dedicated his win in the third race to Mingay.
“It was great to get the win today and really make it two from two, but our thoughts are with Matt (Mingay) and his wife Sheena,” Brabham said after his second trip to victory lane in Detroit.
“It was a crazy weekend and all our thoughts and prayers are with Matt and his family. We were racing for him today.
“We were so happy to see him taken off the critical list, but obviously he has a tough road ahead of him for a while and we all just hope his recovery is quick and as successful as possible.”
In the first SST race, the 22-year-old Brabham beat back challenges from Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Aaron Bambach. Brabham even wore the same PIRTEK Team Murray firesuit he wore in the Indy 500.
In the third race, Brabham started from the back of the field, methodically worked his way back up through the pack, was in the lead by mid-race and then held off late charges from EJ Viso and fellow Australian Paul Morris.
Brabham, who previously competed in the SSTS race as part of the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix in April, is still seeking a full-time IndyCar ride for 2017. He also hopes to continue competing in the Stadium Super Truck Series in the meantime. That includes the next SSTS race, the Castrol Edge Townsville 400, from July 8-10, in Australia.
“It is no secret that I would love to be behind the wheel of an IndyCar this weekend, but I am grateful just to be racing,” Brabham said. “It was terrific when Robby offered me the seat. I could not be happier to bring the Arctic Cat truck home in first place.
“I really enjoy my Stadium Super Truck racing and to get my first ever win (on Friday) was a bonus. It has been a whirlwind month with the 500 and coming here, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.
“Being a part of the Verizon IndyCar Series for the month of May was an enormous buzz and has just made me more hungry than ever to be in a full-time ride.
“I am ready to go and all I can do is keep doing the best I can in whatever I am racing.”