Photo courtesy Matt Brabham Racing

Matt Brabham wins Stadium SUPER Trucks race in Australia, prepares for V8 Supercars stint

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Matt Brabham both had — and did — some home cooking in the return to his native Australia this weekend.

Brabham, a third generation racer – grandson of former world champion Sir Jack Brabham and son of Geoff Brabham – continues to dominate the Speed Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks Series with the overall round win in Perth, Western Australia.

It’s the 24-year-old Brabham’s third consecutive SST round victory for the DeVilbiss Racing Team, following triumphs at Long Beach, California and Adelaide, South Australia.

The format for this weekend’s SST event was changed from its usual one, with shootouts on Saturday and Sunday determining positions on the grid for both subsequent races.

Brabham finished second and first, respectively, in the shootouts. The grid for each race was inverted from the shootout results, meaning Brabham started at the back of the pack for both races on Saturday and Sunday.

Brabham finished sixth in the first race and fourth in the second race. However, the third-place finisher in the second race, Paul Morris, was penalized post-race, moving Brabham up one spot to a third-place official finish.

“This weekend has been overall tough as we were always fighting to get to the front, but to come away with a win is awesome,” Brabham said.

Brabham leads the SST standings with 195 points, followed by Gavin Harlien (160 points), series founder Robby Gordon (149 points), Cole Potts (130) and Arie Luyendyk Jr. (117).

The next SST race weekend is June 1-3, as part of INDYCAR’s “Duel In Detroit” event.

NOTES: Brabham got behind the wheel of the Preston Hire Racing Team Holden Commodore during Friday’s Australian V8 Supercars practice session.

“It was also great to get a taste for a couple of laps in the Preston Hire Racing car, and I’m definitely hungry for more,” Brabham said.

Brabham will pair with Lee Holdsworth for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup later this year. Brabham will remain in Australia to compete in the upcoming Winton Supercars event for Preston Hire Racing.

“I’m eager to learn from Lee and the team at Preston Hire Racing and help prepare the car so we can get a good result later in the year,” Brabham added.

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Australia SuperCar Champion gets IndyCar Test at Team Penske

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Scott McLaughlin’s latest reward for winning the 2019 Virgin Australia SuperCar championship is an INDYCAR test at Team Penske.

“Scott has been incredibly successful for DJR Team Penske over the last three seasons and he has become a true champion of our sport,” said team owner Roger Penske, who will become the owner of INDYCAR, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 in early January. “He certainly embraces new challenges and we think this is a great opportunity to utilize the IndyCar Series rookie testing program so Scott can experience what it is like to get behind the wheel of one of our Indy cars.”

McLaughlin, who has scored back-to-back Virgin Australia Supercars Champion for DJR Team Penske (DJRTP), will participate in an INDYCAR Rookie Evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. on Monday, January 13.

“I am always open to new challenges and I’m thankful to Team Penske for providing this opportunity to test an Indy car,” said McLaughlin, who established a new Supercars single season record with 18 victories this past season. “We had an amazing year in 2019 and I’m looking forward to defending our Supercars championship next season. I’m also excited to grow as a driver and being with Team Penske creates cool opportunities to try something new. Although I have spent a few hours in a simulator earlier this year, it’s going to be a blast to see what one really feels like at a place like Sebring.”

McLaughlin joined DJR Team Penske in 2017 as one of the brightest stars in Supercars. He has produced 35 victories and 44 pole positions over the last three seasons while helping DJRTP claim team championships in 2017 and 2019, the driver’s title each of the last two seasons and the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in October, along with co-driver Alex Premat.

McLaughlin will defend his Supercars title for DJRTP in 2020 in the No. 17 Shell V-Power Ford Mustang.  He will build on his already successful racing career by driving a full-sized open-wheel car for the first time.

Team Penske enjoyed another successful IndyCar Series season in 2019. The team earned its record 18th Indianapolis 500 victory as Simon Pagenaud captured the checkered flag in May, while Josef Newgarden won his second series title in three years and the team’s 16th INDYCAR Championship. Team Penske will once again compete with three full-season entries in 2020, featuring series champion drivers Newgarden, Pagenaud and Will Power.

Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 540 major race wins, over 620 pole positions and 37 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 53-year history, the team has also earned 18 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win, overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring along with a win in Australia’s legendary Bathurst 1000 race. Team Penske currently competes in the IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia SuperCars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500