Less than a week after completing the biggest test of his motorsport career in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, Matt Brabham was back on the top step of the podium after winning the opening Stadium Super Trucks race at the Verizon IndyCar Series event at Belle Isle in Detroit today.
The PIRTEK Team Murray driver was hired as a last-minute replacement for series owner Robby Gordon for today and tomorrowand he did not let his new boss down.
Gordon has been in preparation for the Baja 1000.
Brabham made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut when he finished 16th in the Angie’s List Grand Prix last month and then qualified 27th and finished 22nd in the 100th Indy 500 last Sunday.
Brabham was back behind the wheel of a Stadium Super Truck for the first time since competing at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April.
Brabham, 22, won the race from Arie Luyendyk Jr and Aaron Bambach.
He claimed the winner’s trophy in his PIRTEK Team Murray fire suit that he wore in last weekend’s Indy 500.
“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,” said Brabham.
“It was terrific when Robby rang me to offered me the seat for today and tomorrow and 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 today was a bonus.
“It has been a whirlwind month with the 500 and coming here, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.
“The highlight of the race was going three wide with Sheldon (Creed) and Aaron and managing to get through on the inside. I then managed to get Arie (Luyendyk Jr) on the last couple of laps and grab the win.”
Brabham is hungrier than ever for a full-time ride at the highest level of open-wheel racing in North America after his Indy 500 experience.
He is prepared for any opportunity with his race seat now permanently in the KV Racing Technology truck at each IndyCar event.
“I guess I am in a bit of a withdrawal mode at the moment,” admitted Brabham.
“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.
“We saw what happened at St Pete when Will Power got ill and Oriol (Servia) was ready to go.
“I am ready to go and all I can do is keep doing the best I can in whatever I am racing.”
Brabham will compete in another Stadium Super Truck eventtomorrow before handing the keys back to team boss Robby Gordonon Sunday.