Cleetus McFarland conducts SST Bristol testing: “It was meant for stadium trucks”

The Stadium Super Trucks will be entering some unfamiliar territory on 3/4 September when they hit the high banking of Bristol Motor Speedway, so it makes sense for the series to develop some familiarity with the environment beforehand. On Tuesday, race organiser Cleetus McFarland held a test session for his Bristol 1000 weekend that will include the trucks, and part of his itinerary was to drive one around and test various layouts that the series can use.

The Bristol 1000, a 100-lap race between McFarland and fellow YouTube and motoring personalities in Crown Victorias, will be held on Bristol’s legendary half-mile oval and 28° banking. On the other hand, while SST will utilise part of the oval as well, Tuesday’s testing was to see what other elements are usable such as the infield and either pit road.

Truck testing is depicted in McFarland’s latest video posted Wednesday via a series of clips interspersed with Bristol 1000 runs. The first shows him going along the inside line of turns one and two and onto the backstretch before making a U-turn onto the straight’s pit road, where a pair of jumps greets him, and he circles the backstretch and pits. Another lap takes him through the infield and onto the frontstretch, prompting him to propose a ramp each on the infield and start/finish line. Eventually, a Dodge Viper is placed on the backstretch pit road for him to catch air over.

In an onboard lap, the run begins on the frontstretch, and McFarland then rides the first two corners’ banking onto the backstretch before taking a sharp left onto the straightaway’s pit lane entrance. After clearing its jump, he turns right to enter the infield and cuts diagonally before rejoining the oval at the mouth of the frontstretch’s pit entrance. A ramp before the start/finish line then completes his lap.

Speaking with series officials after his lap, McFarland suggests converting the frontstretch ramp into a double set and adding another ramp in the middle of the straight, but notes they would deal with the matter as the weekend arrives. Other conversations include pointing out the truck’s surprising stability on the high banking.

“The track’s meant for this. It was meant for stadium trucks,” McFarland remarked. “I love this track so much.”

As his #1776 truck was out of commission for substantial crash damage from Sunday’s race in Nashville, McFarland tested in the #83 Continental Tire truck piloted by Matt Brabham to the weekend win.

Despite Bristol being known for NASCAR, the Tennessee short track previously hosted Global Rallycross in 2013 on a course that also incorporates the infield and oval banking, albeit with a dirt section on the frontstretch. The oval’s concrete surface is also occasionally covered in dirt for the Bristol Dirt Nationals and NASCAR’s Food City Dirt Race.

While the Bristol 1000 schedule on the track’s website only lists a “Stadium Super Trucks Exhibition” in the hour between Bristol 1000 qualifying and opening ceremonies on Sunday, 4 September as of this article’s posting, SST told The Checkered Flag it will be a traditional points round with qualifying and two races.