Burt Jenner wins final trucks race of Grand Prix weekend

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Detroit — Burt Jenner finally found Victory Lane in the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road SUPER Truck series.

Jenner, son of former Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, earned podium spots, finishing third in Race No. 1 Friday and third again in Race No. 2 Saturday to become the overall weekend champion to bring home the biggest trophy and the biggest check.

In Sunday's final race, Jenner had to fight off 17-year-old Scotty Steele during the final laps. The two traded the lead four times on the final lap with Jenner coming out on top in heavy rain on Belle Isle's 14-turn, 2.3-mile road course.

"This is kind of surreal, I'm not used to being on top of the (winner's) box," Jenner said. "My dad raced with Jack Roush (Ford Mustangs in IMSA in 1985-88) and I grew up with Scott Pruett (Bruce's teammate) as my guy.

"He (Bruce) took me to a go-kart track when I was 8 and then that was my new favorite thing to do. Unfortunately, he only took me a few more times because he got remarried."

Jenner said he peeked through the fence Friday and watched Pruett compete in a Ford EcoBoost Riley in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series, bringing back old memories as a fan.

It was Jenner's second career victory. The 36-year-old Jenner said he won $100,000 during the second season of the Octane Academy television show to keep his dream of racing for a living alive.

Steele's future looks bright. He just took his final test to complete his junior year of high school Thursday morning in Peoria, Arizona, then boarded a flight at noon, but missed the truck's practice session. Still, he finished sixth in Race No. 1 before finishing second Saturday and again Sunday.

Steele was looking to win the finale.

"We traded the lead four times that final lap," Steele said. "I really wanted a clean race which we did aside from trading a little paint."

Sure, driving in trucks at more than 130 mph down the straightaway and then 70 mph heading into ramps that soar you 15 feet in the air is tricky enough in good conditions, but rain makes those ramps like ice. Jenner said you have to be off the throttle, off the brake and keep the machine straight to have success on the ramps in the rain.

He played the conditions perfectly.

Keegan Kincaid finished third Sunday, followed by Sheldon Creed and EJ Viso.

Robby Gordon, the founder of the series, finished seventh, then showed off in his No. 7 truck by going on two wheels during the cool-down lap.

Gordon won the opening race of the weekend Friday with Viso — who swept the two races last year — winning Saturday.

The series moves on to the X Games this week in Austin, Texas, before competing in England in late June.