Idaho Statesman

California cops pull over Idaho race car driver in ‘haulin’ spud’ skit

Shaun goodwin
October 10, 2022

Editor’s note (Oct. 10, 2022): The citation issued to Sting Ray Robb was not a real citation, Robb’s management team told the Idaho Statesman on Monday. The Big Idaho Potato Truck team and California Highway Patrol collaborated to make a “skit” about Robb being pulled over, he said in a press release, and actual CHP officers were involved. Robb also said that he was not allowed to handle the keys to the truck and that the truck met all legal requirements to be on California and U.S. highways.

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Weighing in at 44,320 pounds and 72 feet long, the Big Idaho Potato Truck trundles down the road with its 8,000-pound giant potato loaded on the back, and any Idahoan who witnesses it most likely will smile at the level of ridiculousness.

Unfortunately for the Big Idaho Potato Truck tour team, the California Highway Patrol isn’t as endeared by the 13-foot high tuber.

On a recent trip to the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey in California, the truck was pulled over by CHP, and its driver, Indy Lights motorsport driver Sting Ray Robb, was given a citation.

What was the citation for? For having straps holding down the giant potato, being about 12,000 pounds overweight, and for “haulin’ spud” at 63 mph in a 55 mph zone through the racing event’s fan village.

The video, posted on Twitter on Sept. 13, shows the CHP officer issuing a bemused-looking Robb the citation through the passenger-side door. The end of the video shows Robb holding up the citation, dated Sept. 10, with the vehicle license plate BIG TATER.

Robb, 21, is a Boise resident and attended Payette High School while racing go-karts and motorcars throughout his youth. He joined Andretti Autosport for the 2022 Indy Lights season — a step below the IndyCar Series — and finished 2nd place in the overall standings.

Robb took the incident in good spirits, writing in a social media post:

“It was an epic weekend at #montereygrandprix with the Big Idaho Potato Tour truck there to support & cheer for this #GrownInIdaho race car driver! Might have had a bit too much fun speeding through the fan village. Thanks to CHP for not throwing the cuffs on me.”

The Idaho-born driver certainly didn’t have an issue with speed on the track, taking first place in the first race of the weekend and second in the second race.