California cops arrest Idaho race car driver for ‘haulin’ spud’

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Weighing in at 44,320 pounds and 72 feet long, any Idahoan who witnesses the Big Idaho Potato Truck rolling down the highway with its giant 8,000-pound potato loaded in the back will probably smile at Idaho Association level of ridiculousness with potatoes.

Unfortunately for the Big Idaho Potato Truck touring crew, the California Highway Patrol isn’t as well-liked for the 13-foot-tall tuber.

On a recent trip to the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey in California, the truck was stopped by CHP and its driver, Indy Lights race car driver Sting Ray Robb, received a citation.

What was the summons for?

For having straps holding the giant potato, being around 12,000 pounds overweight, and for “carrying potatoes” at 63 mph in a 55 mph zone through the race event’s fan village.

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

Robb, 21, is a Boise resident who attended Payette High School while racing go-karts and cars throughout his youth. He joined Andretti Autosport for the 2022 Indy Lights season, one step below the IndyCar Series, finishing second overall.

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

“It was an epic weekend at #montereygrandprix with the Big Idaho Potato Tour truck there to support and cheer on this #GrownInIdaho race car driver! He might have had too much fun speeding through the fanatic village. Thanks to CHP for not putting handcuffs on me.”

The Idaho-born driver certainly had no problems with speed around the track, taking first place in the first race of the weekend and second in the second race.

As for the truck itself, it’s back home in Boise for now. And if you were curious, the giant potato in the back is sadly not real.

But if it were real, the Idaho Potato Commission claims that the 4-ton potato:

  • They take 7,000 years to grow
  • Produce 20,217 servings of mashed potatoes
  • Weighs as much as 21,562 regular size potatoes
  • Create 1 million average sized fries
Idaho Potato Citation
Sting Ray Robb shows off the citation he received for driving the Big Idaho Potato truck at the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey in September. | Courtesy Big Idaho Potato Tour – Facebook
File photo from

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