There’s no stopping Allen Boles (#3) at this point in the Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series, who has won the first two feature races of the 2018 season. The Jupiter Motorsports veteran said, “I didn’t know what was going to happen. I just gave it all I had.” Boles held off last year’s champion, Ricky Rude (#14), to capture his second straight checkered flag on Saturday, April 21, at Motor Mile Speedway in Fairlawn, Virginia. “Allen had a great night,” Rude said. “We’ve been friends forever and there’s always a little bumping between us. I wish I could’ve caught him, but it just wasn’t my night.”
A major wreck featuring Marshall Davis (#41), Craig Kruckeberg (#55) and Mike Morgan (#88) caused a yellow flag and lengthy delay during lap eight of the feature race. Davis’ truck got loose entering turn three, causing him to send Kruckeberg into the wall. Morgan had no place to go and the result forced both Kruckeberg and Morgan to end their night early. “Just a racing incident that ended badly for the #55 and #88,” Bandit Technical Director Brian Madsen said. “All I remember is going to the outside and then all of a sudden my back end was in the wall,” Kruckeberg said. “I’ll have to take some Advil tomorrow!”
Once the race was re-started, Boles took advantage, passing Mark Noble (#74) immediately before setting his sights on the leader, Mr. Rude. “I was just praying that I could get around him. Thankfully, I did, and I was able to hang on, so I’ll take that $10,000 check!” Boles said, laughing.
The only thing Boles couldn’t win was the Bandit Shoot Out, which saw the Bandits go one-on-one for just one lap. The final came down to Boles and Justin Ball (#17). Ball used the inside position to his advantage, winning his first-ever Shoot Out. “The Bandit Shoot Out continues to be a hit. Fans were on their feet cheering throughout,” Madsen said. “At every single Bandit event, kids are selected to represent a Bandit in the Shoot Out. If their Bandit wins, that kid wins $100,” Bandit General Manager Jason Johnson said.
Two weeks later, the Bandits were at it again – this time it was at Concord Speedway in North Carolina on May 5th. “It was the first and only tri-oval track on the 2018 schedule, so it was really interesting – and fun,” Johnson said.
Defending Bandit Series champion Ricky Rude (#14) is doing everything he can to ensure back-to-back titles. Rude took the lead on lap six of the main race and never looked back, securing his first feature win of the 2018 season. “I’m just tickled to death to get back in this spot,” Rude said. Multiple yellow flags didn’t help Rude’s cause, but he wasn’t too worried. “I knew the yellow flags would come out. It never fails, but I’m used to it,” Rude said.
Two other Bandits that had a very good night included Mark Noble (#74) and Justin Ball (#17). Noble won the third heat race and first challenge race, narrowly holding off Rude each time. Ball won the second challenge race as well as the Bandit Shoot Out. Ball’s Shoot Out win netted a local youngster, James, a crisp $100 bill, which he said he would use to “probably take my mom out for Mother’s Day.”
Kruckeberg Motorsports had one of their best nights ever. Not only did Noble pick up two wins, but Tyler (#54) and Craig Kruckeberg (#55) finished second and third in the main race. “I was just following (my son) Tyler. He got loose a couple times, so I had to get loose a couple times,” Craig said. “It was a struggle at the end,” Tyler said. “Ricky just had a little more power than me, so he was pulling away on the straightaways and I was trying to make it up in the corners. I just couldn’t get to him fast enough. Hopefully, next race I’ll have a little bit more power.”
The next Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series event will have a midwestern flair. Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, IA is one of only a couple return tracks on the 2018 schedule, and the next race will be there on June 9th. “Last year’s event was fantastic,” Bandit Technical Director Brian Madsen said. “Fans loved it and we expect a similar response this year.” After the Iowa race, the Bandits will head to Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, IN on Saturday, June 23 for the next race. Fans can get tickets to any Bandit event in 2018 by going to the official Bandit website (www.banditseries.com).