A sold-out crowd got an eyeful of Bandits at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota on August 25. Action-packed races, a reality star’s debut, and Ricky Rude’s second straight feature win kept everyone on the edge of their seats during the Bandit Big Rig Biodiesel 20. “The action on the track was some of the best we’ve ever seen,” Bandit General Manager Jason Johnson said.
At the end of the night, Rude kept his points lead thanks to another feature win in the #14 truck. “I just shut my eyes half the time,” Rude said, laughing. “It’s great to be here in Minnesota. All these great fans here came and packed this place and it was a great event.”
Dave Sparks, aka Heavy D from Discovery’s Diesel Brothers, drove the #51 truck and made quite an impression during his Bandit debut. “That was some of the best driving I’ve seen from our rookies,” Johnson said. “He can sure wheel a truck.” Sparks won three straight rounds during the Foodliner Bandit Shoot Out, only to fall to Jon Lisenbee (#7) during a dynamic duel. “The track was slick, and we slid up and got together. Rubbed hard and put on a good show for the fans,” Lisenbee said. “Dave did a phenomenal job tonight.”
Main sponsor Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council raved about the event. “I don’t often get hyped about an event we sponsor, but this one knocked it out of the park,” MSR&PC Marketing Director Cathy Riley said. “This audience loved what they saw.”
After the Elko race, the Bandits were set to be at Anderson Motor Speedway in Williamston, South Carolina a few weeks later, on September 15, and then head to the season finale in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on September 29, but Mother Nature had other plans.
With Hurricane Florence rapidly approaching the Carolinas, the Category 4 storm, nearing Category 5 strength, was packing winds up to 140 mph and was expected to make landfall just a few days before the planned race at Anderson Motor Speedway. “We hate to cancel any event, but in this case, it’s a no-brainer,” Bandit General Manager Jason Johnson said. “We want everyone to stay safe, and our thoughts and prayers are with those in the Carolinas and Virginia.”
After Hurricane Florence forced the relocation of more than a million residents in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, it also forced both of these final races to be canceled. “It’s hard to predict the weather, but when a hurricane is approaching, we aren’t going to take any chances,” Johnson said. A new season finale was scheduled back at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota on October 13th. The Biodiesel Clean Air Clash for the Crown will determine several awards, including the 2018 points champion.
“It’s going to be intense,” Bandit General Manager Jason Johnson said. “None of these guys like to lose, and with $50,000 on the line, I’m sure we’ll be seeing fireworks – both in the air and on the track.” Currently, Ricky Rude occupies the top spot in the overall point standings, but several Bandits are close behind. “Ricky’s in the driver’s seat, but he hasn’t wrapped it up yet,” Johnson said. Dave Sparks, aka Heavy D from Discovery’s Diesel Brothers, will once again pilot the #51 truck, just as he did at Elko back in August.
Stay tuned to 10-4 Magazine to find out who will take the 2018 title. It has been a fantastic season, and we are sure the finale will not disappoint, either. For more information about the Bandit Big Rig Series, visit them online today at www.banditseries.com.