The heat race winners were Darren Proffitt, Jon Lisenbee and defending champion Ricky Rude, respectively. The first caution of the night took place in the second heat race when Luke Whitmire got loose and spun out. After the heat races, it was time for the fan favorite Bandit Shootout. The finals came down to Ricky Rude holding off newcomer Tim Ashley in the new Spider-Man themed truck. There was also a young winner from the crowd named Parker (was it Peter Parker?) who drew Rude’s name prior to the Shootout. Parker took home $100 courtesy of AirDog Heavy Duty Diesel Fuel Systems thanks to Ricky “Rude” Proffitt capturing the shootout win.
The first challenge race had Tim Ashley starting alongside Alabama native Jonathan Langham. Ashley took and maintained the lead all the way to the checkered flag for round one. The second challenge race started off with hot-shot Ricky “Rude” Proffitt and Jon Lisenbee leading the field, but as soon as the green flag dropped, the rookie, Bendegúz Molnár from Budapest, Hungary, made a pass on the outside going three-wide into turn one. When they got to the back straightaway, Rude took the lead and eventually the checkered flag, with Molnár coming in second.
The Bandit feature race at Mobile International Speedway began with Molnár starting alongside Scott Treadway on the front row. Treadway led the first two laps, but the third lap belonged to Molnár as he took the lead. The first big crash occurred with Treadway losing control heading into turn one and sliding off the track, flipping over several times. Treadway walked away unscathed to a standing ovation from the crowd. Prior to the next restart, there was contact between Bob Mitchell and Austin Hoppe which nearly saw Hoppe rolling onto his side, but thanks to some skilled driving, he stayed upright.
The next caution occurred on lap #18 as Tim Ashley made contact with Mark Noble battling for third, resulting in Noble spinning off the track and rolling onto his side. The last caution occurred on the restart as Jonathan Langham spun out after making contact with Allen Boles. However, Molnár led the field on the last restart and would go on to win the race, with Ricky “Rude” finishing second and Marshall Davis rounding out the podium in third. Molnár would also leave Mobile International Speedway with the points lead, as the Bandits headed to their next stop in South Carolina.
The second stop of the 2019 season had the Bandits at Myrtle Beach Speedway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Bandits started the afternoon with the three heat races won by South Carolina’s own Adam Neely, Marshall Davis and Jon Lisenbee, respectively. The first caution of the day occurred at the start of the second heat when Bob Mitchell spun out after contact with Craig “Godfather” Kruckeberg.
The star of the Bandit Shootout, with the most shootout wins, was Tim Ashley, who had made it to the finals to race against Mobile International Speedway feature winner Bendegúz Molnár. Ashley managed to hold off Molnár for the victory, and J.J., the spectator who drew Tim Ashley’s number before the shootout, was the lucky $100 winner thanks to AirDog Heavy Duty Diesel Fuel Systems. The challenge races saw some dominating performances from Craig “Godfather” Kruckeberg and Marshall Davis, as they both led every lap of their races and took the wins.
The start of the Bandit feature race saw Ashley take the early lead after going three wide into the first turn. Allen Boles made a pass on Ricky Rude for second and looked to take the lead from Ashley. However, on the last lap, Austin Hoppe got loose and spun out in front of the leaders. Ashley would go on to take the win, becoming only the second driver to lead every lap in a Bandit Main feature race. Boles finished in second and third place went to Molnár, who managed to hold on to the points lead.
The next event, which was scheduled for Friday, May 24 at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin, had to be postponed until Friday, August 2, due to a severe weather forecast. With that change, the next race will be held on Saturday, June 8, at The Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana. With its high-banked turns, this is sure to be an exciting event! Tickets for all the races are always available online at www.banditseries.com – and if can’t make the race, be sure to check it out on either Bandit TV, Bandit’s Facebook page or on their YouTube channel.