Last weekend’s Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series race at Highland Rim Speedway in Greenbrier, Tenn., was cut short after just seven laps when a crash damaged the safety fence, but truck racing newcomer Tommy Boileau was able to pick up his fourth consecutive win.
Boileau started the race in the pole position and ran away from the field before the race ended seven laps later. The win for Boileau brings him within 59 points of overall points standings leader Ricky “Rude” Proffitt with three races remaining on the schedule.
The race-ending wreck occurred when “88 Mike” Morgan and Allen Boles collided on lap seven in turn three, sending Morgan into the outside wall. Boles, who says he had been spun out by Morgan about three laps into the race, gave Morgan a bump in turn three when he caught him a few laps later to show he wasn’t happy about the situation a few laps before. Boles says, however, that he never intended to wreck Morgan.
“When I spun out early in the race, I heard something pop in the truck, but then it felt good for the next few laps,” Boles says. “We ran another four laps, and I caught Mike and Ricky [“Rude” Proffitt]. I got to him in turn three and wanted to return the favor a little bit. I pushed him hard and got underneath him, then I don’t know what happened, but the truck jerked hard right and when I hit him, he went up the wall.”
Boles says after taking the truck apart, he found the steering arm had broken, and the steering knuckle had come out of the joint that holds it in place.
A combination of the force of impact, the truck’s momentum and a low wall allowed Morgan’s No. 88 Mack to jump the wall and land in the catch fence and guidewires between the track and the crowd. Boles’ momentum carried him down the front stretch along the wall until his truck finally came to a rest just before turn one. Both drivers got out of their trucks unscathed, but the trucks themselves were in bad shape.
“This is a tough blow to our team and our fans,” says Morgan, who was at his de facto home track. “This pretty much takes us out for this season. The truck isn’t repairable to get to the next race.”
Boles says he thinks he will be able to get his No. 3 truck back up and running in time for the Oct. 7 race at Florence Motor Speedway near Florence, S.C.
Morgan says the guidewires that line the track in front of the grandstands are meant to catch a vehicle that leaves the track, and they did just that. Morgan’s truck landed in an open space between the track and another fence meant to keep fans away from the track.
“All I was thinking when I started going over the wall was ‘please stop,’” Morgan says. “I wanted the hand of God to grab my back bumper and stop it. Once I was on the ground, officials came over to make sure I was good, but I was concerned about the fans and everybody else. I climbed out and put my hands in the air and got a good cheer from the fans.”
The next race for the Bandit Series is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7, at Florence Motor Speedway in Timmonsville, S.C.
A full video of the race and crash can be seen in the video below. The crash occurs around the 18:50 mark in the video.