Tennessee-based Mack technician “88 Mike” Morgan overcame early-season engine problems with his Mack race truck to claim his first Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series win of 2018 at Lake Erie Speedway on July 7.
In a rare race that saw no caution flags fly, Morgan started Saturday’s race in fifth place and worked his way up to the front by lap 18 in the 30-lap feature race.
Mark Noble started the race on the pole position and was able to build a four truck-length lead on the rest of the field around lap 10. Morgan worked his way up to third place by lap six and began battling Bob Mitchell for second place.
Once Morgan was past Mitchell, he began chasing down Noble and, over the next six laps, was able to close the gap and pass for the lead with 11 laps remaining in the race.
As the laps ticked down, Morgan increased his lead on the field, leading by as much as four truck lengths with three laps to go. Bandit Series points leader Ricky “Rude” Proffitt, who started the race in 11th, worked his way up to second place and started chasing down Morgan but ran out of time.
“If I had about three more laps, old Mack Vader would have been second or third,” Proffitt said after the race. “I wanted it bad, but I’m happy with second and a truck I can still load on the trailer.”
Morgan said he knew Proffitt was behind him gunning for the lead as the laps ticked down.
“Those last 10 laps, I was holding my breath,” Morgan said. “I knew Ricky was back there, and he was coming hard. It was just a matter of time. We’re still working on trying to make the truck better, but it did real well for us tonight.”
Bandit Series racers will stay on the road this week as they prepare for their next race on Saturday, July 14, at Salem Speedway in Salem, Ind. Tickets for the Salem race are available online for $25 for adults with children 8 and under getting in free. The Minimizer Fan Series Truck Show will be held at the track throughout the day with a driver meet and greet from 4-6 p.m., followed by racing at 7 p.m.