Despite carrying a 192-point lead in the overall Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series standings into the final race, Ricky “Rude” Proffitt still had to sweat out the final moments before he was announced as the champion of the series’ inaugural season.
A nearly perfect weekend at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga., for Tommy Boileau, and what Proffitt calls his “worst weekend race-wise of the year,” ended with Proffitt barely holding on to his points lead to claim the championship.
“I made some changes to the truck before this race, even though I knew better, and it almost cost me,” Proffitt said. “I was just non-competitive.”
He started the race in second place, led for part of it and was able to stay in the top four until a caution came out with just two laps remaining. On the restart, Proffitt said he lost ninth gear, which is his normal racing gear, and fell back to finish in ninth place.
When the final points were tallied, Proffitt was ahead of Boileau by just 12 points. Both racers ended the season with five wins each.
“We get points for every pass we make during the race, and it basically came down to me passing two more trucks this year than Tommy did,” Proffitt said. “This championship is what I wanted from day one. We had a great year. It’s an honor to be in this position.”
Behind Proffitt and Boileau in the points standings, “88 Mike” Morgan and Justin Ball tied for third place, and Allen Boles finished fifth.
Other season awards for the series were the Rookie of the Year, which went to Travis Buckner, and Most Improved, which went to Craig Kruckeberg.
The Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series is set to return for an 18-race season in 2018. The schedule has not yet been released.