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Bandit truck racing series sees first-time winner

Mike Morgan with awards check

Mike Morgan, shown with his wife Wendy, picked up his first Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series win June 10 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Easley, S.C. (Credit Leaha Proffitt)

Tennessee-based Mack diesel tech Mike Morgan powered his No. 88 Mack truck to his first win in the inaugural Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series season at Greenville-Pickens Raceway over the weekend.

While Saturday’s race was his first win in the Bandit series, “88 Mike” is no stranger to victory lane, having claimed the championship in the only full season of the ChampTruck series in 2015.

In the race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Easley, S.C., the series’ fifth race of the season, Morgan started in the middle of the field and had to work his way up to the front, using patience and timely caution flags along the way.

Darren Proffitt started the race on the pole position, but only led one lap as Chris Kikelhan jumped from third to first by the time a caution came out on lap two. On the restart, Kikelhan and Tommy Boileau battled for several laps before Kikelhan pulled away for the lead. During their battle, Ricky “Rude” Proffitt – who had won three consecutive races coming into this race – moved up to third with Morgan in fourth.

Two truck towing a Mack race truck

Chris Kikelhan (No. 01) leads Mike Morgan (No. 88) into a corner at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Saturday. (Credit Leaha Proffitt)

Another caution tightened up the field, and a rough restart in which Kikelhan didn’t start as fast as the trucks behind him saw Ricky “Rude” Proffitt lose a rear fender. Tommy Boileau took advantage of Kikelhan’s slow restart and jumped out to a lead with Morgan close behind. Another caution 13 laps into the 25-lap race tightened the field once more, allowing Morgan to restart on the outside of Boileau. The two ran side-by-side for a lap before Morgan was able to get around Boileau on the back stretch with 11 laps to go. He was able to stretch his lead as the laps ticked down and earn the checkered flag.

“This was a tough race from the get-go,” Morgan said after his win. “We’ve been chasing victory since we started the Bandit series, but luck hasn’t been on our side. Tommy [Boileau] was driving the wheels off that tuck, but when he opened up a gap, we took it and didn’t hand it back.”

For his win, Morgan earned a $10,000 check. Finishing behind Morgan were Tommy Boileau, Ricky “Rude” Proffitt, Allen Boles and Kikelhan.

Through five races, Proffitt holds the lead in the overall series points, followed by Morgan and Justin Ball.

The Bandit Series will return to action Saturday, July 1, at Highland Rim Speedway in Greenbrier, Tenn. The full race can be seen below. The feature race begins around the 3-hour, 10-minute mark.

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.