The championship for the world’s fastest semi trucks will be decided Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The feature, scheduled to start at 6:25 p.m., is just part of an all-day event that includes a big truck show, a meet-and-greet with the drivers, heat races, kids’ big wheel races, head-to-head shootout races and the Bandit awards presentation.
Ricky “Rude” Proffitt of Weaverville, North Carolina, is going for his third straight Bandit Big Rig Series title. He holds a 13-point lead over Minnesota driver Mark Noble in the standings with Allen Boles 56 points back. Six drivers are within 90 points of the lead.
“To win the first championship was unreal and to repeat it was awesome. If I can win the third one, it would be the greatest thing ever,” said Proffitt, a two-time winner this season. “It would be a big burden off my shoulders. If I win, I will be tickled to death. If I don’t, I will be disappointed, but I will congratulate whoever wins with a smile.”
While they’re about providing a great family show — racer and promoter Craig Kruckeberg compared it to Disney on Ice, Monster Trucks and the Harlem Globetrotters — the racing is serious competition.
Boles, also from Weaverville, North Carolina, said there’s no doubt this is the biggest race in the series’ four-year history. The series has raced in all four corners of the United States, Proffitt noted, but the extra attention for racing at Bristol is something they’ve never seen.
“We all want to win Bristol. It means so much to me,” he said. “I watched the big truck race here in the ’80s. We’ve been in the trucking business since 1972, but this is a dream come true. Now I’m racing at Bristol.”
SCHEDULE AND TICKETS
A truck show featuring over 100 semis is scheduled for 9 a.m. The speedway gates open at 11 a.m., a practice session starts at 11:05 a.m. and qualifying begins at noon.
The driver meet-and-greet session on the track runs from 1-3 p.m., followed by heat races at 3:30 p.m. Shootout races and challenge races follow with the featured event.
General admission tickets are $25 the day of the event, and kids ages 8-and-under are admitted free. Infield access is $50 and premium infield is $100.