Highland Rim Speedway

Most tracks where the Bandits race are half mile ovals. This track was a quarter mile high-banked oval that produced some unique challenges. Passing often came at a high cost to the condition of both trucks. And "straight" stretches were exceedingly short. Racing began an hour later than planned as a downpour had soaked the track and prevented many planned practice slots from being used. The track was dried before racing began.

winners circle

Starting order for Heat Race 1 was: 16 > 55 > 7 > 88 > 00 > 27 > 17 > 01. 88-Mike was blocked by #55 who was hit by #01 and spun out bringing out the caution flag and a restart. Morgan stayed clear of the wreck by falling back and finished in 5th.

Heat Race 2 started with: 26 > 14 > 29 > 4 > 54 > 63 > 3. Rude's #14 quickly moved to the front followed by #3 and #4.

Challenge 1 started with #17 and #14 on the front row and no one passed them, although they did trade places. #55 hit #63 in the left rear in turn 2, then #63 went into the wall in turn 4 which adjusted the angle of his front axel and sent him to the infield and out of the race.

Challenge 2 began: 3 > 16 > 27 > 26 > 88 > 54 > 01. 88-Mike managed to pass #26 and then #27 moving from 5th to 3rd place while #3 and #16 held onto their lead positions the entire race.

The autograph session was held in front of the main grandstands, with fans checking out the trucks, meeting drivers, and receiving autographed fan cards (or having their apparel signed). All the trucks flew the stars and stripes during the autograph session and parade laps that followed (but not while racing).

The starting order for the top eight trucks was inverted in the A-Main event placing Morgan on the front row. Starting positions were: 01 > 88 > 7 > 27 > 16 > 17 > 3 > 14 > 4 > 26 > 63 > 54 > 55 > 00 > 29. Moe Proffitt took his #27 towards the front tangling with #01 in the process. #01 spun out, hit the wall and was done for the night.

The restart had #27 and #88 in front of #16 and #7. Morgan's #88 took the lead with the restart and #14 pulled into 4th. Morgan kept extending his lead, then in lap 10 he began lapping the slower trucks, first #29, then #55, #63, and #4. Behind Morgan #55, #54, #63 (?) and #16 tangled in turn 2. #55 went into the back of #54 causing #54 to hit #63 (?) and spin into #16. All but #16 were done for the night.

Leaders for this restart were #88, #27, #17, and #14. After loosing his half lap lead with the restart Morgan held on for seven more laps and the win followed by #14 and then #17. Of the fifteen trucks that started the race, four did not finish.

In the awards ceremony Mike Morgan received a $10,000 first place check, and a beautiful commemorative guitar and trophy from Highland Rim Speedway. It was a great finish for what had started as a soggy evening of racing.

Finish Order

Finish order for each race by truck number:

Heat 1: 16 > 17 >7 > 27 > 88 > 00 > 01 > 55

Heat 2: 14 > 3 > 4 > 26 > 63 > 54 > 29

Challenge 1: 14 > 17 > 7 > 00 > 4 > 55 > 29 > 63 DNF

Challenge 2: 3 > 16 > 88 > 27 > 26 > 01 > 54

A-Main Race: 88 > 14 > 17 > >16 > 27 > 3 > 7 > 26 > 00 > 4 > 29 > 63 DNF > 55 DNF > 54 DNF > 01 DNF

Points Standing

Morgan remains solidly in second place for Cumulative Points.

Truck # Driver Points This Race Cumulative Points
14 Ricky Rude 150.0 2180.5
88 Mike Morgan 150.0  2045.0
17 Justin Ball 150.0  1965.5
16 Tommy Boileau 150.0  1892.5
01 Chris Kikelhan 150.0  1779.0
3 Allen Boles 150.0  1655.5

From the Lebanon Democrat, 7/15/17:

Rim’s Big Rig race: Mike Morgan of Wartrace took home one of the biggest purses in Highland Rim Speedway’s half-century history -- $10,000 – by winning the recent Bandit Big Rig Race.

The event was billed as the biggest spectacle in the track’s history and such a success that track co-owner Roger Cunningham of Mt. Juliet plans to hold another one in September.