Minimizer’s Bandit Big Rig racing series gears up for second season

March 5, 2018

Greg Grisolano


(Updated March 7, 2018: Minimizer announced it is postponing the opening race until March 24, due to the threat of severe weather.)

The start of Minimizer’s 2018 Bandit Big Rig racing series kicks off soon.

The first race of the season will be Saturday, March 24, at the Mobile International Speedway in Mobile, Ala. There are 12 races total on the 2018 calendar, in places like North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota. A complete schedule can be found on the series’ website.

The Bandit Big Rig series debuted in 2017. Series organizers hope it will bring competitive, circle track big rig racing back to the United States.

Big rig racing around oval courses has been absent from American racing since the Great American Truck Racing series folded in the 1990s.

Bandit big rig racing
Bandit Big Rigs go three-wide in the turns during racing action. (Courtesy Minimizer.)

Much like how stock car racing was once about seeing who had the fastest “stock” car, the Bandit series focuses on using stock trucks and OEM-only equipment. Eligible tractors can be Class 7 or 8 cab-and-chassis models mass-produced and legal for U.S. or Canadian hauling. All trucks must weigh at least 11,500 pounds. Everything that goes on the truck, aside from safety features like a roll cage, has to have been available for purchase on that truck from an OEM dealer.

Keeping the trucks as close to stock as possible is something the series organizers say they value not just from a fan accessibility standpoint. It also helps make the trucks more easily identifiable and relatable to the new fans.

Minimizer, the Minnesota-based maker of after-market truck accessories, is once again sponsoring the series and posting a $50,000 purse for the races. The winning driver receives $10,000 for first place. A press release issued by the company says the series will be debuting at new tracks in an effort to expand the race’s fan base.

Fans who can’t attend a race in person can watch the live stream on the Bandit Facebook page or YouTube channel.