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BANNING MOTORSPORTS, 2017 MINT 400

The Banning Motorsports left Phoenix with the team in tow looking for big results in the race with both trucks and in the pit crew challenge with the 6155.

Thursday night was very exciting with the pit crew challenge. This event gives our guys the chance to show their stuff, the pit team of Brad, Erin and Mike showed everyone what Banning Motorsports is about, ending up second by a mere 4 seconds.

All recovered and ready for the big contingency and tech on Friday, the 6155 was delivered to General Tire for display before 6:30am. The 6188 lined up for contingency and tech with everyone else taking over 8 hours to complete.

Race Day
The Banning team going over all last minute plans and the chase crews heading off to their respective pits, trucks staged at 12:15pm then paraded to the start at 1:15pm and finally getting the green flag around 2:30pm. The 6155, with Lee Banning and Chris Godfrey, were in the 19th starting position and the 6188 with Bryan Folks and Jake Dewitt were in the 27th starting position. The 6155 had a great race through pit A at race mile 30 and onto track down the leaders. As they were going through a huge gravel boulder pit at race mile 65 having their first flat tire, but still running a good pace and on to pit B at race mile 73 picking up a fresh tire for the rack and onto the main pit area at race mile 126.

Having a strong smooth race at race mile 6 on the second lap having yet another rear flat tire and damaging a rear brake they continued to pit A. At about race mile 150, they stopped for a fresh tire, a brake line repair and a fresh driver with Steve Melton getting in and moving onward. Steve and Chris continued a strong pace and picking off competitors one by one finishing the second lap. At about race mile 22 of the last lap Steve encountered a rock which led to a flat tire, after that, picking up a fresh tire at pit A. Finally charging to the finish coming in 7th place in the 6100 class.

The 6188 started off running a great race but was over heating, as they pulled into pit A the crew discovered two fried cooling fans. Replacement fans were sent out from the main pit. After some extended down time the truck was back on the road picking up the pace trying to make up for lost time on the second lap. At race mile 9 on the second lap the truck encountered a big rock and damaged the right front spindle and steering tie rod. Jake worked hard trying to get the truck back on course, but soon found they needed a welder. That being the case Bryan and Jake radioed saying they were out of the race and started what ended up being a 5 mile hike to the nearest ride back to the main pit. After 10pm the course was closed and the guys took a welder out to the 6188 truck and made some repairs to get it back to the main pit around 1am.

Again, the whole team showed their resolve in working together to get these trucks to the finish line. Thanks to all the team members and all our loyal sponsors and supporters for everything you do. A special thanks to Matt and Cody for making the drive from Wyoming to help the team, everyone got home safe thank God for overseeing us all.

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