After nearly a month since its inaugural event, big rig racing is heating up with race events two weekends in a row.

While some racing fans were wondering if the Indy cars would be able to stay on the ground during the Indy 500 during the historic Memorial Day Weekend race following several crashes during practice, big-rig racing fans turned their eyes to the Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California, the site of the second event in the Meritor ChampTruck World Series. It will be followed by an event at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 29-31.

The Meritor ChampTruck World Series is bringing semi truck racing back to the United States after a 22-year absence. Great American Truck Racing died out in the '90s, but big-rig truck racing is popular in Europe, Australia, India and South America.

Mike Morgan of Nashville, Tennessee, won the inaugural Meritor ChampTruck event April 26 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey. Ricky Proffitt finished second and Mike Ryan was third.

Ryan, the world's premiere stunt truck driver. was featured before the race in an interview with a local TV station – from the cab of the race truck going around the track – where Ryan talks not only about truck racing but also about the importance of trucking:

FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

According to the ChampTruck website, race teams include a mix of professionals and amateurs. Some teams have been developed by truck manufacturers, dealerships and large trucking companies, while some teams belong to smaller fleet businesses, repair shops and independent racers.

"Regardless of who builds what, deep pockets and unlimited budgets will not put any team on the podium. Very restrictive rules on engine and chassis development will equalize the competition for all teams. In the end, financial investment will not determine the winners… it’s all about driving."

And speaking of th driving, an exciting wreck during the first event was captured in this video via a GoPro on-truck camera.

For more videos see the ChampTruck YouTube channel.

Ten events conclude with the 2015 Meritor ChampTruck Series National Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. Drivers earn and accumulate points for the national championship event. Any conventional or cab-over truck that's at least 5 years old can race in the Meritor ChampTruck World Series events throughout the country.

Want to check out the original GATR racing? Here's a video from 1983.

About the author
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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