Boyett, Brusso, Barnhill & Balkum have a big night ahead on Saturday
Boyett Hopes to Cap Banner Rookie Season with Pro Trucks Title on Night of Champions
By Chuck Corder
Logan Boyett hasn’t experienced much regret in this magical season of racing.
The Pensacola driver’s decision this year to dial back his late model program and turn his focus squarely on his first year competing in the WCIparts.com Pro Trucks series has been fruitful.
Thanks to four wins in the division’s eight features this season, Boyett leads Texan Chris Comalander by 26 points heading into Saturday’s Night of Champions at Five Flags Speedway and is in ideal position to collect his first career track title at Five Flags Speedway.
“If I can finish this thing off, it would mean the world to me to say that I’m a champion at one of the most famed tracks in North America,” said Boyett, who at 28 is a Pro Trucks rookie after years in late model racing. “My grandfather raced here and my dad has been part of champion crews. I want to add to that, and make a statement. This year has been the most fun I’ve had in a long time and it’s all due to the group I have beside me. I don’t dare say behind me because they are at my side all the time.”
Track champions will be crowned Saturday night in not only the WCIparts.com Pro Trucks class, but also the Faith Chapel Outlaw Stocks, The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday with racing festivities slated to kick off at 7, an hour earlier than typical shows throughout the year. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military, and students; $5 for children ages 6-11; free for kids 5-and-under.
Despite the wins, seven top-fives and top-10s in every feature this season, there are a handful of races Boyett wishes he could have a restart for. Not coincidentally, those are the four races he lost. Comalander, D.J. VanderLey, Colt James and Steven Davis are the other feature winners this season in addition to Boyett.
And with Saturday’s race the final opportunity to compete before the 51st annual Snowball Derby comes around in December, Boyett expects a host of talented drivers
“The competition is tough every week, but I expect it to be a greater quantity of quality trucks this week,” Boyett said. “We’re gonna have our work cut us out for us. I don’t wanna finish second or third. I wanna prove to everybody gunning for us, that we’re ready for them. We’ve learned lessons from our past mistakes and they’ve made us that much stronger.”
While Mark Barnhill and Robert Balkum have essentially clinched track titles for the Sportsmen and Pure Stocks classes, respectively, Boyett and fellow Pensacola driver Kody Brusso will need to pay close attention to track position against their closest rivals.
Brusso goes into Saturday, holding a narrow lead of 23 points over Pace driver Todd Jones in the Outlaw Stocks. Brusso and Jones each own a win, but Donald Crocker’s three trips to Victory Lane is a series most this season. Crocker is 91 points shy of Brusso and can only improve on his third-place position.
Similarly, Boyett knows he can’t get too frisky come Saturday night with a slim lead ahead of Comalander.
“Our hopes are to make our truck significantly better and pull off a win,” Boyett said. “We’re gonna have to race smarter since we’re racing for a championship. We’re gunning for that trophy.”
Not only for himself, not only for his family, not only for his crew of dedicated workers, but also for truck owner Gerald Boyd.
Boyd, a native Texan, spent four weeks in Pensacola earlier this year helping to get the truck ready for the season’s first feature.
“He’s like family to us,” Boyett said. “I can’t say enough about ’im and my guys that help us on the truck — my parents and girlfriend, everybody that helps us. It’s a good feeling, a refreshing feeling really, to get seat time and have some success in anything, let alone as good as we’ve been in the truck.”