Photo courtesy of Jeremy Zarfos

Galen Gidman Wins Season opener

Fast Forward Esports kicked off its debut season on Tuesday, July 23rd with the Bolt Action Truck Series. Roger Wagner qualified his 31 truck on pole with Galen Gidman‘s 94 truck to his outside.

The 28-truck field was clean and green until lap 6, when a large pileup ensued, which took out Andrew Schroeder (48) and William Floyd (64), and severely damaged the trucks of Nic Kesler (01) and Logan McGlothlin (5).

The field got back underway, however, with Galen Gidman leading most of the way and in command of the first pack of trucks also consisting of Doug Lemmons (70), Eli Greene (99), Doyle Lowrance (21), Jeff Hollingsworth (97), Ron Hollifield (7), Nic Ramsay (34), Tanner Kaelin (44), and Steven Pearson (85). They were followed by about seven seconds by the second pack, led by Zeeshan Deura (10), Zack Nichols (20), John Furnas (28), Morgen Baird (25), Chuck Sweeting (26), and Oliver Cordell (17).

The yellow flag again flew when a skirmish occurred between the 70 truck of Lemmons and the 99 truck of Greene as they were trying to negotiate the lapped 13 truck of Connor Webb. The race was again put under green flag conditions on lap 31. However, Steven Pearson had had enough of the the dicey nature of things and decided to fall to the tail end of the pack on lap 33. That same lap saw Jeff Hollingsworth take the lead.

Soon after Galen Gidman pitted all by his lonesome on lap 37, the 31 of Roger Wagner and the 97 of Jeff Hollingsworth tangled on the backstretch and both spun to the inside. This left Wagner with more damage among the two, but Hollingsworth was nevertheless much worse off than he had been before. The spin did not trigger an iRacing-generated yellow flag, however. But Hollingsworth’s luck turned around in a way, because that very same lap, the 99 of Eli Greene and the 25 of Morgen Baird tangled, causing the 99 to get out of shape and collect the 30 truck of Jeremy Zarfos.

A few more skirmishes occurred throughout the race, including a lap 49 incident involving the 3 truck of Paul Krumrei and the 00 truck of Doug Ungari. Many of the cautions involved a difficulty to navigate around lapped trucks, to include a lap 62 crash involving the lapped 17 truck of Oliver Cordell, the 7 truck of Ron Hollifield, and the 28 truck of John Furnas. This, however, did not bring out a caution, as the trucks skidded down through the grass.

Fuel conservation seemed to be in the works, and drivers such as Galen Gidman and Nic Ramsay lifted a bit in an effort to save that precious Sunoco racing fuel. Ramsay (34), however, still was in the mix for the lead, tussling with the 25 of Morgen Baird and the 13 of Connor Webb. They did this until another crash involving lapped traffic, in which Webb attempted to maneuver around a lapped truck and got together with Ramsay, collecting Baird and Chuck Sweeting in the 26 truck.

This set up Gidman, Furnas, Hollifield, and Deura for a restart on lap 75, with just six trucks remaining on the lead lap. Furnas quickly took the lead after the restart with pushing help from Deura, and Gidman dropped back to acquire the assistance of Hollifield. Duera threw up a major block to Gidman in turn four on lap 78 and then again in the same corner on lap 79 coming to take the white flag, scraping the outside wall on his second try.

Gidman got by Deura and Furnas just after they took the white flag, and by rather extreme means at that, as contact was made and Gidman and Furnas nearly crashed in the shortshoot on the turn one side of the trioval. They doored one another and the leverage of the two trucks against one another aided in them saving it and keeping the trucks moving forward. Furnas and Deura attempted to quickly rally and surge back to Gidman before the checkered flag, but Gidman was able to hold them off for the win!

Top 5
Winner – Galen Gidman (48 laps led)
P2 – John Furnas (10 laps led)
P3 – Zeeshan Deura (1 lap led)
P4 – Ron Hollifield
P5 – Zack Nichols

*Thumbnail photo courtesy of Jeremy Zarfos