By: Eric Huenefeld
Coming hot off the heels of a breathtaking Larry Detjens Memorial Race at State Park Speedway on Friday night, the Big 8 Late Model Series now prepares for a “Tuesday Night Special” under the bright lights of Wisconsin International Raceway (WIR).
For a second straight year, the ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country’ join the ARCA Midwest Tour at WIR as part of ‘Dixieland Night’ at the legendary half-mile formerly known as ‘KK Sports Arena.’ The stars of the Big 8 Series are set to contest the ‘Dixieland Delight’ 38, serving as an under-card for the evening’s main event, the ‘Dixieland 250.’
Last year’s Big 8 stop at WIR featured a frantic finish, which included a milestone win for ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr. The Loves Park Illinois driver snatched the lead from Austin Nason with three laps remaining and held on for victory, his eleventh career Big 8 Series win, which gave him the all-time Series wins record. Reynolds is among those returning to WIR this Tuesday night, along with fourteen of the top fifteen drivers in Big 8 Late Model Series point standings.
Michael Bilderback left Wausau with the point lead Friday night, while borrowing Reynolds’ car to do so. Bilderback, a two-time Big 8 Series winner this year, experienced engine issues during practice Friday evening. The resulting issues left Bilderback searching for a car to drive in order to protect his point lead. Finding an ally in Reynolds, Bilderback qualified among the Top 14 and ran as high as second place in the 58 lap main event, settling for a fourth place final result.
Four-time Big 8 Series champion Jeremy Miller had a roller coaster night at State Park Speedway, falling as far back as tenth early on, before climbing as high as the lead by lap 25. On the final restart, Miller’s car faded and the Rockton Illinois native settled for a sixth place finish.
Settling for nothing less that first place, Lakeville Minnesota’s Michael Ostdiek was the big winner Friday night, collecting first place for the first time in his Big 8 Series career. The win kept Ostdiek on pace with the point leaders and places him just 18 points out of second place. Ostdiek also kept the ball rolling on Saturday night, winning at Elko (MN) Speedway.
Making the most spectacular charge Friday was two-time LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway champion J Herbst, who rallied after a flat tire on lap 29 to come all the way from last place to third without the assistance of a yellow flag. That unforgettable charge, doubled with Herbst breaking his own track record earlier in the evening, has the West Salem Wisconsin driver primed to finally make the leap to Big 8 Late Model Series victory lane Tuesday night at WIR..
Another thing to keep an eye on Tuesday night at WIR are the drivers who currently rank fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth in Big 8 Late Model Series points. Heading into the “Dixieland Delight,’ just nine points separate fifth place Wayne Freimund, sixth place Rich Schumann Jr and seventh place Grant Greisbach. The fifteen year-old Greisbach also currently leads the Loves Park Motorsports Rookie of the Year chase over 14-year old Iowan Brody Willett by a margin of just 24 points.
Big 8 Late Model Series
Expected Entries (22 as of 7/31/16)
O3 Cody Kippenhan Ypsilanti,MI
O1 Bryan Monday Appleton, WI
OO Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
2 Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
3 Tyler Hromadka Brookfield, WI
5 Jeremy Miller Rockton, IL
7 Joey Pontbriand Norway, MI
X Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
12 Jim Duchow Appleton, WI
17 Grant Greisbach Waukesha, WI
18 Mike Ehde Prairie du Chien, WI
18 Michael Ostdiek Lakeville, MN
20 Zach Less Manchester, IA
28 Jesse Bernhagen Markesan, WI
32 Lyle Nowak Wausau, WI
40 Jeremy Lepak Ringle, WI
49 Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
53 Jared Duda St Michael, MN
54 Rich Schumann Jr Portage, WI
82 J Herbst West Salem, WI
95 Wayne Freimund Elkhorn, WI
99 Jake Zellmer Waterford, WI
What: “Dixieland Delight”
Where: Wisconsin International Raceway (located at W1460 County Rd KK, Kaukauna, WI 54130)
When: Tuesday August 2
Schedule and Information:
10 AM- Pits Open
3:05 PM- Big 8 Series Practice Begins
4 PM- Fan Gates Open
5 PM- Big 8 Late Model Series Qualifying
7 PM- Racing Begins
Big 8 Late Model Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour
Adults (13 & up) $15
12 & under are FREE
REMAINING 2016 BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES SCHEDULE:
Tues Aug 2- Dixieland Delight (Wisconsin Int’l Raceway, Kaukauna WI)
Sat Sept 24- 8th Annual ‘Thunderstruck 93’ (Elko Speedway, Elko New Market, MN)
Sat Oct 1- 51st Annual National Short Track Championships (Rockford Speedway, Loves Park, IL)
Sat Oct 8- 47th Oktoberfest Race Weekend (La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, WI)
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit big8series.com