By: Eric Huenefeld
The stretch run to the Big 8 Series Championship begins this Saturday night September 24 in the state of Minnesota.
The 58 lap “Thunderstruck” at Elko Speedway marks the first of ‘Three Races in Three Weeks” to end the 2016 slate for the “Best Weekly Warriors in the Country,” and with a grueling stretch such as that, no point lead is safe.
With that being said, defending Big 8 Late Model Series Champion Michael Bilderback holds a comfortable lead on his foes as the three-week march begins. Coming into Elko, Bilderback holds a 116-point advantage over Michael Ostdiek, the current Big 8 points runner up.
Both Michaels have had outstanding years in their Big 8 Late Models, with Bilderback claiming his first ever Track Championship at Rockford Speedway, along with a track-leading four Late Model feature wins. To go with an impressive record at his home track, Bilderback has also claimed victory in three of the five Big 8 Series events in 2016.
Ostdiek has claimed six wins of this own in 2016, including his first ever Big 8 Series win at State Park Speedway back in July. The Lakeville Minnesota native also collected four feature wins at Elko Speedway this year and finished third in track points and was among the top drivers in the country in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Division II point standings.
Four-time Big 8 Series champion Jeremy Miller is still mathematically in the hunt for an unprecedented fifth Series championship and adding to his 2016 win total would help that cause. Miller was the top dog at Madison International Speedway back in June as part of the ‘Salute to America’ 48 lap event.
Other top-notch Big 8 racers expected to join the crowd at Elko Speedway this weekend include two-time Dells Raceway champion Rich Schumann Jr, former Slinger Speedway champion ‘Insane Wayne’ Freimund and former Big 8 and Rockford Speedway champion ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr.
The Loves Park Motorsports Rookie of the Year battle also takes center stage at Elko, with Grant Greisbach holding a 50 point advantage over Zach Less and a 64 point advantage on Brody Willett.
The very best from Elko Speedway are looking to show some hometrack muscle this weekend, including Dylan Moore and John Lemke, who tied atop the points at the end of the regular season, with Moore claiming the tie-breaker and track championship. All told, seven of the top ten drivers in 2016 Elko Speedway points have declared their intention of running this Saturday night, making this one of the toughest groups of local racers to challenge the Big 8’s best all season long!
Big 8 Late Model Series
Expected Entries (29 as of 9/20/16)
OO- Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
O3- Cody Kippenhan Ypsilanti, MI
2- Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
2- Kyle Kirberger Ramsey, MN
3- Tyler Hromadka Brookfield, WI
5- Todd Kamish Farmington, MN
5- Jeremy Miller Rockton, IL
5s- Jake Sernett Prior Lake, MN
7- Anthony Brewer Shakopee, MN
X- Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
13- Bryan Wrolstad Northfield, MN
15- Todd Oliver La Crosse, WI
17- Grant Greisbach Waukesha, WI
17- Jon Lemke Shakopee, MN
18- Michael Ostdiek Lakeville, MN
20- Zach Less Manchester, IA
20- Devin Schmidt Belle Plaine, MN
21- Adam Bendzick Elko, MN
40- Michael Beamish Eagan, MN
42- Ryan Kamish Farmington, MN
49- Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
51- Justin Neisius Eagan, MN
53- Jared Duda St Michael, MN
54- Dylan Moore Northfield, MN
54- Rich Schumann Jr Portage, WI
58- Tyler Kingery Prior Lake, MN
75- Dillon Hammond Grand Marsh, WI
95- Wayne Freimund Elkhorn, WI
99- Lawrence Berthuime Rogers, MN
What: 8th Annual ‘Thunderstruck 93’
Where: Elko Speedway (26350 France Ave, Elko, MN 55020)
When: Saturday September 24
Schedule and Information:
9 AM- Pits Open
12:45 PM- Big 8 Series Practice Begins
3 PM- Fan Gates Open
3:10 PM- On Track Autograph Session
4 PM- Qualifying followed by Racing
Big 8 Late Model Series along with the ARCA Midwest Tour, Thunder Cars, Legends, Power Stocks and Hornets
Adults (13 & up) $20
Children (ages 4-12) $5
Kids 3 and under FREE
REMAINING 2016 BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES SCHEDULE:
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