By: Tom Ace
This Friday night June 29, the Big 8 Late Model Series makes one of it’s traditional stops for one of the series’ more well known events.
The ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country’ descend upon Madison International Speedway this weekend for the Colony Brands ‘Salute to America,’ a 48 lap showcase of some of the great champions in Big 8 late Model Series history.
A glance at the Expected Entry list shows a total of 48 career Big 8 Late Model Series victories represented in the field as well as nearly 50 track and series championships among the drivers who plan to do battle on ‘Wisconsin’s Fastest Half Mile’ this Friday night.
Leading the way is current Big 8 Late Model Series point leader Jeremy Miller, who started the 2018 season off right by collecting the top prize during the season opening ‘Clash at the Downs’ June 1 at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa. The win started Miller’s quest for an unprecedented fifth Series championship the right way. A four-time track champion at ‘MIS,’ Miller has also won the last two Series stops at his home track and a three-peat would further solidify his chances of a ‘high five’ at seasons end.
But the list of challengers is very deep for this Friday night’s tilt and includes names like three-time Big 8 Series champion Michael Bilderback, multi-time Madison International Speedway champion Bobby Wilberg, former ‘Salute to America’ winner and Rockford Speedway point leader ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr, three-time Madison International Speedway champion Dale Nottestad and 2015 Madison International Speedway champion Zach Riddle. Of those drivers listed, Nottestad is a three-time Series winner at ‘MIS,’ more than any other active Big 8 racer, while Riddle has won two of his three career Big 8 Series events at MIS.
Other drivers to keep an eye on this weekend include former Salute to America winners Brady Liddle and John Baumeister Jr. Baumeister was also the winner of last Friday night’s 30 lap feature race at MIS. Iowa teenager Brody Willett is ‘locked in’ on grabbing his first career Series win, but will have to hold off the likes of former Madison International Speedway Rookie of the Year Matt Lundberg and Minnesota hot shoes Joe Neisius and Ryan Kamish.
Young talent taking to the track for Friday night’s Salute to America includes Big 8 Rookie of the Year candidates Grant Brown, Nick Egan and Jacob Nottestad as well as local favorite Brent Edmunds and 2017 Big 8 Series Rookie of the Year Tyler Brown.
Adding to the excitement of this year’s event, the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series makes it’s first ever trip to Madison International Speedway for a 100 lap race to run in companion with the Big 8 Late Model Series. Following the racing program, the largest racetrack Fireworks Display in the Midwest lights up the sky.
For more information on Madison International Speedway and the Salute to America, please visit misracing.com or call 608-835-9700.
For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit big8series.com.
Colony Brands Salute to America Madison International Speedway Expected Entry List (as of 6/26)
00- Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
2- Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
X- Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
13- Nick Egan Slinger, WI
14- Grant Brown Prior Lake, MN
14- Zach Riddle Cottage Grove, WI
15- Pat Richgels Lake Mills, WI
18- Brady Liddle Oregon, WI
19- John Baumeister Jr Beloit, WI
20- Tyler Brown Carol Stream, IL
21- Mike Lloyd Davis, IL
21- Shane Morrissey Cuba City, WI
28- Bobby Wilberg Beloit, WI
34- Troy Hintzsche Genoa, IL
42- Ryan Kamish Farmington, MN
43- Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL
49- Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
51- Dale Nottestad Cambridge, WI
66- Chris Storey Burlington, WI
71- Mark Greb Coralville, IA
75- Joe Neisius Rosemount, MN
78- Matt Lundberg Rockton, IL
87- Brent Edmunds Monticello, WI
97- Jacob Nottestad Stoughton, WI
Colony Brands Salute to America ORDER OF EVENTS
3:30 pm- Pit Gate Opens 5:00 pm- Big 8 Late Model Practice (until 4:55 pm) 6:15 pm- Qualifying Begins (Big 8 Series, USAC Silver Crown) 7:10 pm- Drivers Meeting 7:30 pm Racing Begins!
Big 8 Series Heat Races (10 laps)
USAC Silver Crown Series 100 lap race
Big 8 Series Colony Brands ‘Salute to America’ (48 laps)
FIREWORKS Display following the races
REMAINING 2018 BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES SCHEDULE: Fri June 29- Colony Brands Salute to America (Madison International Speedway, Oregon WI) Fri July 27- Larry Detjens Memorial Race (State Park Speedway, Wausau WI) Tues Aug 7- Dixieland Delight (Wisconsin Int’l Raceway, Kaukauna WI) Sat Sept 22- 10th Annual ‘Thunderstruck 93’ (Elko Speedway, Elko New Market, MN) Sat Sept 29- 53rd Annual National Short Track Championships (Rockford Speedway) Sat Oct 6- 49th Oktoberfest Race Weekend (La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, WI)
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit www.big8series.com