IMPENDING WET AND COLD WEEKEND POSTPONES 2018 SPRING CLASSIC

The coldest start to the month of April in recorded history has claimed its fair share of victims as far as outdoor events are concerned in the upper Midwest this year.

Despite the brief tease of warm temperatures over the last couple days, miserable “spring” conditions are set to return this weekend. With that in mind, officials at Rockford Speedway have decided to postpone the 41st Annual Spring Classic originally slated for this Sunday afternoon April 15.

Both Rockford Speedway and Big 8 Series officials are working to find a suitable reschedule date for the event.

For more information on Rockford Speedway, please visit rockfordspeedway.com or call 815-633-1500.

For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit big8series.com.

41st ANNUAL SPRING CLASSIC ENTRY FORM RELEASED!

Entry Form / Event Schedule

By: Eric Huenefeld

A quick look at the calendar shows that Spring is just a few days away.

Another look at the calendar shows that Spring Classic is just one month away!

The 41st Annual Spring Classic, the Midwest’s traditional season opening racing event, is slated for Sunday afternoon April 15 at Rockford Speedway. The Entry Form and Schedule of Events for Spring Classic are now available for viewing at big8series.com and rockfordspeedway.com.

Once again, the Big 8 Late Model Series headlines Spring Classic with an 88 lap feature race. The Mid-American Stock Car Series and the American Super Cup Series are also on the card as part of Spring Classic Sunday at Rockford Speedway. The Mid-American Series is slated for a 50 lap feature race, while the American Super Cups are set for a 20 lap feature. All three divisions will participate in a full day of racing, with Qualifying, Preliminary Races and Feature Events on the schedule.

Gates open on Sunday April 15 at 11 AM, with LPT “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” Qualifying for all three divisions beginning at 11:30 AM. The first green flag flies at 1 PM.

Spring Classic racers will have a full day of Practice to get their cars dialed in for the season opener on Saturday April 14. Pit Gates open at 10 AM April 14, with the track open from Noon until 4 PM for Practice. Teams that practice on Saturday April 14 may keep their haulers parked in the Pit Area overnight, but no camping is permitted in the Pit Area. ‘Overnight Parking for Campers’ is permitted in the Rockford Speedway Parking Lot starting Friday April 13 at 5 PM.

For additional information regarding the 41st Annual Spring Classic, please visit rockfordspeedway.com or call 815-633-1500.

For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit big8series.com.

UPDATES MADE TO BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES RULES BOOKLET

Saturday, February 10, 2018

On the first weekend of January, the Big 8 Late Model Series released their three-year Rules Booklet for the upcoming 2018, 2019 & 2020 seasons. Shortly after that, many other tracks in the region who also run Big 8-type Late Models released their Rules Updates and updated Rules Booklets.

Upon release of these documents, vast differences were found with the rules for tracks and the Big 8 Series. In an effort to bridge the gap and bring tracks and the Series closer together, officials with the Big 8 Late Model Series have reached out to numerous parties in order to insure all parties involved will be able to prosper not only this season, but for seasons to come.

The following updates have been made to the Big 8 Late Model Series Rules Booklet:

SUSPENSION
Koni shocks WILL be allowed. 30 SERIES Part Numbers 7325, 7436, 7499, 7647, 9325, 9436 (adjustable, non-rebuildable) mandatory 7” on the front and 7” or 9” on rear only, bump stop enclosed in Koni package will NOT be allowed. Cars with Koni package on all corners will receive a 25 lb weight addition.

SPINDLES & HUBS
No Oil Filled or Oil Fill-style Hubs allowed

BRAKES
Any single, dual or four piston caliper brake system allowed with NO weight additions. Maximum retail price $190.

ENGINES
GM Stock Crate 604 compression limit 9.7 to 1. Base weight minimum 2750 lbs.

Chevy LS 5.3 Spec Engine base weight 2900 lbs

Fox River Racing Club (FRRC) Spec Engine allowed for those FRRC members who compete in 75% of FRRC events.

EXHAUST
Add 25 lbs for right side exhaust out the door.

ELECTRONICS
No digital gauges (including tach), no electronic monitoring computer devices capable of storing or transmitting information except for recall analog tach. All wiring must be visible for inspection.

**These rules now become part of the Big 8 Late Model Series three-year rule book and supersede those that were published on January 5, 2018.**

BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES TO BE SHOWCASED AT SOME OF 2018’S BIGGEST SHOWS

By: Eric Huenefeld

Big 8 Late Model Series officials have revealed their 2018 Schedule of Events, which currently includes eight dates at facilities across the Midwest.

Since it’s inception in late 2004, the Series has taken part in some of the most well-known racing events held annually at some of the most storied short tracks in America. This year’s slate is no exception.

The Big 8 Late Model Series begins its fourteenth season Sunday afternoon April 15 at Rockford (IL) Speedway as part of the 41st Annual Spring Classic. The day is highlighted by an 88 lap feature race for the “Best Weekly Warriors in the Country,” with the Mid American Stock Car Series joining the Spring Classic card along with the American Super Cup Series.

Following Spring Classic, the Big 8 Series heads west to Iowa, for “Clash at the Downs IV’ at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids on Friday June 1. The first three visits to the sprawling eastern Iowa facility have produced memorable action and fantastic finishes along with three different winners. Producing both big car counts and big action, the Hawkeye Downs race has quickly become one of the most competitive on the Big 8 schedule.

Four weeks later (Friday June 29), the Series makes its traditional summertime stop at Madison (WI) International Speedway for what is sure to be a “can’t miss” night of short track racing. This year, the Big 8 Late Model Series joins the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series as part of the annual ‘Salute to America’ program at ‘Wisconsin’s Fastest Half Mile.” This marks the first time the Big 8 Series has shared the stage with America’s premiere short track open wheel sanctioning body.

One month after the Madison event (Friday July 27), the Big 8 Late Model Series treks north to State Park Speedway to headline the Opening Night of the Larry Detjens Memorial Weekend. The unique oval near Wausau has provided the setting for some of the closest and most exciting Big 8 Series races over the past several years and has become a favorite stop on the tour for both drivers and fans alike.

Eleven days later, on Tuesday night August 7, the Big 8 Late Model Series shares the spotlight with the ARCA Midwest Tour as part of the “Dixieland 250” at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna. The Big 8 Series is scheduled to contest the 38 lap “Dixieland Delight” on this special August evening, preceding the 250 lap Super Late Model spectacular on the one-of-a-kind “D shaped” oval.

Six weeks later, the “three race in three week” stretch to crown the 2018 Big 8 Late Model Series champion begins at Elko Speedway on Saturday night September 22. In 2018, the Big 8 Late Model Series is the headlining division of the 10th Anniversary ‘Thunderstruck 93″ at the competitive bullring located one half hour south of the Twin Cities in Elko New Market Minnesota.

An always-anticipated event on each year’s schedule takes place one week later at Rockford Speedway on “Short Track Saturday Night'” (September 29) as part of the 53rd running of the National Short Track Championship. Rockford’s famed ‘high banks’ provide the setting for the grueling 108 lap rumble which tests the skills and patience of the Big 8’s best while also testing the endurance of each man and machine.

Finally, on Saturday October 6, the 2018 Big 8 Series champion is crowned at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem as part of the massive 49th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend. Big 8 racers from across the Midwest converge yearly on Oktoberfest to try and earn ‘the toughest ticket in town’ among as many as 60 competitors while gunning for victory in the 68 lap championship feature at “Fest.”

For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit big8series.com.

For up-to-the-minute updates, please “Like” Big 8 Series on Facebook or “Follow” us on Twitter @big8series.

2018 BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES EVENT SCHEDULE

Sunday April 15 – “41st Annual Spring Classic”
Rockford Speedway (Loves Park, IL)

Friday June 1 – ”Clash at the Downs IV”
Hawkeye Downs (Cedar Rapids, IA)

Friday June 29 – “Salute to America” (w/USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series)
Madison Int’l Speedway (Oregon, WI)

Friday July 27 – “Larry Detjens Memorial”
State Park Speedway (Wausau, WI)

Tuesday August 7 – “Dixieland Delight” (w/the ARCA Midwest Tour Dixieland 250)
Wisconsin Int’l Raceway (Kaukauna, WI)

Saturday September 22 – “10th Annual Thunderstruck 93”
Elko Speedway (Elko New Market, MN)

Saturday September 29 – “53rd Annual National Short Track Championships”
Rockford Speedway (Loves Park, IL)

Saturday October 6 – “49th Oktoberfest Race Weekend”
La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway (West Salem, WI)

***Subject To Change. Additional Date(s) May Be Added***

HISTORIC SEASON NETS BILDERBACK A THIRD STRAIGHT BIG 8 TITLE

By: Eric Huenefeld

The 2017 Big 8 Late Model season was an unforgettable one for Michael Bilderback.

The 26-year-old racer from South Beloit Illinois posted four victories in eight races on the way to a 114-point victory in the standings over four-time Series champion Jeremy Miller. The championship was a third consecutive Big 8 Late Model Series crown for Bilderback, an unprecedented feat in the history of the 12-year-old series.

Bilderback started the season strong at Rockford’s Spring Classic in April, setting the track record and following it up with a commanding win in the 88-lap feature event. During the season, Bilderback also picked up wins at State Park Speedway in July, at Wisconsin International Raceway in August and at Rockford in September during the National Short Track Championships. Bilderback’s September Rockford win was enough to clinch the Series championship with one race remaining in the season.

Bilderback’s final 2017 stats include four wins (giving him 12 all-time, tied for the most in Series history), two fast times and seven top five finishes in eight starts. The only non-top five came at Oktoberfest, where Bilderback broke a wheel in practice, severely damaging his car. Jumping into Jon Reynolds Jr’s car, Bilderback started 24th and finished 9th in the caution-free 68 lap feature race. During 2017, Bilderback’s average feature finish was an incredible 2.875.

Finishing second in points was Miller, the Rockford Illinois resident who was the nearest foil to Bilderback’s championship chase in 2017. Miller collected more fast times than anyone during 2017 with three (Madison, Kaukauna and Rockford NSTC) while also earning four top-fives and six top-tens. Miller’s undoing came late in the season, with a 17th place result at Elko and a 20th at Rockford. Miller’s win during the ‘Salute to America’ at Madison in June was his 12th career Big 8 Series win, which currently ties him with Bilderback for the all-time Series wins lead.

Teenager Brody Willett had a breakout year during the 2017 Big 8 Late Model season, finishing a solid third in final points. The Alburnett Iowa youngster collected top ten finishes in seven of the eight races in 2017, including four top five runs at Madison, State Park, Rockford and LaCrosse. Willett ended the year strong, battling back from an early incident at Rockford to come home fifth and leading half of the finale at LaCrosse before earning his first podium finish (third place) in the 68 lapper at Oktoberfest.

Farmington Minnesota’s Ryan Kamish finished fourth place in his first full go with the Big 8 Late Model Series. Kamish collected two top five finishes (Hawkeye Downs and WIR) and four top tens during 2017. Muskego Wisconsin’s Jake Zellmer rounded out the top five in 2017 Big 8 Late Model Series points, polishing off a stellar year which saw him earn three top tens in the Series (State Park, WIR and Rockford NSTC) while also collecting two weekly feature wins this summer.

Richfield Wisconsin’s Jerry Mueller finished the season sixth in points, with a best finish of sixth at WIR in August, while Hartford Wisconsin’s Jake Vanoskey finished in seventh place. South Beloit Illinois native Tim Sargent ended the season eighth, followed by Tyler Hromadka in ninth and John Baumeister Jr in tenth.

Eight drivers attended every Big 8 Series event in 2017 (Bilderback, Miller, Willett, Kamish, Zellmer, Mueller, Vanoskey and Hromadka), while four drivers were able to start each feature (Bilderback, Miller, Willett and Kamish). A total of 91 cars garnered points at Big 8 Series races in 2017, with an average of 26 cars entering each event.

10/7/2017 – Oktoberfest Race Weekend – Big 8 Late Model Series Results

A-Main 01 — 1. Ty Majeski, Seymour, Wis; 2. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 3. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 4. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 5. Jacob Goede, Carver, Minn.; 6. Derek Lemke, Shakopee, Minn.; 7. Ty Reedy, Holmen, Wis; 8. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 9. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 10. Griffin McGrath, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 11. Joe Neisius, Rosemount, Minn.; 12. Owin Giles, New Market, Minn.; 13. Michael Ostdiek, Lakeville, Minn.; 14. Justin Neisius, Eagan, Minn.; 15. Zack Riddle, Cottage Grove, Wis; 16. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 17. John Baumeister, Jr., Beloit, Wis; 18. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn.; 19. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 20. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 21. Jacob Zellmer, Burlington, Wis; 22. Jon Lemke, Shakopee, Minn.; 23. Nick Clements, West Salem, Wis; 24. Brian Back, Rudolph, Wis; 25. Jeremy Lepak, Ringle, Wis; 26. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis.

Last Chance “A” 01 — 1. Jeremy Lepak, Ringle, Wis; 2. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn.; 3. Owin Giles, New Market, Minn.; 4. Matt Lundberg, Rockton; 5. Carter Christianson, West Salem, Wis; 6. Jacob Zellmer, Burlington, Wis; 7. Jessie Pokszyk, Freindship, Wis; 8. Nick Clements, West Salem, Wis; 9. Todd Kamish, Lakeville, Minn.; 10. Billy Baumeister, Janesville, Wis; 11. Zach Braun, Slinger, Wis; 12. Tyler Hromadka, Brookfield, Wis.

Last Chance “A” 02 — 1. Michael Ostdiek, Lakeville, Minn.; 2. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 3. John Baumeister, Jr., Beloit, Wis; 4. Bryan Wrolstad, Fairbault, Minn.; 5. Thayran Rezin, Tomah, Wis; 6. Ryan Gutknecht, Franklin, Wis; 7. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 8. Jacob Vanoskey, Hartford, Wis; 9. Danny Heying, Watertown, Wis; 10. Braison Bennett, Neenah, Wis.

Last Chance “A” 03 — 1. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 2. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 3. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis; 4. Matthew Henderson, Coon Valley, Wis; 5. Bret Widdis, Marinette, Wis; 6. Craig Phillips, Edgerton, Wis; 7. Tony Leis, Bangor, Wis; 8. Mark Greb, Coralville, Iowa; 9. Troy Hintzsche, Genoa; 10. Jonathan Eckelberg, West Salem, Wis; 11. Grant Brown, Prior Lake, Minn..

Time Trial — 1. Ty Majeski, Seymour, Wis; 2. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 3. Jacob Goede, Carver, Minn.; 4. Griffin McGrath, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 5. Ty Reedy, Holmen, Wis; 6. Joe Neisius, Rosemount, Minn.; 7. Justin Neisius, Eagan, Minn.; 8. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 9. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 10. Derek Lemke, Shakopee, Minn.; 11. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 12. Brian Back, Rudolph, Wis; 13. Jon Lemke, Shakopee, Minn.; 14. Zack Riddle, Cottage Grove, Wis; 15. Jeremy Lepak, Ringle, Wis; 16. Michael Ostdiek, Lakeville, Minn.; 17. Grant Brown, Prior Lake, Minn.; 18. Owin Giles, New Market, Minn.; 19. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 20. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 21. Michael Beamish, Eagan, Minn.; 22. Todd Oliver, Bangor, Wis; 23. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 24. Matt Lundberg, Rockton; 25. Brett Wenzel, Manitowoc, Wis; 26. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 27. Nick Clements, West Salem, Wis; 28. John Baumeister, Jr., Beloit, Wis; 29. Matthew Henderson, Coon Valley, Wis; 30. Carter Christianson, West Salem, Wis; 31. Bryan Wrolstad, Fairbault, Minn.; 32. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis; 33. Zach Braun, Slinger, Wis; 34. Ryan Gutknecht, Franklin, Wis; 35. Craig Phillips, Edgerton, Wis; 36. Jessie Pokszyk, Freindship, Wis; 37. Thayran Rezin, Tomah, Wis; 38. Troy Hintzsche, Genoa; 39. Jacob Zellmer, Burlington, Wis; 40. Braison Bennett, Neenah, Wis; 41. Mark Greb, Coralville, Iowa; 42. Billy Baumeister, Janesville, Wis; 43. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 44. Bret Widdis, Marinette, Wis; 45. Todd Kamish, Lakeville, Minn.; 46. Jacob Vanoskey, Hartford, Wis; 47. Jonathan Eckelberg, West Salem, Wis; 48. Tyler Hromadka, Brookfield, Wis; 49. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 50. Tyler Brown, Carol Stream; 51. Danny Heying, Watertown, Wis; 52. Tony Leis, Bangor, Wis; 53. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn..

BIG 8 SEASON WRAPS AT FEST SATURDAY, BILDERBACK LOOKS TO KEEP MAKING HISTORY

By: Eric Huenefeld

The twelfth season of the Big 8 Late Model Series comes to an end this Saturday night at the 48th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend and while this season’s Big 8 Late Model Series championship has already been decided, there are still quite a few things to keep an eye on as the “Best Weekly Warriors in the Country” trek to western Wisconsin.

First and foremost, Oktoberfest has always welcomed the largest and deepest field of Big 8 racers each and every year. Since 2005, an average of 52 drivers have entered the Big 8 portion of Oktoberfest, with champions and challengers taking to the track from all corners of the Midwest. This year, expect a field of 50 or more Big 8 cars at Oktoberfest with as many as 70 track and series championships between them. Add that solid driver roster with the recently updated Big 8 “Qualifying Race” format and you’ve got a recipe for a sure-fire short track extravaganza!

A second thing to keep an eye on this weekend is Michael Bilderback. The South Beloit Illinois resident locked up his slice of history last Saturday night at Rockford Speedway, thanks to a dominant win the 108 lap Big 8 Late Model Series National Short Track Championship race. The win, coupled with issues for current points runner up Jeremy Miller, locked up the 2017 Big 8 Late Model Series championship for Bilderback and in the process made him the first driver ever to win three consecutive Big 8 Late Model Series titles. The win also tied Bilderback with Miller at the top of the all-time Big 8 Late Model Series wins list.

Bilderback has a chance at even more history this weekend at LaCrosse, a track where he still seeks a Big 8 Late Model Series win. Victory in Saturday’s 68 lap main event would mean a fifth win on the 2017 Big 8 tour for Bilderback, tying him with Ross Kenseth for the most prolific season in Big 8 Series history. Kenseth won five of nine races in 2009, while Bilderback is seeking a fifth conquest in eight tries this season. A win Saturday would be Bilderback’s 25th Late Model win since the beginning of 2015.

Another thing to watch at Oktoberfest will be the battle for sixth place in Big 8 points, important because it insures a driver eligibility in Sunday afternoon’s ‘JMcK 63’ All Star Invite, ran in memory of John McKarns. Coming into Oktoberfest, Jerry Mueller currently sits fifth in Big 8 points, eight markers ahead of Jake Zellmer, who is already locked into the JMcK with two weekly wins at Dells Raceway Park this year. NASCAR Illinois Rookie of the Year Jake Vanoskey currently sits seventh in Big 8 points, just 26 points behind Zellmer. Nearly 80 drivers are eligible for Sunday’s JMcK, including 2017 weekly track feature winners, past JMcK winners and the top six in Big 8 Late Model Series points.

For more information on the 48th Oktoberfest Race Weekend, please visit oktoberfestraceweekend.com. For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit big8series.com.

BILDERBACK CLINCHES BIG 8 TITLE, EYES MORE HISTORY SUNDAY

By: Eric Huenefeld

Saturday night at Rockford Speedway, Michael Bilderback did what he’s done more than anyone else since the beginning of the 2015 racing season; win races.

The South Beloit native bagged his 24th win in three years in a dominant effort during the 108 lap Big 8 Late Model Series event which was part of the 52nd Annual National Short Track Championships (NSTC).

Bilderback, who started the race from the eleventh position, made his was to the front on lap 27 after a brief battle with polesitter Dale Nottestad. Following the pass for the lead, Bilderback was rarely challenged. Half of that fact was due to Bilderback’s sheer dominance, while the other half was due to the pace of the race. The 26-car starting field ran the 108 lap race in just 45 minutes, with only three yellow flags stopping the event. The final caution flew on lap 46, meaning the final 62 circuits of the race were run under green flag conditions.

The win, coupled with trouble for four-time Series champion Jeremy Miller, clinched an unprecedented third consecutive Big 8 Late Model Series championship for Bilderback, who also tied Miller for first place on the all-time Big 8 Series wins list with 12 feature wins.

In reference to National Short Track Championships, Bilderback is also on the cusp of not only more history, but a sizeable bonus on Sunday afternoon; if the 26 year old driver can win the 200 lap Super Late Model National Short Track Championship race, he will pocket a $1500 bonus for becoming the first ever driver to win all three Late Model features at NSTC in a single year.

Cambridge Wisconsin’s Dale Nottestad came home in second place, after leading 13 laps early in the event, with four-time Big 8 NSTC winner Jon Reynolds Jr taking third position. Former Rockford Speedway Track Champion Alex Papini finished fourth, with Iowa teenager Brody Willett rounding out the top five.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Big 8 Late Model Series ‘108’
52nd National Short Track Championships
Rockford Speedway

1. Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
2. Dale Nottestad Cambridge, WI
3. Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
4. Alex Papini Rockford, IL
5. Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
6. Bobby Wilberg Beloit, WI
7. Adam Peschek Oconomowoc, WI
8. Jake Zellmer Muskego, WI
9. Tom Gille Winnebago, IL
10. John Baumeister Jr Beloit, WI
11. John Beinlich Cary, IL
12. Jake Vanoskey Hartford, WI
13. Chris Storey Burlington, WI
14. Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
15. Dennis Smith Jr South Beloit, IL
16. Jeff Wakeman Streator, IL
17. Cody Kippenhan Ypslianti, MI
18. Ryan Kamish Farmington, MN
19. Steve Rubeck Rockford, IL
20. Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL
21. Tyler Hromadka Brookfield, WI
22. RJ Braun Wales, WI
23. Mike Lloyd Davis, IL
24. Jake Gille Winnebago, IL
25. Max Kahler Caledonia, IL
26. Jerry Gille Roscoe, IL

Fast Qualifier: Miller (New Track Record)
Prelim Winners: Miller, Bilderback, Smith Jr, Nottestad, Beinlich
Entries: 30 Big 8 Late Models

2017 NSTC / Rockford Speedway Results

A-Main 01 — 1. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 2. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 3. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 4. Alex Papini, Rockford; 5. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 6. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 7. Adam Peschek, Oconomowoc, Wis; 8. Jacob Zellmer, Burlington, Wis; 9. Tom Gille, Winnebago; 10. John Baumeister, Jr., Beloit, Wis; 11. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 12. Jacob Vanoskey, Hartford, Wis; 13. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 14. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 15. Dennis Smith, Jr (r), South Beloit; 16. Jeff Wakeman, Streator; 17. Cody Kippenhan, Ypsilanti, Mich.; 18. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn.; 19. Steve Rubeck, Rockford; 20. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 21. Tyler Hromadka, Brookfield, Wis; 22. RJ Braun, Wales, Wis; 23. Mike Lloyd, Davis; 24. Jacob Gille, Winnebago; 25. Max Kahler (r), Caledonia; 26. Jerry Gille, Roscoe.

Last Chance “A” 01 — 1. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 2. Mike Lloyd, Davis; 3. Adam Peschek, Oconomowoc, Wis; 4. RJ Braun, Wales, Wis; 5. Cody Kippenhan, Ypsilanti, Mich.; 6. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 7. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn.; 8. Jeff Wakeman, Streator; 9. Tyler Hromadka, Brookfield, Wis; 10. Max Kahler (r), Caledonia.

Heat 01 — 1. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 2. Jerry Gille, Roscoe; 3. Jacob Zellmer, Burlington, Wis; 4. John Baumeister, Jr., Beloit, Wis; 5. Mike Lloyd, Davis; 6. Cody Kippenhan, Ypsilanti, Mich.; 7. Tyler Hromadka,

Heat 02 — 1. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 2. Jacob Vanoskey, Hartford, Wis; 3. Jacob Gille, Winnebago; 4. Tom Gille, Winnebago; 5. Adam Peschek, Oconomowoc, Wis; 6. Jeff Wakeman, Streator; 7. Max Kahler (r),

Heat 03 — 1. Dennis Smith, Jr (r), South Beloit; 2. Steve Rubeck, Rockford; 3. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 4. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 5. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 6. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis.

Heat 04 — 1. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 2. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 3. Alex Papini, Rockford; 4. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 5. RJ Braun, Wales, Wis; 6. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn..

Time Trial — 1. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 2. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 3. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 4. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 5. Jerry Gille, Roscoe; 6. Tom Gille, Winnebago; 7. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 8. Alex Papini, Rockford; 9. Jacob Zellmer, Burlington, Wis; 10. Jacob Gille, Winnebago; 11. Steve Rubeck, Rockford; 12. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 13. Mike Lloyd, Davis; 14. Adam Peschek, Oconomowoc, Wis; 15. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 16. RJ Braun, Wales, Wis; 17. John Baumeister, Jr., Beloit, Wis; 18. Jacob Vanoskey, Hartford, Wis; 19. Dennis Smith, Jr (r), South Beloit; 20. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 21. Cody Kippenhan, Ypsilanti, Mich.; 22. Jeff Wakeman, Streator; 23. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 24. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn.; 25. Tyler Hromadka, Brookfield, Wis; 26. Max Kahler (r), Caledonia.

A PARADE OF CHAMPIONS HITS THE TRACK WITH BIG 8 SERIES AT ROCKFORD

By: Eric Huenefeld

As the Big 8 Late Model Series makes its traditional stop at Rockford Speedway on “Short Track Saturday Night,” all eyes will be on Michael Bilderback.

Along with being one of the most dominant Big 8 drivers over the course of the last three racing seasons, Bilderback is on the verge of making history. If the South Beloit resident can hold onto the Big 8 Series point lead and end the season as Big 8 Late Model Series champion, he would become the first driver in series history to win three consecutive championships.

This summer, the 26-year-old became the first driver since 2008-2009 to win back-to-back Rockford Speedway track championships. A four-time winner on Saturday nights in 2017, Bilderback won three features in a span of four weeks to help pad his point lead on his way to the title. Since 2015, Bilderback has captured 22 Big 8 Late Model-style feature wins.

But there will be a mountain of contenders looking to challenge Bilderback and take the win on Saturday night. Two of the leading contenders to challenge the champion are Jeremy Miller and Jon Reynolds Jr. Miller, a four-time Big 8 Late Model Series champion, has collected one Big 8 win in 2017 (Madison in July) and has been the closest pursuer to Bilderback all season long. Miller is not only looking for a 13th career Big 8 Series win, but is also looking for his first Rockford win since September of 2007. On the other hand, Reynolds is trying to add to history, looking for an unprecedented 5th Big 8 Series victory at Rockford during NSTC. A Big 8 win at Rockford would also tie Reynolds with Miller for most Big 8 Series wins all-time.

Seven-time Rockford Speedway track champion Bobby Wilberg returns to NSTC this weekend, looking for his fourth career win at National Short Track Championships. Rockford is the site of Wilberg’s only Big 8 Late Model Series win, back in 2015 at Spring Classic. This summer was another successful year on-track for Wilberg, who pocketed the track championship at Madison International Speedway. Speaking of track champions converging on Rockford Speedway, multi-time Jefferson Speedway champion Dale Nottestad is set to return to NSTC this weekend, looking for his first win in the 108 lap race. Nottestad, like Wilberg, is a former Big 8 winner at Rockford during Spring Classic.

Three-time Rockford Speedway track champion Jerry Gille has entered this Saturday night’s Big 8 Late Model Series race at NSTC, along with his nephew and 2015 Rockford Speedway track champion Jake Gille, who famously saw a solid run in last year’s 108 lap race end with a harrowing wreck in Turn 3. In limited action during 2017, Gille has been consistent as usual, with a pair of top five finishes.

2013 Rockford Speedway track champion Alex Papini, who was a top five finisher at Spring Classic back in April and a feature winner at Rockford in June, also returns this weekend at NSTC. Other contenders Saturday night include two-time National Short Track Champion Steve Rubeck, Iowa’s Brody Willett, Minnesota’s Ryan Kamish, Wisconsin’s Jake Zellmer, former ‘Rockford Rules 200’ winner Tom Gille along with former Rockford Speedway Rookie of the Year Mitch Garfield.

The 52nd Annual National Short Track Championships take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 29, 30 and October 1 at Rockford Speedway. Friday’s “Opening Night” features five divisions and gets going at a NEW start time of 6 PM. “Short Track Saturday Night” takes the green at 5 PM and includes a 108 lap Big 8 Late Model Series race plus Super Late Model preliminaries, Great Northern Sportsman Series and Northern Vintage Racers. “Championship Sunday” goes green at 12:30 PM and is headlined by the 200 lap National Short Track Championship and is accompanied by the Mid American Stock Car Series and American Super Cups.

For more information on the 52nd Annual National Short Track Championships or to order tickets in advance, please call 815-633-1500 or visit rockfordspeedway.com.