By: Eric Huenefeld

Big 8 Late Model Series officials have released their 2016 Schedule of Events, which includes eight individual racing events at seven facilities in four different states.

Again this season, the Series takes part in some of the most well-known race dates held annually at some of the most storied short tracks in America.

The twelfth season of Big 8 Late Model Series competition begins on Sunday afternoon April 17 at Rockford (IL) Speedway as part of the 39th annual Spring Classic. For the second consecutive season and third time ever, the feature race of Spring Classic will be 88 laps in distance.

For the second straight season, the “Best Weekly Warriors in the Country” head to Iowa, for “Clash at the Downs II’ at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids. Three weeks later, the Series makes its traditional summertime stop at Madison (WI) International Speedway for the “Salute to America,” which includes a full racing program and fabulous Fireworks display!

One month after the Madison event, the Big 8 Late Model Series contests two races in five days as part of a couple major mid-summer events. Friday July 29, the Series makes its fifth all-time appearance at State Park Speedway in Wausau WI, headlining the first night of the Larry Detjens Memorial Weekend. Then, Tuesday night August 2, the Big 8 Late Model Series shares the spotlight with the ARCA Midwest Tour as part of the “Dixieland 250,” with a 38 lap “Dixieland Delight” scheduled for the Big 8 Late Models.

The 2016 Big 8 Series champion will once again be determined by “three races in three weeks,” starting Saturday September 24 at Elko (MN) Speedway as part of the 8th Annual “Thunderstruck.” Then, Saturday night October 1, it’s the most grueling race of the season, the 108 lap National Short Track Championship as part of the 51st anniversary of “One Great Racing Weekend” at Rockford Speedway. Finally, on Saturday October 8, the season comes to a close at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem WI as part of the 47th Oktoberfest Race Weekend.

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 and “Follow” us on Twitter @big8series.


Sunday April 17 – “39th Annual Spring Classic” 88 Laps
Rockford Speedway (Loves Park, IL)

Friday June 3 – ”Clash at the Downs II” 48 Laps
Hawkeye Downs (Cedar Rapids, IA)

Friday June 24 – “Salute to America” 48 Laps
Madison Int’l Speedway (Oregon, WI)

Friday July 29 – “Larry Detjens Memorial” 58 Laps
State Park Speedway (Wausau, WI)

Tuesday August 2 – “Dixieland Delight” 38 Laps
Wisconsin Int’l Raceway (Kaukauna, WI)

Saturday September 24 – “Thunderstruck” 58 Laps
Elko Speedway (Elko New Market, MN)

Saturday October 1 – “51st Nat’l Short Track Championships” 108 Laps
Rockford Speedway (Loves Park, IL)

Saturday October 8 – “Oktoberfest Race Weekend” 68 Laps
La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway (West Salem, WI)


By: Eric Huenefeld
With the heartbreak of finishing one point shy of the 2008 Big 8 Late Model Series championship still fresh in his mind, Michael Bilderback was on a mission Saturday at the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway.

Armed with confidence after a dominant performance the week prior at Rockford Speedway, along with a 55 point cushion on his nearest pursuer, Bilderback left no doubt at the 46th Oktoberfest Race Weekend, qualifying 3rd fastest out of a season-high 45 qualifiers and later racing from a tenth starting spot to a second place finish in the 68 lap Big 8 Series Championship Feature.

Bilderback, along with two-time Series champion Casey Johnson, worked through the field together from their fifth-row starting spots, finding the top five very early in the event. The 28-car starting field clicked off 53 consecutive laps of green flag racing before the first of three caution flags flew in the race’s final 15 laps. Throughout the final 15 circuits, Johnson and Bilderback, along with fast qualifier Ty Majeski, challenged race-long leader J Herbst. Despite their best attempts, neither driver could break free to challenge Herbst, who seemed to collect his first Big 8 Series win. However, Herbst’s win was disallowed after his race car failed Post Race Inspection.

The post-race shake up awarded the win to Johnson, giving the three-time Jefferson Speedway champion his ninth career Big 8 Series win and his first conquest on the tour in just three starts this season. Bilderback ended up moving into the second position, while Majeski, who competed in his first Big 8 event since 2011, was credited with third. Tim Sargent and Rich Schumann Jr finished the 68 laps in fourth and fifth respectively.

Bilderback’s final margin of victory in the 2015 Big 8 point standings was 105 points over his nearest competitor Austin Nason. The final day of the season was the toughest for Nason, who experienced issues with his vehicle during final practice, which forced him to jump into Jeremy Miller’s machine for the rest of the night. With no laps prior to qualifying aboard Miller’s mount, Nason qualified in the top ten, but found fewer successes after that and ended the 68 lap race in 16th place, his worst finish of the 2015 season.

In his championship run, Bilderback finished no worse than sixth in any Big 8 race during the 2015 season and through eight races sported an amazing average finish of third place. Along with six wins at his home track Rockford Speedway, Bilderback was a two-time Big 8 winner in 2015, with a memorable sideways slide to win at Wausau ahead of Herbst and the aforementioned dominant win at Rockford during the 50th Anniversary National Short Track Championships.

Nason was the only other driver besides Bilderback to win multiple times on the 2015 tour, collecting his wins at Madison in late June and at Elko in September. Despite the rough final day of the season, Nason still ended up second in the final points rundown, 32 markers ahead of Bobby Wilberg, who won the first race of the season in April at Rockford. Wilberg passed more cars than anyone in the 68 lap feature at LaCrosse, starting the race from 25th position and finishing in ninth.

Iowa State University freshman and Minnesota native Michael Ostdiek made an impressive late-season push to fourth in the Big 8 Late Model Series standings. Ostdiek, a three-time feature winner at Elko Speedway this summer, collected his first three Big 8 Series top-fives this season at Madison, Kaukauna and Elko. Fellow Minnesotan Cole Anderson not only finished the season fifth in Big 8 Series standings, but also won the 2015 Big 8 Late Model Series Rookie of the Year Award. Anderson edged out Wayne Freimund for fifth place in the Big 8 standings by just a single point.

The Big 8 Late Model Series now looks forward to it’s twelfth season in 2016, which again opens at Rockford Speedway in April as part of the 39th Annual Spring Classic. The preliminary 2016 Big 8 Late Model Series schedule will be available around January 1st. For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet, please visit big8series.com or please call 815-633-1500.

Big 8 Late Model Series
Final 2015 Point Standings (Top 10)

1. 2 Michael Bilderback 851 (2 wins)
2. 14 Austin Nason 746 (2 wins)
3. 28 Bobby Wilberg 714 (1 win)
4. 18 Michael Ostdiek 651
5. 97 Cole Anderson 564 ®
6. 95 Wayne Freimund 563
7. X Jon Reynolds Jr 557 (1 win)
8. 5 Dave Edwards 464
9. 5 Casey Johnson 420 (1 win)
10. 45 Michael Bachaus 397


What: 46th Oktoberfest Race Weekend

Where: LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway (N4985 Co Rd M, West Salem, WI 54669)

When: Saturday night October 10

Schedule and Information:
8 AM- Pit Gates/Grandstands Open
9:25 AM- Practice Begins
2:05 PM- Qualifying
5 PM- Racing begins

Divisions Competing:
Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet
PLUS: ARCA Midwest Tour Super Late Models, Mid American Stock Car Series and Midwest Dash Cars

Admission Prices:
Adults: $25
Ages 12-17 (with Student ID): $12
Ages 6-11: $5
Kids 5 and under FREE

Current Big 8 Late Model Series Point Standings
(Top 15 thru seven races)

1. 2 Michael Bilderback (2) 736
2. 14 Austin Nason (2) 681
2. 28 Bobby Wilberg (1) 638
4. 18 Michael Ostdiek 582
5. X Jon Reynolds Jr (1) 557
6. 95 Wayne Freimund 504
7. 97 Cole Anderson ® 494
8. 5 Dave Edwards 422
9. 82 J Herbst 362
10. 45 Michael Bachaus 353
11. 15 Michael Clapper 349
12. 66 Adam Peschek 346
13. 36 Lyle Nowak 315
14. 5 Casey Johnson 296
17 Eric Connell 296

PREVIEWING THE 46th OKTOBERFEST RACE WEEKEND: What started in northern Illinois in April will be decided in western Wisconsin this Saturday night, as a new Big 8 Late Model Series champion will be crowned at the Oktoberfest Race Weekend! Coming into the 2015 Championship Race for the ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country,’ Michael Bilderback sits poised to pocket his first Big 8 Series crown. The 24 year old from South Beloit Illinois has put together a solid year along the Big 8 tour, finishing no worse than sixth in any series event while also collecting wins at Wausau in July and Rockford last weekend. A near perfect performance last weekend at his home track put Bilderback 55 points ahead of runner-up Austin Nason, the only other multi-time winner on the Big 8 tour in 2015 (Madison & Elko). After leading the standings for the first half of the season, Bobby Wilberg has slipped to third, with last week’s 19th place finish at Rockford a back-breaker in Wilberg’s push for the championship. Making a late push for the top three in points is Iowa State University freshman Michael Ostdiek, who has climbed to fourth in Big 8 Series points and has three top-fives in his last five races. Along with the point battles, drivers to watch at La Crosse Saturday night include two-time La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway track champion J Herbst, who is fresh off his third Big 8 Series top five in four starts this year, along with four-time Series champion Jeremy Miller and two-time Series champion Casey Johnson.


Sat Oct 10- 46th Oktoberfest Race Weekend (La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem WI)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit http://www.big8series.com


By: Eric Huenefeld

Coming into Rockford Speedway’s 50th Anniversary National Short Track Championships, the three drivers at the top of the Big 8 Late Model Series point standings were separated by just 32 points. Leaving Rockford Speedway on Saturday night, the story changed and one driver took ownership of the 2015 championship chase.

South Beloit’s Michael Bilderback had a dominant Saturday night at his home track, collecting fast time honors, then charging through the talent laden field on his way to collecting his second win of the Big 8 Late Model Series season and his first win at the National Short Track Championships.

Bilderback quickly worked his way to the front of the field, trailing only Casey Johnson for the lead by lap 25. Over the course of the next 30 laps, Johnson and Bilderback set a blistering pace at the head of the class, with the three-time Jefferson Speedway champion Johnson holding off Bilderback at nearly every corner. Finally, as the race neared halfway, Bilderback was able to work his machine to the inside of Johnson and made the move for the top spot. Once Bilderback positioned his vehicle at the front of the field, he was rarely challenged again.

Following Bilderback’s winning pass, the race saw it’s longest green flag run at nearly 50 laps. In the process, drivers like J Herbst and Alex Papini made their trek towards the top five. Herbst, who started 15th after racing his way into the 108 lap feature via a qualifying race, climbed as high as third, while Papini, who was involved in an early race incident in the third corner, raced from the back of the field to end up in third.

When the checkered flag flew, it was Bilderback who held off all comers in a five-lap sprint to the finish following a late-race yellow flag. Johnson held on to second place while Papini scratched ahead of Herbst for the third position on the last lap. Four-time Big 8 Series champion Jeremy Miller made his first series start of 2015 and came home in fifth.

Bilderback put plenty of daylight between himself and his nearest competition in the Big 8 Late Model Series point standings with just one more race to go in the 2015 season. Austin Nason, who came into the race second in points, just 20 off of Bilderback back’s lead, fell back late in the 108 lap race and settled for seventh in the final order, while Bobby Wilberg, who entered the race in third place in the standings, fell out of the race and was scored 19th in the final rundown.

In other action Saturday night…

Oak Creek Wisconsin’s Ryan Gutkneckt won a caution-free 50 lap Mid American Stock Car Series feature. The win was Gutkneckt’s first win in the Series and the first for his family at Rockford Speedway after over 20 years of trying. Former Rockford winners and former Mid-Am champions Lyle Nowak and Mark Pluer came home second and third, respectively.

Patrick Bruns topped off a dominant season in the Illini Racing Series Midgets, winning the 30 lap championship feature over his teammate Max Pozsgai. Bruns was officially crowned the IRS champion for the fourth time in his career while also winning his third NSTC crown.

Mendota’s Matt Ramer held off a furious charge from Pat ‘Hacksaw’ Heaney to win the 20 lap Vintage Racers of Illinois feature race.


What: 50th Anniversary National Short Track Championships

Where: Rockford Speedway (1601 West Lane Road Loves Park, IL 61111)

When: Saturday night October 3

Schedule and Information:
8:30 AM- Pit Gates Open
10:30 AM- Rotating Practice
2:15 PM- Qualifying
5:05 PM- Racing begins

Divisions Competing:
Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet
PLUS: Super Late Models, Mid American Stock Car Series, Illini Racing Series, Vintage Racers of Illinois

Admission Prices:
Reserved Seating (Sections D, E & F)- $20 Adults (Ages 12 & over), $10 (ages 11 and under)
General Admission- $18 (Ages 12 and up), $8 (Ages 6-11), $3 (ages 5 and under)

Current Big 8 Late Model Series Point Standings (Top 14 thru six races)
1. 2 Michael Bilderback (1) 608
2. 14 Austin Nason (2) 588
3. 28 Bobby Wilberg (1) 576
4. 18 Michael Ostdiek 506
5. X Jon Reynolds Jr (1) 497
6. 97 Cole Anderson ® 431
7. 95 Wayne Freimund 418
8. 5 Dave Edwards 375
9. 36 Lyle Nowak 315
10. 62 Adam Peschek 298
11. 17 Eric Connell 294
12. 45 Michael Bachaus 284
13. 15 Michael Clapper 283
14. 82 J Herbst 268

PREVIEWING THE 50th ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL SHORT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS: In what has become one of the most anticipated races of every Big 8 season, the 108 lap test of man and machine returns to Rockford Speedway this Saturday night as part of ‘One Great Racing Weekend’ and the 50th Anniversary National Short Track Championships. This year’s grand climax to ‘Short Track Saturday Night’ features 32 drivers on the Pre-Entry List and a very close battle for the 2015 Big 8 championship. Last Saturday night at Elko (MN) Speedway, Austin Nason became the first Big 8 driver to win multiple times on the 2015 schedule while holding off Elko champion Chris Marek to seal the deal. With the solid night at Elko, Nason climbed to second in points and to within 20 markers of point leader Michael Bilderback. Despite early adversity, Bilderback raced back to sixth place in the final running order, pushing past Bobby Wilberg at the checkered flag. A sub-par evening in Minnesota dropped Wilberg, the winner at Rockford in April, back to third in series points. With just 32 total points separating the top three, Rockford sets up to be wild, unpredictable and very important in the title chase. Joining the Big 8 point leaders are Rockford aces Jon Reynolds Jr, Jake Gille, Alex Papini, Tom Gille and Josh Nelms along with Four-time Big 8 Series champion Jeremy Miller and defending race winner Casey Johnson, who collected the victory September in a three-wide fashion following a green-white-checkered finish.

Sat Oct 3- 50th Anniversary National Short Track Championships (Rockford Speedway, Loves Park IL)
Sat Oct 10- 46th Oktoberfest Race Weekend (La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem WI)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit www.big8series.com


What: NAPA Auto Parts presents the 7th annual ‘Thunderstruck’

Where: Elko Speedway (26350 France Ave, Elko, MN 55020)

When: Saturday night September 26

Schedule and Information:
9 AM- Pit Gates Open
12:45-2:20 PM Rotating Practice
4 PM- Qualifying
6 PM- Racing begins

Divisions Competing:
Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet
PLUS: the ARCA Midwest Tour, Thunder Cars, Power Stocks, Legends & Hornets

Admission Prices:
Adult (13 and up) – $20
Ages 4-12 – $5
Ages 3 and under- FREE

Current Big 8 Late Model Series Point Standings (Top 15 thru five races)

1. #2 Michael Bilderback 515 (1)
2. #28 Bobby Wilberg 502 (1)
3. #14 Austin Nason 482 (1)
4. #X Jon Reynolds Jr 459 (1)
5. #18 Michael Ostdiek 412
6. #97 Cole Anderson ® 365
7. #95 Wayne Freimund 338
8. #5 Dave Edwards 321
9. #36 Lyle Nowak 315
10. #45 Michael Bachaus 284
11. #82 J Herbst 268
12. #17 Eric Connell 248
13. #15 Michael Clapper 247
14. #66 Adam Peschek 233
15. #29 Caleb Adrian 195 (1)

PREVIEWING THE 7TH ANNUAL ‘THUNDERSTRUCK’: Following a 51 day layoff, the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet returns to action this weekend, as the ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country’ head to Minnesota to begin a stretch of ‘Three Races in Three Weeks’ to determine the 2015 Big 8 Series champion. This Saturday night’s event at Elko Speedway is the fourth in Series history at the track, and features a solid list of drivers competing. The chase for the Big 8 Championship continues with no less than five drivers mathematically in the mix for the series crown. Michael Bilderback leads the charge, with a slim 13 point advantage over Bobby Wilberg. Both drivers have one Big 8 victory this season, with Bilderback’s win at Wausau in July swinging the point battle into his favor. Madison winner Austin Nason sits third, just 33 points off of the top spot and 20 points away from second, while Kaukauna winner ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr is fourth in the standings, 56 markers off of the lead. Minnesota teenager Michael Ostdiek may be a long-shot for the Big 8 champinship (103 points back in fifth), but the Elko regular may be a favorite to win Saturday night. Besides racking up top-five finishes in two of his last three Big 8 starts, Ostdiek is a multi-time winner at Elko Speedway in 2015. Other hometown favorites gunning for victory include two-time Elko Speedway Track Champion and 2013 Thunderstruck winner ‘Crusier’ Chris Marek and veteran racer Jon Lemke, both of whom have won multiple times at their home track in 2015.

Sat Sept 26- 7th Annual ‘Thunderstruck 93’ (Elko Speedway, Elko New Market, MN)
Sat Oct 3- 50th Anniversary National Short Track Championships (Rockford Speedway, Loves Park, IL)
Sat Oct 10- 46th Oktoberfest Race Weekend (La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, WI)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit www.big8series.com


WEST SALEM, WI – The popular ‘Big 8-style’ Late Models which compete at eleven different tracks throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa are once again to be featured on the final day of the 46th Oktoberfest Racing Weekend.

The top ‘weekly warriors’ in the region who have notched wins at their home tracks in 2015 will be among those who are eligible to compete for the ‘JMcK 63’, to be held Sunday October 11th at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway on the final day of the four day celebration of short track racing. The Late Model invitational event, honoring the late short track auto racing promoter John McKarns, returns to the final day of Oktoberfest for the sixth consecutive season.

Modeled after the Dick Trickle 99 race format McKarns introduced to ‘Fest in 2007, the JMcK 63 is contested in three 21 lap segments with the first segment being lined up by draw, the second by inversion and third based on the overall point total heading into the final segment. ‘JMcK’ was an abbreviated version of John McKarns’ signature over the years.

This invitational event is open to 2015 weekly late model and Big 8 Series feature winners, former Big 8 Series Oktoberfest Champions, past ARTGO Challenge Series top guns as well as the top six in Big 8 Series points.

The first installment of the JMcK back in 2010 saw local favorite Skylar Holzhausen take the win in dramatic fashion. In 2011, Kyle Shear claimed top honors as he passed an impressive 34 cars throughout the day to capture victory. In 2012, Zach Riddle capped off an unforgettable Oktoberfest Weekend, winning the JMcK one day after finishing first in the Big 8 Series’ championship race on the half-mile oval. In 2014, Minnesota’s Chris Marek nearly became the first driver to sweep all three segments of the event on his road to victory. Last season, Minnesota youngster Michael Beamish put his name in the record books as a winner of the ‘JMcK 63.’

For additional information regarding the Oktoberfest Race Weekend including camping, call 608-786-1525 or visit www.oktoberfestraceweekend.com.

JMcK 63 Big 8 Late Model Invitational
Oktoberfest Race Weekend
Sunday Afternoon October 11, 2015
La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway
(64 Eligible Drivers as of 8/25/14)

Al Stippich- Slinger Speedway
Alex Papini- Rockford Speedway
Alex Prunty- Slinger Speedway
Austin Nason- Big 8 Series
Bobby Wilberg- 2012 JMcK Segment Winner
Brad Osborn- Hawkeye Downs
Brad Powell- LaCrosse Speedway
Braison Bennett- Wisconsin International
Brandon Pendleton- Jefferson Speedway
Brent Strelka- Wisconsin International
Brian Gibson- Hawkeye Downs
Bryan Monday- Wisconsin International
Caleb Adrian- Hawkeye Downs
Casey Johnson- Jefferson Speedway/Big 8 Series
Chris Marek- Elko Speedway/2013 JMcK winner
Cole Anderson- State Park Speedway
Dale Nottestad- Madison International
Daryl Gerke- Rockford Speedway
David Cabelka- State Park Speedway
Dudley Fleck- Hawkeye Downs/ARTGO Star
Dylan Schuyler- Jefferson Speedway
Eddie Muenster- Wisconsin International
Gary Krueger- ARTGO Star
Gary Natrop- Wisconsin International
Griffin McGrath- Hawkeye Downs
J Herbst- 2012 Segment Winner
Jake Gille- Rockford Speedway
Jake Ryan- Elko Speedway
Jamie Farrell- Elko Speedway
Jason Schuler- 2011 JMcK Segment Winner/ARTGO Star
Jeff Nowak- State Park Speedway
Jeremy Miller- Madison International/Past Big 8 Champion
Jesse Bernhagen- Dells Raceway
Jim Duchow- Wisconsin International
Joe Neisius- Elko Speedway
Jon Lemke- Elko Speedway/ARTGO Star
Jon Reynolds Jr- Rockford Speedway/Big 8 Series
Justin Mondiek- State Park Speedway
Kevin Nuttleman- Over 100 career La Crosse wins
Kyle Shear- 2011 JMcK Winner
Lawrence Berthiume- Elko Speedway
Michael Beamish- 2014 JMcK Winner
Michael Bilderback- Rockford Speedway/Big 8 Series
Michael Gruenberg- Jefferson Speedway
Michael Ostdiek- Elko Speedway
Mike Carlson- LaCrosse Speedway
Mike Held- Slinger Speedway
Nick Nolden- Dells Raceway
Phil Malouf- State Park Speedway
Rich Schumann Jr- Dells Raceway
Rusty Hansen- Madison International
Ryan Zielski- Slinger Speedway
Shaun Scheel- Jefferson Speedway
Skylar Holzhausen- Past Big 8 ‘Fest Winner/2010 JMcK Winner
Stephen Scheel- Jefferson Speedway
Steve Carlson- La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway/ARTGO Star
Steve Dobbratz- Dells Raceway
Steve Rubeck- Past Big 8 ‘Fest Winner
Taylor Vandermoss- Wisconsin International
Tim Plummer- Hawkeye Downs
Todd Korish- La Crosse Speedway/Past Big 8 ‘Fest Winner
Ty Majeski- LaCrosse Speedway
Wayne Freimund- Past J McK segment winner
Zach Riddle- Past Big 8 ‘Fest Winner/2012 JMcK Winner

To Enter this event or for eligibility questions please contact Gregg McKarns at 815-703-0285


By: Eric Huenefeld

As he has done so many times before in his Big 8 Late Model Series career, ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr rose to the occasion in a big race. And as he has done so many times before, Reynolds stole the lead late in the going. And in winning Tuesday night’s Gandrud Chevrolet ‘Dixieland Delight’ at Wisconsin International Raceway, Reynolds also reached a milestone in his Big 8 Late Model Series career.

The Rockford Illinois native captured his eleventh career Big 8 Series victory on Tuesday evening and in the process became the all-time wins leader with the Big 8 Late Model Series, breaking a tie with four-time Big 8 Series champion Jeremy Miller.

Reynolds started the race from the fourth position, next to Michael Ostdiek and behind the front row of Bobby Wilberg and Cole Anderson. At the drop of the green flag, Wilberg pounced to the lead from his pole position, while Ostdiek followed Wilberg forward and claimed the second spot. As the rest of the field jockeyed for position, Wilberg and Ostdiek moved forward on their own, with Ostdiek challenging Wilberg for the race lead. On the ninth lap, the Minnesota youngster was able to scoot ahead of Wilberg and claim the race lead. Shortly after Ostdiek advanced to the front of the field, the first yellow flag of the race flew for outside front row starter Anderson, whose vehicle stopped at the entrance of turn three.

On the restart, Ostdiek accelerated ahead of the pack, while Wilberg faced a stiff challenge for second place in the form of Austin Nason. Nason moved into second place on the thirteenth lap, when the second caution waved for an incident between Michael Bilderback and Bryan Monday. Both cars, including the co-point leader Bilderback, were sent to the tail following the incident.

It then took just two laps for the next yellow flag to wave, when Anderson again had troubles, tangling with Eric Connell in turn one. The fracas sent Anderson sideways and Connell towards the turn one wall. Thirteen year old Grant Greisbach sailed into the incident also, sustaining the most damage of the three. Greisbach’s car was the only vehicle to be towed away.

Following the lap 16 restart, Nason made his move to the front, disposing of Ostdiek quickly. Two laps later, Reynolds made his move for second, getting past Ostdiek for the runner up slot just one lap before the final yellow flag of the race at halfway following a tangle between Adam Peschek and Mike Meyerhofer Jr.

On the final restart, Ostdiek slipped to fourth place, while Reynolds took off after race leader Nason. As the top two began to play their game of cat-and-mouse, Bilderback was blasting back through the field, making it back into the top five just thirteen laps after being at the back of the 20-car field.

Following several laps of filling Nason’s rear-view mirror, Reynolds deployed to the inside of Nason for the race lead with two laps to go. As the two drivers fought for the lead, they slid up the track in the second turn, allowing Ostdiek a chance to sneak beneath both of them for a look at the lead. The three racers went three wide, with Bilderback blasting the gas and sticking his nose into the battle as well! When the dust cleared and the white flag waved, it was Reynolds ahead of Nason. Over the course of the final lap, Reynolds kept a car-length and a half buffer between he and the three-way tango for the second. When the leaders crossed the finish line, it was Reynolds in first place, claiming his second Late Model feature win in four days. The second place race was three wide at the checkers, with Nason holding onto the spot ahead of Ostdiek and Bilderback. Fast qualifier Jesse Bernhagen rounded out the top five.

Gandrud Chevrolet ‘Dixieland Delight’
Race Results
Tuesday August 4 2015
Wisconsin International Raceway

1. Jon Reynolds Jr Rockford, IL
2. Austin Nason Roscoe, IL
3. Michael Ostdiek Lakeville, MN
4. Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
5. Jesse Bernhagen Markesan, WI
6. Bobby Wilberg Beloit, WI
7. Lyle Nowak Wausau, WI
8. Brandon Reichenberger Appleton, WI
9. Michael Clapper Dane, WI
10. Mike Meyerhofer Jr Hilbert, WI
11. Adam Peschek Oconomowoc, WI
12. Dave Edwards Salem, WI
13. Jake Vanoskey Hartford, WI
14. Eric Connell Ft Atkinson, WI
15. Tyler Hromodka Brookfield, WI
16. Bryan Monday Appleton, WI
17. Michael Bachaus Whitewater, WI
18. Cole Anderson Northfield, MN
19. Grant Greisbach Waukesha, WI
20. Wayne Freimund Elkhorn, WI

Lap Leaders: Wilberg (pole-8), Ostdiek (9-15), Nason (16-36), Reynolds (37-38)
Fast Qualifier: Bernhagen
Car Count: 20 Big 8 Late Models


What: Gandrud Chevrolet ‘Dixieland Delight’

Where: Wisconsin International Raceway (W1460 County Rd KK, Kaukauna, WI)

When: Tuesday night August 4

Schedule and Information:
10 AM- Pit Gates Open
4 PM- Fan Gates Open
3:05 & 4:15 PM- Big 8 Series Practice
5 PM- Qualifying
7 PM- Racing begins

Divisions Competing:
Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet
PLUS: the ARCA Midwest Tour Forest County Potawatomi Dixieland 250 presented by Calypso Lemonade

Admission Prices:
Adult (13 and up) – $15
Ages 12 and Under – FREE

Current Big 8 Late Model Series Point Standings (Top 14 thru four races)

1 #2 Michael Bilderback 417 (1)
#28 Bobby Wilberg 417 (1)
3. #14 Austin Nason 357 (1)
4. #X Jon Reynolds Jr 343
5. #97 Cole Anderson ® 307
6. #18 Michael Ostdiek 299
7. #95 Wayne Freimund 292
8. #5 Dave Edwards 257
9. #82 J Herbst 248
10. #36 Lyle Nowak 235
11. #45 Michael Bachaus 232
12. #29 Calen Adrian 195 (1)
13. #17 Eric Connell 190
14. #15 Michael Clapper 177

PREVIEWING THE GANDRUD CHEVROLET ‘DIXIELAND DELIGHT’: Just eleven days after Michael Bilderback executed a ‘spin and win’ at State Park Speedway and became the fourth winner in four Big 8 Series events this season, the ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country’ return to action at the Wisconsin International Raceway (WIR) for a Tuesday Night Special, sharing the spotlight with the ARCA Midwest Tour and the Dixieland 250. As the Big 8 Late Model Series makes it’s return to WIR for the first time since 2009, an exciting group of contenders are looking to claim victory in the 38 lap Gandrud Chevrolet ‘Dixieland Delight.’ Bilderback leads the charge to Kaukauna, with four Late Model victories this year including three at Rockford Speedway and the aforementioned triumph in Wausau eleven days ago. Coming into Kaukauna, Bilderback shares the Big 8 Series point lead with Spring Classic winner Bobby Wilberg, who fought back from a tough start at Wausau and escaped State Park Speedway with a tie atop the standings. Former Big 8 Series champion ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr finally got back on the winning track this past Saturday, claiming victory at Rockford Speedway. The last time Reynolds raced at WIR, he climbed eleven spots in 38 laps and nearly garnered a top five finish after starting deep in the field. Another winner from this past weekend who plans to challenge for the win at WIR is Jesse Bernhagen, the 2012 Big 8 Series Rookie of the Year. Bernhagen was victorious Saturday night at Dells Raceway Park, claiming his second win of the season. Madison winner Austin Nason will pull double duty Tuesday night, running both the 38 lap Big 8 Series feature and the 250 lap Dixieland event. Nason currently sits third in both the Big 8 and ARCA Midwest Tour point standings.

(as of 8/3/15)

O1- Bryan Monday Appleton, WI
2- Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
2- Tim Sargent South Beloit, IL
3- Tyler Hromodka Brookfield, WI
5- Dave Edwards Salem, WI
X- Jon Reynolds Jr Rockford, IL
11- Brandon Reichenberger Appleton, WI
14- Austin Nason Roscoe, IL
15- Michael Clapper Dane, WI
17- Eric Connell Ft Atkinson, WI
17- Grant Greisbach Waukesha, WI
18- Michael Ostdiek Lakeville, MN
28- Jesse Bernhagen Markesan, WI
28- Bobby Wilberg Beloit, WI
32- Mike Meyerhofer Jr Hilbert, WI
36- Lyle Nowak Wausau, WI
45- Michael Bachaus Whitewater, WI
62- Adam Peschek Oconomowoc, WI
84- Jake Vanoskey Hartford, WI
95- Wayne Freimund Elkhorn, WI
97- Cole Anderson Northfield, MN

Tues Aug 4- Gandrud Chevrolet Dixieland Delight (Wisconsin Int’l Raceway, Kaukauna WI)
Sat Sept 26- 7th Annual ‘Thunderstruck 93’ (Elko Speedway, Elko New Market, MN)
Sat Oct 3- 50th Anniversary National Short Track Championships (Rockford Speedway, Loves Park, IL)
Sat Oct 10- 46th Oktoberfest Race Weekend (La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, WI)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit www.big8series.com


By: Eric Huenefeld

On Friday night at State Park Speedway, Michael Bilderback returned to Big 8 Late Model Series victory lane for the first time since 2008. And for the first time in Big 8 Late Model Series history, the winning car arrived in victory lane on a wrecker.

Bilderback slid across the line inches ahead of runner up J Herbst following a frantic 12 lap sprint, the after the checkered flag waved, Bilderback’s sideways vehicle was struck on the entrance of turn one as the thundering herd of racecars charged across the line.

The build-up to the grand finale was just as exciting on this night, as twenty-two Big 8 Late Models took to the track for the 58 lap feature. Big 8 Series Rookie of the Year point leader Cole Anderson led the field to green, with local favorite Lyle Nowak on his outside. The front two raced side-by-side for the first handful of circuits, with Anderson leading lap one and Nowak slipping ahead on the second lap. By the fifth circuit, Nowak claimed the lead for himself, yet within a the span of a lap, saw pressure for the lead in the form of two-time Big 8 Series champion Casey Johnson. Within another lap, Johnson breezed into the race lead and set sail from the rest of the field.

Behind Johnson, the action was intense as Bilderback and Herbst picked their way to the front. The road forward was much smoother and quicker for Bilderback, as the South Beloit Illinois native found himself in second place by lap 17. Herbst, who started ninth, fell to eleventh early in the race, but began his charge around lap 12. While Herbst raced forward, Bilderback assumed second place and began to chip away at the lead of Johnson. Just as Bilderback began to make gains on Johnson in lapped traffic, both drivers encountered a scare which would produce the first caution flag of the race. As Johnson and Bilderback entered the third corner on the twenty-third lap, they saw Adam Peschek and Michael Clapper enter a tight space together. The two cars touched doors and slowed up, then were contacted by a quickly closing Mondell Peters. All three cars were able to continue on, but the contact popped the hood off of Peters’ Chevrolet, sending it skyward and eventually onto the race track, bringing out the yellow flag.

The stoppage allowed Bilderback to restart on the bumper of Johnson, and it also allowed Herbst a chance to close in on the rest of the field. When racing resumed, Johnson and Bilderback jumped away, while Herbst went to work on the rest of the field. As the race approached halfway, Bilderback was able to make his move to the inside of Johnson and by lap 30, Bilderback assumed the lead. Just as it seemed Bilderback may disappear from the rest of the front runners, the final yellow flag of the race appeared as a breakage on Evan Call’s #43 car sent him spinning in the third corner.

On the final restart with twenty one laps to go, Herbst began his assault up front, getting past Nowak and Austin Nason for fourth and third respectively. Herbst then set his sights on Johnson for second place, finally claiming the runner up position with 12 laps to go. With a six car length deficit, it was now or never for the two-time LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway champion Herbst. In a matter of six laps, Bilderback and Herbst were bumper-to-bumper, with Herbst taking a peek to the inside of Bilderback on lap 53 for the race lead. As the West Salem Wisconsin native made his move on the bottom of turn four, Bilderback stood his ground, sending Herbst into the infield dirt. Herbst shook off the dust and made one last run at Bilderback, and this time climbed to the outside of the track to move past Bilderback as the white flag waved. When the duo exited the fourth corner and headed for the finish, Bilderback lost traction and spun sideways, but was able to slide across the finish line merely inches ahead of Herbst. As Bilderback’s car sat sideways at the end of the front stretch, the rest of the field took evasive action, with Wausau’s Todd Handrick unable to stop his car short of collecting Bilderback. Both cars received heavy damage, with Bilderback arriving in victory lane on foot as his car arrived moments later with the help of a tow truck.

The win was Bilderback’s third career Big 8 Late Model Series victory and fourth Late Model win overall in 2015. The runner up finish for J Herbst was his second straight podium finish in Big 8 competition, following his runner up finish at Hawkeye Downs back in June. Earlier in the evening, Herbst also collected his first Quartermaster Quick Time Award, setting the new Big 8 Late Model Series Track Record at State Park Speedway with a lap of 14.622. Johnson, making his first Big 8 Series start since Rockford in April, finished in third place and in the process collected his twenty-fifth career Big 8 Series top-five.

Austin Nason continued his recent trend of strong runs with the Big 8 Late Model Series, following up his Madison win with a fourth place finish at Wausau. Outside pole-sitter Lyle Nowak stayed inside the top five all night and was rewarded with a fifth place finish, which was the first ever top-five finish in Big 8 Series competition for the former Mid-American Stock Car Series champion.

Bobby Wilberg, who came into the race as the Big 8 Late Model Series point leader, made the best of a bad night. After a poor qualifying effort, Wilberg was regulated to the Qualifying Race, where the veteran took the lead early and went on to victory. The win put Wilberg in the fifteenth starting postion for the main event and despite a slow start, Wilberg eventually picked up steam and ended the race in the eighth position. Wilberg was one of three drivers, along with Bilderback and Herbst, who advanced seven positions in the 58 lapper.

Following Bilderback’s victory and Wilberg’s off night, the two drivers are now in a tie atop the Big 8 Late Model Series point standing as the ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country’ begin the second half of their eight-race slate Tuesday night August 4 at Wisconsin International Raceway for the running of the Gandrud Chevrolet ‘Dixieland Delight’ 38 lap feature.

‘Larry Detjens Memorial 58’
State Park Speedway (Wausau, WI)
Friday July 24, 2015

1. Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
2. J. Herbst West Salem, WI
3. Casey Johnson Edgerton, WI
4. Austin Nason Roscoe, IL
5. Lyle Nowak Wausau, WI
6. Tim Sargent South Beloit IL
7. Brent Edmunds Monticello, WI
8. Bobby Wilberg Beloit, WI
9. Michael Ostdiek Lakeville, MN
10. Cole Anderson (R) Northfield, MN
11. Dave Edwards Salem, WI
12. Wayne Freimund Elkhorn, WI
13. Justin Mondeik Gleason, WI
14. JeffNowak Weston, WI
15. Jon Reynolds Jr Rockford, IL
16. Adam Peschek Oconomowoc, WI
17. Eric Connell Fort Atkinson, WI
18. Todd Handrick Wausau, WI
19. Mondell Peters Weston, WI
20. Evan Call Weston, WI
21.Michael Bachaus Milton, WI
22. Michael Clapper Dane, WI

Preliminary Winners: Wilberg, Anderson, Nowak
Fast Qualifier: Herbst (14.622- NTR)
Entries: 22 Big 8 Series Late Models