By: John Wells
Austin Nason took the lead from Bobby Wilberg on lap 26 and led the rest of the way to pick up the victory in the Big 8 Late Model 48 lap main event.
Lyle Nowak and Michael Ostdiek brought the field of twenty-three Big 8 Late Models to the green flag, and it was Ostdiek taking the early lead followed by Nowak, John Beale, Wayne Freimund, and Cole Anderson. On lap 5 Bobby Wilberg stormed by Anderson to take the fifth spot. Two laps later Beale was off the pace which allowed Wilberg and Freimund to move up to third and fourth.
Ostdiek was building a sizeable lead and it appeared the only thing that would slow him down was a caution flag and that’s exactly what happened on lap 11 for a spin in turn two.
A spin on the restart brought out the race’s second caution flag.
When the race went green again, Ostdiek maintained his lead with Wilberg in close pursuit followed by Austin Nason, Nowak, and Michael Bilderback.
On lap 15 Wilberg was able to take the lead coming out of turn four and built up a three car length lead over Nason who was able to motor by Ostdiek. Bilderback continued to run in fourth position with Jon Reynolds Jr. breaking into the the top five on lap 17. On lap 18 a spin coming out of turn two brought out another caution flag.
Wilberg continued to lead after the green flag followed by Nason, Ostdiek, Reynolds Jr., and Bilderback. On lap 21 Bilderback wrestled the fourth position away from Reynolds Jr.
At the half-way mark Wilberg had a three car length lead over Nason as the two began to check away from the field. On lap 26 Nason found the room he needed to get inside Wilberg to take the lead before the caution flag came out one lap later for a spin just ahead of the leaders in turn three.
Nason and Wilberg jumped out front on the restart with Ostdiek, Reynolds Jr., and Bilderback battling it out for third through fifth. On lap 31 Reynolds Jr. earned the third spot followed by Bilderback and Ostdiek. With two laps to go Bilderback was able to get by Reynolds Jr. for third, but out front it was Nason holding off Wilberg to pick up the checkered flag.
“I didn’t think I was going to have enough to get by him. I followed his line because he knows how to get around here. I found my opportunity to get by him and took it,” said Nason in a post race interview with Eric Huenefeld.
Bobby Wilberg set fast time with a lap of 18.798. Hunter Drefahl and Michael Clapper won the ten lap qualifying heats. Lyle Nowak won the odd dash with the even dash going to Michael Ostdiek.
Big 8 Late Model Series
‘Salute to America’
1. Austin Nason Roscoe, IL
2. Bobby Wilberg Beloit, WI
3. Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
4. Jon Reynolds Jr Rockford, IL
5. Michael Ostdiek Lakeville, MN
6. Cole Anderson Northfield, MN
7. Brent Edmunds Monticello, WI
8. Michael Bachaus Whitewater, WI
9. Wayne Freimund Elkhorn, WI
10. Johnny Beale Verona, WI
11. Lyle Nowak Wausau, WI
12. Michael Clapper Dane, WI
13. Dave Edwards Salem, WI
14. Caleb Adrian Walcott, IA
15. Shawn Gunsolus Stoughton, WI
16. Eric Connell Ft Atkinson, WI
17. Cody Kippenhan Ypsilanti, MI
18. Mike Lloyd Davis, IL
19. Tory Adams Madison, WI
20. Rich Schuman Jr Portage, WI
21. Tyler Hromodka Brookfield, WI
22. Mike Taylor Stoughton, WI
23. Hunter Drefahl Evansville, WI
Preliminary Winners: Clapper, Drefahl, Nowak, Ostdiek
Fast Time: Wilberg (18.798)