MILLER CLAIMS CAUTION-FREE BIG 8 OPENER

Jeremy Miller, three-time Big 8 Series champion, advanced from his tenth starting position to claim victory in the caution-free 48 lap McGrath Family of Dealerships “Clash at the Downs” at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa Friday night.

The victory is Miller’s thirteenth career Big 8 Series win, which leads the all-time series wins list.
Miller grabbed the lead on the race’s 18th lap and slowly padded his lead from there over the course of the race’s final 30 laps.

“The outside just went at the start, I got lucky,” Miller said from victory lane. “I got up to third, and it was just meant to be tonight. Just a good night.”

Griffin McGrath, a Hawkeye Downs regular, captured his third career Big 8 Series fast qualifier award and made his way through the field to finish second, which was one spot short for his liking.

“The car was decent, it just sucked the first ten laps,” said McGrath. “I just could not get on the top, which is exactly what I like to do. I just couldn’t get up there with him.”

Another Hawkeye Downs regular rounding out the top-three was multi-time track champion Brian Gibson, who made his first start of the year in the Big 8 stop at Hawkeye Downs Friday night. The drive felt great for Gibson, who dealt with many challenges on route to his best Big 8 finish, including losing brakes early in the race, and being on a fire call all night before thanks to his responsibilities as a local fire department chief.

“(Third place), no brakes, up all night with no sleep. On Wednesday in practice we were way out in left field…it’s a moral victory without a doubt,” Gibson said. “I wish the brakes would have been working better I think we would have had something for Jeremy (Miller) and definitely Griff (McGrath).”

The Big 8 Late Model Series next heads to Madison International Speedway on Friday night June 29th for the annual ‘Salute to America’ event, a race in which Miller is the defending champion. The Big 8 Series will run alongside the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series at Madison on June 29 and the evening is scheduled to be capped off by a large Fireworks display.

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

Official Race Results
McGrath Family of Dealerships “Clash at the Downs IV” (48 laps)
Hawkeye Downs Speedway (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Friday June 1, 2018

1. Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL
2. Griffin McGrath Cedar Rapids, IA
3. Brian Gibson Walford, IA
4. Nick Egan Slinger, WI
5. Matt Lundberg Rockton, IL
6. Jacob Goede Carver, MN
7. Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
8. Joe Neisius Rosemount, MN
9. Ryan Kamish Farmington, MN
10. Dylan Moore Northfield, MN
11. Grant Brown Prior Lake, MN
12. Michael Haggar Hanover, MN
13. Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
14. Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
15. Jacob Nottestad Stoughton, WI
16. Chris Storey Burlington, WI
17. Mark Greb Coralville, IA
18. Scott Siems Cedar Rapids, IA
19. Chad Siems Shellsburg, IA
20. Brad Osborn Janesville, IA
21. Tyler Brown Carol Stream, IL

Heat Race Winners: McGrath, Willett, Miller
Fast Qualifier: McGrath
Car Count: 21 Big 8 Series Late Models

Hawkeye Downs Results

Big 8 Late Model Series
A-Main 01 — 1. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 2. Griffin McGrath, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 3. Brian Gibson, Walford, Iowa;
4. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis; 5. Matt Lundberg, Rockton; 6. Jacob Goede, Carver, Minn.; 7. Brody Willett, Alburnett,
Iowa; 8. Joe Neisius, Rosemount, Minn.; 9. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn.; 10. Dylan Moore, Northfield, Minn.;
11. Grant Brown, Prior Lake, Minn.; 12. Michael Haggar, Hanover, Minn.; 13. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 14.
Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 15. Jacob Nottestad, Stoughton, Wis; 16. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 17. Mark
Greb, Coralville, Iowa; 18. Scott Siems, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 19. Chad Siems, Shellsburg, Iowa; 20. Brad Osborn,
Janesville, Iowa; 21. Tyler Brown, Carol Stream.

Heat 01 — 1. Griffin McGrath, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 2. Jacob Goede, Carver, Minn.; 3. Matt Lundberg, Rockton; 4.
Jacob Nottestad, Stoughton, Wis; 5. Michael Haggar, Hanover, Minn.; 6. Tyler Brown, Carol Stream; 7. Brad
Osborn, Janesville, Iowa.

Heat 02 — 1. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 2. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 3. Grant Brown, Prior Lake, Minn.; 4.
Dylan Moore, Northfield, Minn.; 5. Brian Gibson, Walford, Iowa; 6. Mark Greb, Coralville, Iowa; 7. Chad Siems,

Heat 03 — 1. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 2. Joe Neisius, Rosemount, Minn.; 3. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn.; 4.
Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 5. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis; 6. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 7. Scott Siems, Cedar
Rapids, Iowa.

Time Trial — 1. Griffin McGrath, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 2. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 3. Jeremy Miller, Rockford;
4. Jacob Goede, Carver, Minn.; 5. Brian Gibson, Walford, Iowa; 6. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 7. Matt
Lundberg, Rockton; 8. Grant Brown, Prior Lake, Minn.; 9. Ryan Kamish, Farmington, Minn.; 10. Brad Osborn,
Janesville, Iowa; 11. Dylan Moore, Northfield, Minn.; 12. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis; 13. Michael Haggar, Hanover,
Minn.; 14. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 15. Joe Neisius, Rosemount, Minn.; 16. Jacob Nottestad, Stoughton, Wis;
17. Mark Greb, Coralville, Iowa; 18. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 19. Tyler Brown, Carol Stream; 20. Chad Siems,
Shellsburg, Iowa; 21. Scott Siems, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

IT’S FINALLY LATE MODEL SHOWTIME AT HAWKEYE DOWNS!

By: Kip Ripley

For a fourth consecutive year, the Big 8 Late Model Series returns to Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa.

But this year, for the first time ever, the ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country” will start their season at Hawkeye Downs.

Following the weekend washout of the annual season opening Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway back in April, the 2018 Big 8 Late Model Series season will officially tip-off at the 93 year old half-mile located in Eastern Iowa.

The McGrath Family of Dealerships “Clash at the Downs IV” takes place this Friday night June 1 at Hawkeye Downs and if tradition holds true, the race itself will feature a strong field of cars and a thrilling finish. An average of 27 cars have entered the three previous editions of this event with each feature coming down to some tense moments at the end of 48 laps.

Hometown drivers will be among the favorites this Friday night, including Alburnett teen Brody Willett and Cedar Rapids Late Model ace Griffin McGrath. Willett, who won the Opening Night feature race at Hawkeye Downs two weeks ago, finished third in last year’s Big 8 Series points and is hungry for his first ever Series win. A late-race tangle one year ago at the “Clash” dashed any hopes Willett had of winning the big race on his hometrack and with that in mind, Willett may be a force to be reckoned with Friday night.

McGrath has been fast in each of the three previous editions of the “Clash,” setting Fast Time in both 2015 and 2017 while finishing runner up in the 48 lap feature race each of the last two seasons. Last year, McGrath ended up one spot short of victory while Minnesota’s Joe Neisius captured his first ever Big 8 Series win. Neisius is not only entered in this weekends event, but plans to chase the Big 8 Series championship in 2018.

Four-time Big 8 Series champion Jeremy Miller returns to Hawkeye Downs this weekend in search of a series-leading 13th career win. Miller has seen success in the past at Hawkeye Downs, but has yet to taste victory in a Big 8 Series race at at the big half mile. Minnesota’s Ryan Kamish was a solid fifth place finisher in last season’s “Clash at the Downs.” The finish helped propel Kamish to fourth place in Big 8 Series points and this year the Lakeville native returns to the Series once again.

Multi-time Hawkeye Downs track champion Brian Gibson is also entered in this Friday night’s ‘Clash,’ aiming for a first Big 8 Series win. Gibson’s previous best Big 8 finish is fourth in the inaugural running of the event in 2015. Former Big 8 and Rockford Speedway champion ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr has thrown his name into the ring for Friday night’s big-go-round in Cedar Rapids and is joined by former Madison International Speedway Rookie of the Year Matt Lundberg and reigning Big 8 Late Model Series Rookie of the Year Tyler Brown.

A crop of fresh and talented faces also join the Big 8 Series fray in 2018, including Prior Lake Minnesota’s Grant Brown, Slinger Wisconsin’s Nick Egan and Cambridge Wisconsin’s Jacob Nottestad. All three drivers should be a force to be reckoned with by season’s end.

McGrath Family of Dealerships “Clash at the Downs IV”
Expected Entries (21 as of May 30)

00 Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
X Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
13 Nick Egan Slinger, WI
14 Grant Brown Prior Lake, MN
17 Brian Gibson Walford, IA
19 Michael Haggar Hanover, MN
20 Tyler Brown Carol Stream, IL
43 Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL
43 Scott Siems Cedar Rapids, IA
49 Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
53 Jared Duda St Michael, MN
58 Tyler Kingery Prior Lake, MN
64 Griffin McGrath Cedar Rapids, IA
66 Chris Storey Burlington, WI
71 Mark Greb Coralville, IA
72 Brad Osborn Janesville, IA
75 Joe Neisius Rosemount, MN
76 Chad Siems Shellsburg, IA
78 Matt Lundberg Rockton, IL
80 Ryan Kamish Lakeville, MN
97 Jacob Nottestad Cambridge, WI

McGrath Family of Dealerships
‘’Clash at the Downs IV’
ORDER OF EVENTS

3:00 pm- Pit Gate Opens for Big 8 Series teams
4:30 pm- Big 8 Late Model Practice (until 4:55 pm)
5:10 pm – Big 8 Late Model Series Final Practice (until 5:30 pm)
6:00 pm – Big 8 Late Model Qualifying (Note: Drivers meeting to follow)
6:45 pm – 7:05 pm Big 8 Autograph Session under Flag-Stand
7:25 pm PRE-RACE CEREMONIES
7:30 pm HEAT RACES

BIG 8 SERIES HEAT RACES– 10 laps
Sportsman Heats
Legends Heats
BIG 8 SERIES LAST CHANCE RACE– 12 laps (if necessary)
Hobby Stock Heats
Hornet Heats

–Intermission–

**In-Car Intros for Late Model Feature**
BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES ‘Clash at the Downs IV” (48 laps)
**Top 3 LM Finishers to the frontstretch**

(Remaining Four Feature races to follow the Big 8 Race)

REMAINING 2018 BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES SCHEDULE:
Fri June 1- ‘Clash at the Downs IV” presented by McGrath Family of Dealerships (Hawkeye Downs, Cedar Rapids, IA)
Fri June 29- 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

“CLASH AT THE DOWNS IV” ENTRY NOW ONLINE

2018 Hawkeye Downs Entry

Big 8 Series officials today have released the entry form for “Clash at the Downs IV” presented by the McGrath Family of Dealerships set to take place at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa on Friday June 1.

The entry form may be found on the series’ website (big8series.com) under the “Entries” heading. Advance entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM on Wednesday May 30.

For the first time ever, “Clash at the Downs IV'” is set to open the Big 8 Late Model Series points chase with the cancellation of April’s ‘Spring Classic’ at Rockford Speedway following unseasonably cold and winter-like conditions.

Pit Gates open at 3 PM on Friday June 1, with Practice beginning at 4:30 PM. Qualifying takes place at 6 PM with racing set to begin at 7:30 PM. The Big 8 Late Model Series is set to run a full program of preliminary races and a 48 lap feature and will be joined by the full compliment of Hawkeye Downs support classes.

Those looking to Practice before the event are welcomed to take part in the Wednesday night Open Practice sessions at Hawkeye Downs, which start at 5 PM and run until 7 PM.

For more information on Hawkeye Downs, please visit hawkeyedowns.org or call 319-365-8656.

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

2018 SPRING CLASSIC OFFICIALLY CANCELLED

After last weekend’s postponement and with no viable option in sight for a reschedule date, the 2018 Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway has officially been cancelled.

The cancellation marks just the third in 41 years that Spring Classic has been shelved, joining the 2014 and 2009 versions of the event, both bagged by subpar weather conditions.

The occasion also marks just the fifth time since 2004 (107 events) that a Big 8 Late Model Series event has been cancelled.

The 2018 Big 8 Late Model Series now becomes a seven race chase, as the season opens Friday night June 1 at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa with ‘Clash at the Downs IV.’

Rockford Speedway is set to finally open it’s gates for a 71st season this Saturday night April 21 with the Mountain Dew Season Opener, featuring the Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Models, Bargain Hunter Sportsman, Miller Lite American Short Trackers, TED Transit Bandits & Kickstart Roadrunners. Race time is set for 7:07 PM this Saturday night.

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

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

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.