Story by: Caleb Slouha (Hawkeye Downs PR)

Leading up to the start of the “Clash at the Downs V” at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids Iowa on Friday night, Nick Egan wasn’t thinking this would be his breakthrough week.

After a big wreck at his home track in Wisconsin just five days prior, Egan was left with a bent stub among other significant damage. The team worked hard to get it fixed just in time to make the trip to Iowa for the opening race of the 2019 Big 8 Late Model Series season.

“At two o’clock this morning we were just about ready to load up,” the 2018 series rookie said in victory lane. “The only testing I had was driving it to the hauler, it’s really scary coming to a big track with no testing after a big wreck like that.”

Their hard work paid off, as Egan survived the chaos throughout the race to grab his first career series victory at the end.

Calamity struck even before racing even began, when Minnesota’s Grant Brown had an issue in qualifying and went into the turn three wall, ending his night.

Then it was time for the 48 lap feature event. Before a full lap of green was made, Chad Walen and Mark Ironside made contact—prompting a full restart. Matt Lundberg took the early lead until Brody Willett assumed the top spot on the race’s third lap.

Willett continued to lead until a caution came out with 16 to go, meaning fast qualifier, Griffin McGrath, would be lined up right behind him. Two laps later, the drivers made contact coming out of turn four, sending both head-on into the wall. Both drivers were okay, but their night was over.

When the race was restarted, it was Michael Bilderback and Egan who led the charge. As the two got side by side, slight contact was made, giving Egan the head spot and dropping Bilderback backwards. From there it was clear sailing for Egan, who was able to drive away and collect his first-ever Big 8 Late Model Series victory in just his second full season racing with the series.

“We were lined up for the red flag, I saw Mikey (Bilderback) looked like he had a tire going down, and I knew I could get by him,” Egan said. “We took a big swing at it after the heat race, and the adjustments we made really helped and brought us here.”

A second place finish was enough for a big smile as Lundberg climbed out of the car. When asked if he thought he would end up where he did:

“Early on? No!,’ He said. “As the night went on the car got better and better and the cautions helped us cool the tires down then we were able to get by guys.”

The next event for the Big 8 Late Model Series is scheduled for Friday, June 28th at Madison International Speedway in Oregon Wisconsin, with the traditional running of the “Salute to America” 48 lap event. Along with a large post-race Fireworks Display, the Big 8 ‘weekly warriors’ are set to share the spotlight at Madison with the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series.

Spring Classic Cancelled

With most of the Midwest currently under the grips of topsy-turvy spring weather and with a worsening forecast for this Sunday (High of 40 degrees, Rain & Snow Mix expected), officials with the Rockford Speedway have decided to cancel the 42nd Annual Spring Classic, which was scheduled for Sunday April 14.

Rockford Speedway officials currently still plan to open the track this Saturday April 13 from 12 PM to 4 PM for Open Practice. The practice is open to any and all types of race cars who would like to break-in their machines for the upcoming racing season.

The Big 8 Late Model Series season is now scheduled to open Friday night May 31 at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa for “Clash at the Downs V” presented by McGrath Auto. Rockford Speedways 73rd season kicks off Saturday night April 27 with a full slate of NASCAR Weekly Racing.

With an eye towards next year, drivers and race fans should mark their calendars for the 43rd Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway, set for Saturday evening April 18 2020.

For more information, please call 815-633-1500.

2019 Spring Classic

Saturday April 13

10 am

Pits Open/Hauler Parking

12 pm

Rotating Practice for Spring Classic Divisions Only (until 4 pm)

***NOTE: Haulers may stay in pit area overnight, no camping in pit area***

Sunday April 14

7:30 am

Pits Open, Breakfast in Pit Concession

8:30 am

Chapel Service in South VIP Tower

9:00 am

Mid-American Driver’s Meeting in South VIP Tower

9:15 am

Big 8 Series Driver’s Meeting in Pit Stands

9:30 am

Super Cup Drivers Meeting in South VIP Tower

10:00 am      

‘Happy Hour’ Practice
Big 8 Late Model Series (10:00 – 10:30 am)
Mid American Series (10:35 – 11 am)
American Super Cups (11:05 – 11:15 am)

11 am 

Front Gate Opens

11:30 am      

LPT Auto “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet’ Qualifying
Big 8 Late Model Series (2 laps)
Mid-American Series (2 laps)
American Super Cups (1 lap)

12:45 pm 

Opening Ceremonies

1 pm              


Big 8 Series Qualifying Heat Races- 10 laps
Mid-American Series Heats- 10 laps
American Super Cup Heats- 8 laps
Big 8 Series Last Chance Race- 12 laps
Mid-American Series Last Chance Race- 12 Laps

American Super Cup Feature- 20 Laps
Mid-American Series Feature- 50 Laps
Big 8 Late Model Series ‘Spring Classic’- 88 Laps

2019 Big 8 Late Model Series Schedule

Sunday, April 14th
Rockford Speedway
Loves Park, IL

Friday, May 31st
Hawkeye Downs Speedway
Cedar Rapids IA

Friday, June 28th
Madison International Speedway
Oregon, WI

Friday, July 26th
State Park Speedway
Wausau, WI

Tuesday, August 6th
Wisconsin International Raceway
Kaukauna, WI

Saturday, September 21st
Elko Speedway
Elko, MN

Saturday, September 28th
Rockford Speedway
Loves Park, IL

Saturday, October 5th
La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway
West Salem, WI

*** Schedule subject to change ***


Rain claims the balance of Saturday’s program. Below is the Schedule of Events for Sunday.

8:00 am

Pits Open (Breakfast in the Miller Lite Pavilion – 8 am to 10:30 am)

8:30 am

Chapel Service – South VIP Tower

9:00 am

Practice (SP, MOD, Big8). Ends @ 9:30 am

9:35 am

Drivers Meeting

9:45 m

MidAm Drivers Meeting

9:55 am

Opening Ceremonies

10:00 am

NSTC Championship Feature
Great Northern Sportsman Series 35
Big 8 Series 88
Modified Feature 25

12:00 pm

Clear Stands – Front Gate Opens for Sunday

12:15 pm

MidAm Practice until 12:40 pm

12:40 pm

Vintage Practice until 12:50 pm

12:50 pm

SLM Practice until 1:00 pm

1:15 pm

SLM Drivers Meeting

1:30 pm

Opening Ceremonies

1:45 pm

NSTC Championship Features
Northern Outlaw Vintage Series 20
MidAmerican Series 40

53rd National Short Track Championship – 200 laps


National Short Track Weekend

For more information:

Thursday, September 27

Open Practice (All Divisions) – 5:30PM – 9PM

Friday, September 28, 2018

Open Practice 12:00noon – 3PM

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet Qualifying – 4PM

Racing Begins – 6PM

Bandit Qualifying Races – 8 laps
Sportsmen Qualifying Races – 8 laps
Late Model Qualifying Races – 10 laps
Late Model Odd/Even Dashes – 8 laps
Roadrunner Qualifying Races – 8 laps
Sixers Qualifying Races – 8 laps
Last Chance Races – 12 laps

NSTC Championship Friday Features

Bandit 25
Sportsmen 35
Late Model 40
Roadrunner 25
Sixers 20

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Practice (Rotating Divisions) – 11AM – 1:40PM

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet Qualifying – 2:15PM  (Big8, SLM, GNSS, AST, Modifieds)


Racing Begins – 5PM

Big8 Series Qualifying Races – 12 laps
Super Late Model Qualifying Races – 15 laps
GNSS Qualifying Races – 8 laps
AST Qualifying Races – 8 laps
Super Late Odd/Even Dashes – 10 laps
Big8 Last Chance – 15 laps
GNSS Last Chance – 12 laps

NSTC Championship Saturday Features

Modified Feature #1 20
American Short Tracker 35
Great Northern Sportsman 40
Modified Feature #2 20
Big8 Series NSTC 108

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Practice – 10:15AM – 11:15AM

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet Qualifying – 11:30AM  (MidAmerican)

Super Late Model Autograph Session (Miller Lite Pavilion) – 11:35AM-12:05PM

Racing Begins – 12:30PM

Vintage Heats – 8 laps
MidAmerican Heats – 10 laps
Super Late Last Chance – 20 laps

NSTC Championship Sunday Features

Northern Outlaw Vintage Series 20
MidAmerican Series 50
Super Late Model NSTC 200


Story By: Adam Glatczak

Jon Reynolds, Jr.’s 2018 trip to State Park Speedway was a lot like
his 2014 visit to the track.

In both trips, the number 10 figured heavily into the equation, maybe
all too appropriate for the Loves Park, Ill., racer known as Driver X.
More importantly, the final results were a success both times for
Reynolds, including Friday night when he won the 58-lap Big 8 Late
Models feature, highlighting the first night of the 38th annual Larry
Detjens Memorial at the track.

Reynolds came from starting 10th in the field, took the lead from
Michael Ostdiek on lap 32 and pulled away to win by a full
straightaway over Ostdiek and the field for his second Big 8 win in
the series’ seven visits to State Park Speedway. It also was the 12th
Big 8 feature win all-time for Reynolds, who is one victory behind
leaders Michael Bilderback and Jeremy Miller for series honors.

“I don’t know if you believe in numbers or not,” said Reynolds to
track announcer Curt Keene in victory lane after the race, “but in
2014 when we won here, we parked in pit stall number 10, we won the
heat and we won the feature. Today we pitted in pit stall number 10,
we won the heat and we won the feature.”

The pass that would decide the race’s eventual winner didn’t come
easily for Reynolds. He got inside Ostdiek on the backstretch on the
32nd circuit and cleared him quickly as Ostdiek backed off in the
corner in an attempt to cross over underneath Reynolds himself.

Reynolds was not fazed, but Ostdiek was not finished, either. The 2016
winner of the Big 8’s trip to the track got into the back of Reynolds
two laps later in turns three and four, causing both cars to get
loose. Reynolds saved his car from spinning, and Grant Brown briefly
made his way all the way up to second, sneaking past Ostdiek.

Brown and Ostdiek would battle for second for the next 14 laps,
including getting side-by-side on two different occasions. That was
good news for Reynolds, who worked lapped traffic and drove away from
the rest of the leaders to build a big lead he never relinquished.

The race’s opening stages were dominated by Nick Egan, who started on
the pole and led the first 19 laps convincingly. Egan showed strength
while pulling away after the first restart, but was never the same
after the second restart. He drifted up the track on the second and
was passed by Ostdiek on lap 20, and soon faded back to fifth before
being involved in a tangle with Rayce Haase on lap 26 that sent both
to the back.

Reynolds bided his time early but got some help when the race’s
complexion changed dramatically on the 17th lap. Racing deep in the
pack, Hunter Drefahl and Todd Handrick got together in turn one, with
Handrick’s car coming to a stop in the middle of the track. The
leaders came around and a number of them ran straight into trouble,
with third-place Jacob Nottestad, points leader Miller and fast
qualifier Brody Willett all suffering damage that took them out of the

There was more bad news for frontrunners a few laps later after the
restart. A fierce battle for position on lap 18 resulted in the cars
of Ostdiek, Jerry Mueller and Joe Neisius going three-wide into turn

All three cars came out without incident, but the same couldn’t be
said when another three-wide run into the third turn resulted in
contact between third-place Jerry Mueller and State Park Speedway
regular Travis Volm, causing the latter to spin into the middle of the
track between the third and fourth turns. Minnesota’s Jared Duda was
unable to avoid him, causing heavy damage to the nose of Volm’s car.

Volm was able to return despite missing the front nose sheet metal on
his car and briefly moved back up to fifth, but the rest of the race
belonged to Reynolds.

Ostdiek finished second in his first start on the tour this year,
while Neisius finished third. Brown finished fourth and Mueller came
back to finish fifth.

“This is definitely a racy track, we just came up a little short,”
said Ostdiek. “I think we were a second-place car, Reynolds he sure
was quick…but all in all it was a good night for us.”

“It’s our first time here, it’s definitely got some quirks, it’s
tricky to drive this place,” said Neisius. “I’ll take a third coming
out here against these guys that have been here several times.”

Race Results
Larry Detjens Memorial Race (58 laps)
State Park Speedway (Wausau, WI)
Friday July 27 2018

1. Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
2. Michael Ostdiek Lakeville, MN
3. Joe Neisius Rosemount, MN
4. Grant Brown Prior Lake, MN
5. Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
6. Nick Egan Slinger, WI
7. Todd Handrick Wausau, WI
8. Rayce Haase Wausau, WI
9. Dave Cabelka Wausau, WI
10. Travis Volm Mosinee, WI
11. Jared Duda St Michael, MN
12. Mark Greb Coralville, IA
13. Chris Storey Burlington, WI
14. Jacob Nottestad Stoughton, WI
15. Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL
16. Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
17. Hunter Drefahl Evansville, WI
18. Justin Woller Kimberly, WI

Preliminary Race Winners: Ostdiek, Miller, Reynolds
Fast Qualifier: Willett
Car Count: 18 Big 8 Late Models

Big 8 Late Model Series Point Standings
(Top 10, as of 7/28/18)

1. 43 Jeremy Miller 323
2. X Jon Reynolds Jr 294
3. 00 Brody Willett 271
4. 13 Nick Egan ® 252
5. 14 Grant Brown ® 245
6. 75 Joe Neisius 222
7. 97 Jacob Nottestad ® 221
8. 49 Jerry Mueller 217
9. 66 Chris Storey 169
10. 42 Ryan Kamish 159

7/27/2018 – Big 8 Series State Park Speedway Results

Big 8 Late Model Series
A-Main 01 — 1. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 2. Michael Ostdiek, Lakeville, Minn.; 3. Joe Neisius, Rosemount,
Minn.; 4. Grant Brown, Prior Lake, Minn.; 5. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 6. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis; 7. Todd
Handrick, Wausau, Wis; 8. Rayce Haase, Wausau, Wis; 9. Dave Cabelka, Wausau, Wis; 10. Travis Volm, Mosinee,
Wis; 11. Jared Duda, St Michael, Minn.; 12. Mark Greb, Coralville, Iowa; 13. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 14.
Jacob Nottestad, Stoughton, Wis; 15. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 16. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 17. Hunter
Drefahl, Evansville, Wis; 18. Justin Woller, Kimberly, Wis.

Heat 01 — 1. Michael Ostdiek, Lakeville, Minn.; 2. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis; 3. Jacob Nottestad, Stoughton, Wis; 4.
Jared Duda, St Michael, Minn.; 5. Dave Cabelka, Wausau, Wis; 6. Hunter Drefahl, Evansville, Wis.

Heat 02 — 1. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 2. Travis Volm, Mosinee, Wis; 3. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 4. Todd
Handrick, Wausau, Wis; 5. Rayce Haase, Wausau, Wis; 6. Mark Greb, Coralville, Iowa.

Heat 03 — 1. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 2. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 3. Grant Brown, Prior Lake, Minn.; 4.
Joe Neisius, Rosemount, Minn.; 5. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 6. Justin Woller, Kimberly, Wis.

Time Trial — 1. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 2. Travis Volm, Mosinee, Wis; 3. Michael Ostdiek, Lakeville, Minn.;
4. Grant Brown, Prior Lake, Minn.; 5. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 6. Jacob Nottestad, Stoughton, Wis; 7. Joe Neisius,
Rosemount, Minn.; 8. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 9. Nick Egan, Slinger, Wis; 10. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park;
11. Rayce Haase, Wausau, Wis; 12. Dave Cabelka, Wausau, Wis; 13. Justin Woller, Kimberly, Wis; 14. Mark Greb,
Coralville, Iowa; 15. Jared Duda, St Michael, Minn.; 16. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 17. Todd Handrick,
Wausau, Wis; 18. Hunter Drefahl, Evansville, Wis.

Bilderback Big 8’s Best at Madison

Although he might not race at Madison as much as he did last year, Michael Bilderback made the most of it tonight by winning the Montgomery Ward 48 for the Big 8 Late Models as part of Colony Brands Salute to America Night at Madison.

Jacob Nottestad and John Baumeister Jr. brought the field of twenty-seven Big 8 Late Models to the green flag with Nottestad gaining a slight advantage before the first caution flag waved on lap 2 for an incident back in the pack.

Nottestad was able to maintain his lead after the restart followed by Baumeister Jr. who passed Ryan Kamish for second on lap 3. Bilderback moved into third on lap 5 followed by Bobby Wilberg shortly before the caution flag waved on lap 6 for a spin.

Bilderback moved into second on the restart and on lap 9 worked his way to the inside of Nottestad coming out of turn four to take the lead. Back in the pack past winners Dale Nottestad and Jeremy Miller were up to the seventh and eight place positions.

Out front it was smooth sailing for Bilderback as he gladly welcomed the tight competition for top five positioning in his rear view mirror. By lap 20 his lead was up to ten car lengths while Jacob Nottestad and Baumeister Jr. were in a spirited battle for second.

Bilderback’s advantage would be negated when Pat Richgels made heavy contact with the wall in turn one bringing out the caution flag on lap 23.

Again, the restart was favorable for Bilderback as he quickly took a three car length lead over Baumeister Jr. who had overtaken Jacob Nottestad for second. But the car on the move now was Dale Nottestad who had worked his way up to fourth and pulled alongside Jacob Nottestad on lap 27 and eventually took the third position two laps later before the caution flag was displayed again for two cars that got together in turn two.

The cat and mouse game with the Big 8 cone continued as drivers chose the inside or outside lines behind Bilderback. After the green flag, Miller was now the car on the move as he moved up to fourth and on lap 33 would pull to the inside of Dale Nottestad and take over the third spot.

Three more cautions, the third on lap 42 involving top five cars of Dale Nottestad and Wilberg, and three more restarts were no problem for Bilderback who held off the hard-charging Miller to pick up the victory. Baumeister Jr. finished third followed by Jon Reynolds Jr. and Jacob Nottestad.

It was Bilderback’s first Big 8 win at Madison. He is now tied for most wins in the Big 8 Late Model Series.

Miller set fast time in qualifying and also picked up a win in the heat races along with Zack Riddle, Kamish, and Baumeister Jr.

Montgomery Ward 48 Unofficial Results
(1-10) Michael Bilderback, Jeremy Miller, John Baumeister Jr., Jon Reynolds Jr, Jacob Nottestad, Zack Riddle, Brody Willett, Ryan Kamish, Nick Egan, Brent Edmunds

(11-20) Grant Brown, Troy Hintzsche, Dale Nottestad, Bobby Wilberg, Jerry Mueller, Brady Liddle, Justin Neisus, Matt Lundberg, Chris Storey, Pat Richgels

(21-27) Shane Morrissey, Dylan Moore, Hunter Drefahl, Bill Drefahl, Michael Haggar, Joe Neisus, Mark Greb