News

REYNOLDS REIGNS AT STATE PARK SPEEDWAY!

2014-07-26

Jon Reynolds Jr. made Big 8 Series history Friday night at State Park Speedway. He picked up the win and in the process tied Jeremy Miller for most Big 8 Series wins of all time. “That’s pretty cool,” said Jon Reynolds Jr. in Victory Lane, “He’s a stellar driver and it’s definitely a cool thing.”

Reynolds Jr. and last year’s event winner, Casey Johnson were the class of the field for the 58-lap Big 8 feature at State Park Speedway. The two started on the front row and it was Johnson who was able to jump out to the lead right away. Johnson and Reynolds Jr. checked out from the field and Johnson’s lead was never more than a car length over Reynolds Jr.

For 40 laps Reynolds Jr. stalked Johnson, taking a peek to the inside a few times, but never making his move. On lap 41, Reynolds Jr. got to the inside of Johnson and the two raced side by side for the lead. Reynolds made the inside groove work and was able to take the lead just one lap later.

Johnson fought back and got into the rear bumper of Reynolds Jr., almost sending him around on the backstretch, but Reynolds Jr. was able to hang on and keep the top spot.

“He did hit me hard enough that I thought I was gonna spin out, but we didn’t,” said Reynolds, “He was freer than me, freer than me on entry. He was getting off the corner good, but I could just stay tight enough where I thought if I could get ahead of him he was never gonna be able to get back by me.”

As Reynolds Jr. held the lead, now it was Johnson who was never more than a car length behind. Johnson stalked Reynolds Jr. around the ¼ mile race track, but was never able to make a move. Two late race cautions gave Johnson a chance on the re-start, but each time Reynolds maintained the lead and was able to separate just enough from Johnson to stay in front.

Reynolds led the final 17 laps to take the checkered flag and win the Big 8 Series feature at State Park Speedway.

“I knew we were keeping the same gap on eachother the whole time,” said Johnson, “I knew it was going to be hard, but I knew there was maybe a shot. On those restarts I just needed one shot at his bumper cover is what I thought, it’s what I was going for.”

“I pretty much knew, I’d followed him for long enough and it was just track position,” said Reynolds Jr., “I knew if we could get ahead of him we could run the right line to stay ahead of him and we did.”

John DeAngelis Jr finished third, Dale Nottestad fourth and J Herbst fifth. Fast qualifier Jesse Bernhagen had a flat tire on lap seven, fixed it, restarted at the back and worked his way through the field to finish sixth.

Big 8 Series point leader Austin Nason had a rough night. Forced to the rear of the field early in the race he worked his way up to fifth with ten laps to go. He was involved in a caution with nine laps to go and was forced to retire for the evening, coming home in 16th place.

Next up for the Big 8 Series is a trip to Jefferson Speedway September 12th and 13th.

State Park Speedway Results

2014-07-26

Big 8 Late Model Series

A-Main 01 — 1. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 2. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 3. John DeAngelis, Jr, Hubertus, Wis; 4. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 5. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 6. Brent Edmunds, Monticello, Wis; 7. Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan, Wis; 8. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 9. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 10. Brady Liddle, Oregon, Wis; 11. Mike Beyer, Machesney Park; 12. Eric Wilhite, Wausau, Wis; 13. Casey Strese, Johnson Creek, Wis; 14. Todd Handrick, Wausau, Wis; 15. Collin Olson (r), Hugo, Minn.; 16. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 17. Jeff Nowak, Weston, Wis; 18. Travis Friske;; 19. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 20. Tom Jasinski, Pewaukee, Wis; 21. Jeff Spatz,

Heat 01 — 1. Mike Beyer, Machesney Park; 2. Eric Wilhite, Wausau, Wis; 3. Jeff Spatz, Weston, Wis; 4. Todd Handrick, Wausau, Wis; 5. Tom Jasinski, Pewaukee, Wis; 6. Jeff Nowak, Weston, Wis; 7. Collin Olson (r), Hugo, Minn..

Qualifying Dash 01 — 1. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 2. Travis Friske;; 3. John DeAngelis, Jr, Hubertus, Wis; 4. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 5. Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan, Wis; 6. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 7. Brady Liddle, Oregon, Wis.

Qualifying Dash 02 — 1. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 2. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 3. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 4. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 5. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 6. Brent Edmunds, Monticello, Wis; 7. Casey Strese, Johnson Creek, Wis.

Time Trial — 1. Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan, Wis; 2. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 3. John DeAngelis, Jr, Hubertus, Wis; 4. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 5. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 6. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 7. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 8. Brent Edmunds, Monticello, Wis; 9. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 10. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 11. Brady Liddle, Oregon, Wis; 12. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 13. Travis Friske;; 14. Casey Strese, Johnson Creek, Wis; 15. Mike Beyer, Machesney Park; 16. Eric Wilhite, Wausau, Wis; 17. Collin Olson (r), Hugo, Minn.; 18. Jeff Spatz, Weston, Wis; 19. Jeff Nowak, Weston, Wis; 20. Tom Jasinski, Pewaukee, Wis; 21. Todd Handrick, Wausau, Wis.

BIG 8 CHALLENGERS LOOK TO MAKE THEIR MARK AT STATE PARK!

2014-07-24

The Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet returns to State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wisconsin for the third straight year this Friday night July 25th as part of the Larry Detjens Memorial Weekend. The “Best Weekly Warriors in the Country” will test the tricky one third mile near Rib Mountain, vying for the win in a 58 lap feature event.

The event in Wausau marks the sixth stop on the 2014 schedule for the Big 8 Late Model Series, meaning the second half of the season begins Friday night. When the Big 8 Late Model Series last took to the track July 13 at Slinger Super Speedway, teenager Austin Nason pocketed his first ever Series win, capturing the trophy and the title of ‘King of the High Banks.’ With the effort, Nason also assumed the Big 8 point lead for the first time in his career, holding a seventeen point advantage over Dale Nottestad with the series heading north this weekend.

Nottestad has been his usual consistent self in 2014, finishing in the top five at each series race this season. Nottestad finished runner up in last year’s 58 lapper in Wausau to eventual Series champion Casey Johnson. Speaking of Johnson, the Edgerton Wisconsin driver sits third in current Big 8 standings and was runner up to Nason at Slinger back on July 13. Johnson has tasted much success at State Park Speedway in the past, taking fast time honors in both prior events at the track while finishing on the podium in both races, including last year’s win.

‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr is looking to continue his winning ways on the Big 8 tour this season. Reynolds is the only repeat winner on the Big 8 tour in 2014, taking top honors at Madison International Speedway in June and at Dells Raceway Park in July. The 2005 Big 8 Series champion needs just one more win to tie four-time series champion Jeremy Miller atop the all-time Big 8 Series wins list.

Other top Big 8 Series racers making the trip to State Park Speedway Friday night include Jesse Bernhagen (2012 Big 8 Rookie of the Year), 20 year-old John DeAngelis Jr (sixth in Series points), Tim Sargent (2010 Rockford Speedway champion), Casey Strese (2013 Big 8 Rookie of the Year), J Herbst (two-time LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway champion), Mike Ehde (Former Dells Raceway Park champion) and Wayne Freimund (Former Slinger Speedway champion). Joining the Big 8 regulars at Wausau Friday night will be several regulars of the Budweiser/Fabiano Brothers Limited Late Model division which competes weekly at State Park Speedway.

Activities Friday night get underway with Pit Gates opening at 3 PM and practice set to begin at 4 PM. Qualifying, including Quartermaster Time Trials for the Big 8 Late Model Series, will start at 6 PM, with racing to follow at 7 PM. The Mini Stocks, Mini Mods and Bandoleros are also featured Friday night as part of the opening night of the Larry Detjens Memorial. Adult general admission is $15, with Kids ages 6-12 admitted for $5, while kids 5 and under are free.

For more information on the Larry Detjens Memorial Weekend and State Park Speedway, please visit www.stateparkspeeedway.com or call 715/212-9006.

For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, check out www.big8series.com.

Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet
Expected Entries
Larry Detjens Memorial Weekend
State Park Speedway
Friday July 25, 2014

2- Tim Sargent
2- Eric Willhite
5- Dave Edwards
5- Casey Johnson
7- John DeAngelis Jr
X- Jon Reynolds Jr
14- Austin Nason
15- Michael Clapper
18- Mike Ehde
23- Casey Strese
27- Collin Olson
28- Jesse Bernhagen
37- Mike Meyerhofer
39- Todd Handrick
46- Tom Jasinski
47- Jeff Spatz
50- Jake Gille
51- Dale Nottestad
55- Craig Phillips
74- David Cabelka
75- Mike Beyer
79- Jeff Nowak
82- J Herbst
87- Brent Edmunds
95.3- Wayne Freimund

Big 8 Technical Bulletin 07-23-2014

2014-07-23

Just wanted to bring everyone up to speed on a couple amendments to the Big 8 Late Model Rule Book:

1. (SHOCKS) All shock absorbers will have min of 2″ inches of travel (compression and rebound) in mounted position at all times.

2, (HEADERS) NO STINGERS , INSERTS .CONES, SCAVENGE DEVICES OR ANY OTHER DEVICES ALLOWED IN HEADER COLLECTOR AT ANY TIME.

EFFECTIVE 07-23-2014

Questions about these amendments should be directed to Kevin Rogers @ (262)749-6607.

Thank you very much…we hope to see you in Wausau on Friday night!

-Eric

NASON MOWS THROUGH BIG 8 FOES TO BECOME ‘KING OF THE HIGH BANKS!’

2014-07-15

Slinger, Wis., July 13—Austin Nason drove to his first career Big 8 Late Model Series victory after a hard fought battle with Casey Johnson and Jon Reynolds Jr. in the King of the High Banks 68 Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.

“This is amazing!” an obviously excited Nason exclaimed from victory lane, “Especially to win here and with Jonny (Reynolds) and Casey (Johnson), we might have ran a little rough but it all comes down to who is going to win.”

Casey Johnson and Kevin Knuese led the field to the green flag and Johnson worked the low groove to charge out to the early lead as Knuese tried to ward off Jesse Bernhagen, John DeAngelis Jr., and Gregg Pawelski in second. Beyond the top five, Dale Nottestad, Jon Reynolds Jr. and Steve Dobbratz began to move their way forward. The caution flag waved early when Ricky Heinan clipped the front stretch wall on lap five and spun backwards into the turn one barrier. Johnson led on the restart over Bernhagen and Pawelski with DeAngelis and Austin Nason in tow while Nottestad, Dan Church, and Reynolds battled three wide for position behind them. With Johnson and Bernhagen out front, Nason and DeAngelis began to pressure Pawelski for third as they began to encounter lapped traffic. Pawelski was able to use a lapped machine to maintain the position while Nason muscled his way between the lapped car and DeAngelis to grab the fourth spot. Lapped traffic came into the mix a few circuits later when J. Herbst’s car looped around in turn two on lap 30 following slight contact with the third place running Pawelski. The incident sent Pawelski to the rear of the field and eventually off the track leaving Johnson leading over Bernhagen, Nason, DeAngelis, Nottestad, and Reynolds.

Johnson eased out to the lead once again as racing resumed while Nason took to the outside to take second away from Bernhagen while Reynolds shot forward to battle with DeAngelis over fourth. Reynolds took the position just before the caution flag waved again on lap 31 for Tyler Schley’s spun car on the frontstretch. With Johnson leading, Bernhagen chose the outside lane for the restart and it proved detrimental as both Nason and Reynolds were able to race by on the inside and into second and third respectively. Within a few circuits, Nason was able to edge to the inside of Johnson for the lead and the two raced side by side for the lead as Reynolds closed in from third. Nason and Johnson swapped the top spot for five laps before they drifted high off turn four, allowing Reynolds to sneak into second from the inside, door to door with Nason as Johnson dove to the bottom to make a three wide attempt to pass both of them off turn two. Johnson was forced to back off as the trio entered turn three, leaving Reynolds and Nason side by side out front and after several hard fought laps, Nason was able to turn back Reynolds to keep the lead.

With the lead momentarily sorted out, Bernhagen went to work on Johnson for third just before the caution appeared on lap 54 for Mike Meyerhofer’s stalled car. Nason maintained the lead over Reynolds on the restart but the field was quickly placed back under the yellow flag when hard racing in the middle of the pack sent Alex Prunty’s car around in between turns three and four which stacked the field as cars scattered behind them. Once the incident was cleaned up and racing resumed, Reynolds appeared poised to challenge Nason for the lead but two laps into the run he suddenly slowed and exited the speedway with mechanical issues. That left Nason to fend off Johnson in the closing laps and he did just that en route to his first career Big 8 Late Model Series victory.

Johnson finished a strong second followed by Jesse Bernhagen, Dale Nottestad, and Jerry Eckhardt in third through fifth respectively. John DeAngelis finished sixth ahead of Jeff Holtz in seventh and Dave Edwards in eighth. Tyler Schley rebounded from his earlier spin to finish ninth and Grant Griesbach took the checkered flag in tenth after earlier becoming the youngest driver to start a Big 8 Series event at 12 years old.

Jerry Eckhardt and Wayne Freimund each won Big 8 Series qualifying heats and Casey Johnson and Kevin Knuese were the winners of the Big 8 Fast Dashes. J. Herbst was the winner of the Big 8 Last Chance race and Jon Reynolds Jr. set fast time with a lap of 12.375 seconds, establishing a new Big 8 Series track record in the process.

Results from 07.13.14

2014-07-14

A-Main 01 — 1. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 2. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 3. Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan, Wis; 4. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 5. Jerry Eckhardt, Johnson Creek, Wis; 6. John DeAngelis, Jr, Hubertus, Wis; 7. Jeff Holtz, Franksville, Wis; 8. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 9. Tyler Schley, Richfield, Wis; 10. Grant Griesbach, Waukesha, Wis; 11. Danny Church, Delavan, Wis; 12. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 13. Kevin Knuese, Waukesha, Wis; 14. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 15. Jacob Gille, Machesney Park; 16. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 17. Alex Prunty, Lomira, Wis; 18. Steve Dobbratz, Rio, Wis; 19. Wayne Freimund, Elkhorn, Wis; 20. Mike Meyerhofer, Burlington, Wis; 21. Casey Strese, Johnson Creek, Wis; 22. Gregg Pawelski, Muskego, Wis; 23. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 24. Ricky Heinan, Kewaskum, Wis.

Last Chance “A” 01 — 1. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 2. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 3. Casey Strese, Johnson Creek, Wis; 4. Tyler Schley, Richfield, Wis; 5. Collin Olson, Hugo, Minn.; 6. Grant Griesbach, Waukesha, Wis; 7. Tom Jasinski, Pewaukee, Wis; 8. Cody Kippenhan, Menasha, Wis; 9. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 10. Duke Long, West Bend, Wis; 11. Andy Evraets, Menomonee Falls, Wis; 12. Craig Phillips, Edgerton, Wis; 13. Mark English, Edgerton, Wis.

Heat 01 — 1. Jerry Eckhardt, Johnson Creek, Wis; 2. Jeff Holtz, Franksville, Wis; 3. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 4. Andy Evraets, Menomonee Falls, Wis; 5. Tyler Schley, Richfield, Wis; 6. Craig Phillips, Edgerton, Wis; 7. Tom Jasinski, Pewaukee, Wis; 8. Cody Kippenhan, Menasha, Wis; 9. Mark English, Edgerton, Wis.

Heat 02 — 1. Wayne Freimund, Elkhorn, Wis; 2. Jacob Gille, Machesney Park; 3. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 4. Collin Olson, Hugo, Minn.; 5. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 6. Casey Strese, Johnson Creek, Wis; 7. Grant Griesbach, Waukesha, Wis; 8. Duke Long, West Bend, Wis.

Qualifying Dash 01 — 1. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 2. Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan, Wis; 3. Gregg Pawelski, Muskego, Wis; 4. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 5. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 6. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 7. Tim Sargent, South Beloit.

Qualifying Dash 02 — 1. Kevin Knuese, Waukesha, Wis; 2. John DeAngelis, Jr, Hubertus, Wis; 3. Steve Dobbratz, Rio, Wis; 4. Danny Church, Delavan, Wis; 5. Alex Prunty, Lomira, Wis; 6. Ricky Heinan, Kewaskum, Wis; 7. Mike Meyerhofer, Burlington, Wis.

Time Trial — 1. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 2. Alex Prunty, Lomira, Wis; 3. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 4. Mike Meyerhofer, Burlington, Wis; 5. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 6. Danny Church, Delavan, Wis; 7. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 8. John DeAngelis, Jr, Hubertus, Wis; 9. Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan, Wis; 10. Steve Dobbratz, Rio, Wis; 11. Gregg Pawelski, Muskego, Wis; 12. Ricky Heinan, Kewaskum, Wis; 13. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 14. Kevin Knuese, Waukesha, Wis; 15. Jeff Holtz, Franksville, Wis; 16. Jacob Gille, Machesney Park; 17. Tyler Schley, Richfield, Wis; 18. Wayne Freimund, Elkhorn, Wis; 19. Jerry Eckhardt, Johnson Creek, Wis; 20. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 21. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 22. Duke Long, West Bend, Wis; 23. Andy Evraets, Menomonee Falls, Wis; 24. Grant Griesbach, Waukesha, Wis; 25. Craig Phillips, Edgerton, Wis; 26. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 27. Cody Kippenhan, Menasha, Wis; 28. Collin Olson, Hugo, Minn.; 29. Mark English, Edgerton, Wis; 30. Casey Strese, Johnson Creek, Wis; 31. Tom Jasinski, Pewaukee, Wis.

A RETURN TO THE HIGH BANKS UP NEXT FOR BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES!

2014-07-11

This Sunday evening July 13 marks the much anticipated return of the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet to Slinger Super Speedway, as the ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country’ take to the ‘World’s Fastest Quarter Mile’ for the third time in Series history.

The ‘King of the High Banks’ 68 lap feature race will highlight Sunday night’s “Prelude to the Nationals,” which also includes the Mid-American Stock Car Series, Area Sportsman, Slinger Bees and Figure 8 racing. The ‘Prelude to the Nationals’ takes place just two night’s prior to the Speedway’s biggest event of the year, the ‘Slinger Nationals’ 199 lap Super Late Model race. The early entry list for this Sunday’s Big 8 Series tilt at Slinger is filled with several racers capable of capturing the trophy, including one of the hottest Late Model racers in the region right now, ‘Driver X’ Jon Reynolds Jr.

In the matter of just two weeks, Reynolds has pocketed multiple wins and big cash. On June 27, Reynolds led flag-to-flag at Madison International Speedway en route to his first Big 8 Series win of 2014. One night later, at Rockford Speedway, Reynolds stopped Alex Papini’s six-race win streak while coming from 20th starting spot to first in capturing the ‘Star Spangled 76,’ which added nearly $2100 to Reynolds’ bank account. Then, last Friday night at Dells Raceway Park, Reynolds made a bold last-lap move to snare his second straight Big 8 Series win, squeaking past Nick Nolden at the checkers.

Reynolds has seen much success at Slinger during his career, winning the track championship two times, while also claiming the inaugural Big 8 Series race at Slinger four years ago. But, before you install ‘Driver X’ as an early favorite, give an eye to other Slinger ‘hot shoes’ like current track point leader Danny Church, a three-time feature winner in 2014 at the legendary Wisconsin bull ring. Other Slinger veterans who look to be contenders Sunday night include former track champions Alex Prunty and ‘Insane’ Wayne Freimund, both of whom have found victory lane at this season. Big 8 regular Gregg Pawelski considers Slinger Super Speedway his ‘home track,’ and has came close to victory on the ‘high banks’ in 2014, while 12 year old Grant Greisbach will look to become the youngest driver ever to start a Big 8 Late Model Series race. John DeAngelis Jr is another driver hungry for his first Big 8 Series win. The 20 year old former ‘Slinger Nationals’ Late Model victor has been close to pocketing his first Big 8 win multiple times in the last 10 months and looks to be a favorite Sunday night the track where he began his career.

The Big 8 Series championship battle will be in focus Sunday night at Slinger, as current point leader Dale Nottestad looks to extend his slim advantage over teenager Austin Nason. Defending Big 8 Series champion Casey Johnson is looking to bounce back after a tenth place run last weekend in the Dells, which dropped him from first to fourth in the Series standings. Johnson has smelled success at Slinger before, finishing in the top three in last year’s Slinger Nationals Super Late Model race. Last week’s Fast Qualifier Tim Sargent and ‘Rocketman’ Dan Lensing also are gunning Slinger glory, along with veteran racers Steve Dobbratz and Mike Ehde. Two-time LaCrosse Fairground Speedway champion J Herbst, 2012 Big 8 Series Rookie of the Year Jesse Bernhagen and 2013 Series Rookie of the Year Casey Strese also have thrown their hats into the ring for this Sunday’s big event.

Pit Gates open Sunday afternoon at 2:30 PM, with Practice set to begin at 3:45 PM. Quartermaster Time Trials get underway at 5 PM, with racing slated to start at 6:30 PM. Spectator gates open at 4:30 PM, with Adult admission is $12, students (ages 12-17) and Seniors (ages 62 & up) are $8, Children (ages 6-11) are $2, while Kids 5 and under are admitted free!

For more information on Slinger Super Speedway and the ‘Prelude to the Nationals,’ please visit www.slingersuperspeedway.com or call 262-644-5921.

For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet, please visit www.big8series.com.

Big 8 Late Model Series
Entry List (as of 7/11/14)
‘King of the High Banks 68’
Slinger Super Speedway
Sunday July 13 2014

2- Tim Sargent
5- Casey Johnson
5- Dave Edwards
7- John DeAngelis Jr
9- Danny Church
X- Jon Reynolds Jr
11- Alex Prunty
14- Austin Nason
15- Michael Clapper
17- Gregg Pawelski
17- Grant Greisbach
18- Mike Ehde
19- Dan Lensing
23- Casey Strese
27- Collin Olson
28- Jesse Bernhagen
33- Kevin Knuese
37- Mike Meyerhofer
38- Jeff Holtz
46- Tom Jasinski
49- Andy Evraets
50- Jake Gille
51- Dale Nottestad
52- Steve Dobbratz
55- Craig Phillips
57- Mark English
82- J Herbst
95.3- Wayne Freimund

REYNOLDS NIPS NOLDEN FOR SECOND STRAIGHT BIG 8 WIN!

2014-07-05

Fireworks and a grand finale are all part of the scene on Fourth of July across this country.

The scene for Friday night’s Big 8 Late Model Series ‘North American Cup 68’ at Dells Raceway Park was much the same. A thrilling feature race with twenty-four of the best Late Model racers in the Midwest provided the fireworks during the balance of the event and on the last lap, an unpredictable grand finale took place thanks to Nick Nolden and Jon Reynolds Jr.

Nolden, the defending Dells Raceway Park track champion, led most of Friday night’s feature race, with Reynolds, winner of last Friday’s Big 8 event at Madison International Speedway, working feverishly to try and catch Nolden in the race’s final laps. Both drivers would go three wide through lap traffic on the final lap, with Nolden opening the door for Reynolds to make a bold move for the lead in the race’s final corner.

Nolden started the event from the outside front row, alongside defending Big 8 Series champion Casey Johnson, who inherited the pole position thanks to his win in the 8 lap ‘Odd’ Dash. Johnson and Nolden battled for the lead from the get-go, with Nolden edging Johnson for the lead on the first circuit, then clearing the pole sitter Johnson for the lead on lap three.

After falling from the pole, Johnson fell into a battle for second position with current Jefferson Speedway point leader Dale Nottestad. The two racers traded punches for the runner up position for the next several laps, before Johnson finally fell to third. Behind the top three, Reynolds began to make his move. The 2005 Big 8 Series champion, who started the race from seventh, climbed into the top five by lap 10.

The first yellow flag of the race appeared on lap 16, as Minnesota teenager Michael Ostdiek spun in turn three. The stoppage bunched up the field for the first restart of the night, which provided a little chaos. As the field tip-toed to green, the middle of the field began to resemble an accordion, with many cars becoming entangled in turn three. The green flag was pulled back and all cars involved in the melee were able to continue.

Following the double file restart, Nolden was able to set sail as the pack battled behind him. Nottestad and Johnson resumed their second place battle, while Reynolds slipped to fourth. Behind the top four, fast qualifier Tim Sargent was on the move. Sargent, who started the race in ninth place, was contending for a top five position when his car suddenly spun in turn four, bringing out the race’s next yellow flag. Sargent rejoined the field at the tail on the restart, then charged back to eleventh place by race’s end.

On the ensuing restart, Reynolds powered past Johnson for third. Johnson meanwhile, struggled to get back in line after choosing the high side of the track on the double file restart. Johnson eventually fell to eighth position during the green flag run. Over the next several laps, Nottestad challenged Nolden for the lead, closing the gap multiple times during the mid stages of the 68 lap affair. As the race ran into its final paces, Reynolds caught the lead battle and with ten laps to go, and quickly made a move on Nottestad for second.

While Reynolds and Nottestad wrestled for second, Nolden was able to build a comfortable lead over the balance of the field. After Reynolds made his move to second, Nolden began to reach lapped traffic. It seemed as if the lap cars would be Nolden’s best friend, forcing single file racing and keeping Reynolds at bay. However, in the race’s final lap, the cars that appeared to be in Nolden’s favor ended up helping Reynolds.

When the white flag waved, Nolden and Reynolds approached side-by-side lapped traffic in turn one. As the two leaders closed up, the two lapped cars split high and low on the backstretch, allowing both Nolden and Reynolds to go three-wide past the lapped cars. As Nolden made his move, he approached turn three, coasting to the second groove. Reynolds meanwhile, was able to put his car to the bottom of the track, increasing his closing speed on Nolden. The two cars were door-to-door in the middle of turns three and four, with paint being traded in the final corner.

As the two racers entered the front stretch, Reynolds was able to win the drag race back to line, nipping Nolden at the finish by the smallest of margins. The win was Reynolds’ second consecutive in Big 8 action and his third straight overall, following his win last Saturday night at his home track Rockford Speedway. Nolden’s runner up finish was his second top five in three Big 8 outings this year.

Nottestad was able to hold onto third and assumed the Big 8 Late Model Series points lead thanks to his efforts. Austin Nason finished the race in fourth and was the Powersource ‘Power Mover of the Race,’ advancing seven spots in the feature. Dan Lensing rounded out the top five.

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Champion's Banquet
Forest Hills Lodge
January 11, 2020

Top 5 in Points
As of 10/6/19

1 2B Michael Bilderback 615
2 00W Brody Willett 572
3 52W Chad Walen 530
4 51JN Justin Neisius 487
5 13E Nick Egan 470

View Full Standings