The traditional push towards the Big 8 Late Model Series championship begins this weekend.

“Three Races In Three Weeks” are set to be contested at three different tracks in three different states to end the 2017 campaign, with stop number one this weekend at Elko Speedway in Elko New Market Minnesota.

The bullring at Elko, which has become a staple on the Big 8 Series tour, hosts the 9th Annual ‘Thunderstruck” this Saturday September 23. Five total divisions are showcased, with the Big 8 Series contesting a 58 lap feature race as part of the jam-packed event.

Coming into Elko, two-time and defending Big 8 Late Model Series champion Michael Bilderback is on a quest to do something that has never been done before; win three consecutive Big 8 Late Model Series titles. The South Beloit Illinois resident currently holds a 51 point advantage on four-time Series champion Jeremy Miller. Both drivers have won along the 2017 Big 8 Series trail. Miller was dominant en route to victory at Madison International Speedway in June, while Bilderback has been dominant recently, winning the last two Series races at State Park Speedway and Wisconsin International Raceway.

Alburnett Iowa’s Brody Willett has been busy racing across the Midwest over the last month or so and looks to parlay that into his first Big 8 Series win. Willett currently sits third in Series points, just 40 points ahead of Ryan Kamish. When looking for a local favorite this weekend, Kamish is definitely a driver to keep in mind. Setting fourth in Big 8 points during his first full season on the the tour, Elko could be the perfect stage for the Farmington native’s first Big 8 Series win. Richfield Wisconsin’s Jerry Mueller has also had a solid season along the Big 8 trail, holding down fifth in Series points, while Hartford Wisconsin’s Jake Vanoskey and Burlington Wisconsin’s Jake Zellmer are separated by just two points for sixth and seventh. Both Vanoskey and Zellmer had solid ends to their regular season, with Vanoskey crowned the NASCAR Illinois Rookie of the Year and Zellmer finding victory lane at Dells Raceway Park during the season. Speaking of young drivers finding success, Carol Stream Illinois native Tyler Brown currently is tenth in Big 8 Series points and is the Loves Park Motorsports Rookie of the Year point leader.

The local contingent of challengers at Elko Speedway is always one of the toughest each season along the Big 8 Late Model Series and this year is no exception. Expect a solid cast of challengers to defend their hometrack, including multi-time Elko Speedway champion Jacob Goede, who is looking to win his first Big 8 race in his first ever attempt. Another driver happy to see the series come to his home track is Rosemount native Joe Neisius, who claimed his first Big 8 Series victory back in June at Hawkeye Downs. Through the years, Minnesota racers have represented their hometrack well, will it happen again this Saturday night?

Following Elko, the Big 8 Late Model Series heads to Rockford (IL) Speedway on Saturday September 30 for their 108 lap race as part of the 52nd Annual National Short Track Championships. Then, on Saturday October 7, the curtain comes down on the 2017 season at the 48th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, WI, where the 2017 Big 8 Late Model Series champion will be crowned.

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

(as of August 1, 2017)

1. Michael Bilderback 602
2. Jeremy Miller 551
3. Brody Willett 431
4. Ryan Kamish 391
5. Jerry Mueller 347
6. Jake Vanoskey 313
7. Jake Zellmer 311
8. Tim Sargent 295
9. Tyler Hromadka 279
10. Tyler Brown (R) 236


What: 9th Annual Thunderstruck
Where: Elko Speedway(26350 France Ave Elko New Market, MN 55020)
When: Saturday September 23

Schedule and Information:
9 AM- Pit Gates Open
12:30 PM-2:05 PM- Rotating Practice including Big 8 Late Models
2:15 PM- Drivers Meeting inside “Champions”
2:45 PM-4 PM- On-Track Autograph Session
4:15 PM- Qualifying
6 PM- Racing including the 58 lap Big Late Model Series Feature

Divisions Competing:
Big 8 Late Model Series (Qualifying, Last Chance Race and a 58 lap feature)
ARCA Midwest Tour
Thunder Cars
Power Stocks

Admission Prices:
Adults (13 & up) $20
Kids (4-12) $5
3 & under are FREE

Sat Sept 23- 9th Annual ‘Thunderstruck 93’ (Elko Speedway, Elko New Market, MN)
Sat Sept 30- 52nd Annual National Short Track Championships (Rockford Speedway, Loves Park, IL)
Sat Oct 7- 48th Oktoberfest Race Weekend (La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, WI)


Back to News

Next Event

Larry Detjens Memorial

Friday, July 26th

State Park Speedway

Watch Live

Top 8 in Points
As of 7/7/2024

Rank Car # Driver Name Points
1 2B Michael Bilderback 330
2 X Jon Reynolds Jr. 284
3 11S Randy Sargent 277
4 14B Grant Brown 260
5 66K Kendrick Kreyer 229
6 50G Jacob Gille 224
7 13L Brandon Laing 222
8 11R Joshua Lundy (r) 214

View Full Standings