Like cinderella and the glass slipper, Michael Bilderback and Rockford Speedway (IL) were once again a perfect match Saturday night. The Big 8 Late Model Series ran 108 laps as part of the 52nd annual “National Short Track Championships”.
The 26-year-old Illinois native is always strong when it comes to his home track, with this weekend being no exception. After winning the weekly feature on Friday night, Bilderback started 11th but found his way to the front 27 laps in after a brief battle with polesitter, Dale Nottestad, who would go on to finish second.
From there Bilderback set the cruise control and won his 12th feature win, which ties him for most all-time in the series. With the win, he also clinched his third consecutive championship which is yet another record.
“Clinching the third (championship) in a row is just awesome,” Bilderback told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We started three years ago and found a horseshow and have been really lucky with this car.”
Though not far off, Nottestad did not have near enough to keep up with the race winner.
“We had a really good car, but didn’t really have anything for (Bilderback),” Nottestad said afterwards. “It’s good to come here and run second. It’s good fun.”
Jon Reynolds Jr. and Alex Papini, also Illinois natives, picked up the third and fourth spots respectively. Papini and Brody Willett, who came into the night third in the standings, had a hard-fought battle in the last few laps for the position.
Although Bilderback has the title clinched, the battle for second-place in the standings is expected to tighten up due to Jeremy Miller, who had second-place going into the race, being involved in an incident that resulted in a 20th place finish.
The final race for the Big 8 Late Model Series takes place next Saturday at La Crosse Speedway (WI) during Oktoberfest weekend.
-By Caleb Slouha, Midwest Correspondent
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
1. Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
2. Dale Nottestad Cambridge, WI
3. Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
4. Alex Papini Rockford, IL
5. Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
6. Bobby Wilberg Beloit, WI
7. Adam Peschek Oconomowoc, WI
8. Jake Zellmer Muskego, WI
9. Tom Gille Winnebago, IL
10. John Baumeister Jr Beloit, WI
11. John Beinlich Cary, IL
12. Jake Vanoskey Hartford, WI
13. Chris Storey Burlington, WI
14. Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
15. Dennis Smith Jr South Beloit, IL
16. Jeff Wakeman Streator, IL
17. Cody Kippenhan Ypslianti, MI
18. Ryan Kamish Farmington, MN
19. Steve Rubeck Rockford, IL
20. Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL
21. Tyler Hromadka Brookfield, WI
22. RJ Braun Wales, WI
23. Mike Lloyd Davis, IL
24. Jake Gille Winnebago, IL
25. Max Kahler Caledonia, IL
26. Jerry Gille Roscoe, IL
Fast Qualifier: Miller (New Track Record)
Prelim Winners: Miller, Bilderback, Smith Jr, Nottestad, Beinlich
Entries: 30 Big 8 Late Models