Michael Bilderback scored a bucket list victory Saturday night at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway (WI), but he did it in an unconventional way. Bilderback inherited the Big 8 Series victory during Oktoberfest Race Weekend when original victor Ty Majeski was disqualified (transmission) in post-race technical inspection.
At the conclusion of the season finale for the Big 8 Series, Bilderback thought it was the race that got away. Right from the start, the multi-time series champion pulled ahead and paced the field. But that turned out to be all for naught, at least he thought at the time, when Majeski made a three-wide pass for the lead with just two laps to go.
“There’s a straight cut gear, the spiral cut, or a sideways gear, and ours had the wrong gear in it,” Majeski’s crew chief Toby Nuttleman told Speed51.com. “It’s just what we had. That car was pieced together five years ago, and if I would have known that was in there we wouldn’t have run it.”
The news was good news for Bilderback, who accomplished his main goal for the year in the series, despite not running a full-time campaign this season.
“We had two tracks on the schedule we hadn’t won at yet,” Bilderback said. “We won at Madison International Speedway this year and now we are officially an Oktoberfest winner. That’s pretty awesome.”
On the championship side, although it was not a great night on the track for Jeremy Miller, an unprecedented fifth series championship made it better. What made it even more sweet was getting the trophy after announcing that this would be his final year of racing.
“I’ve lost a few,” Miller began. “And those hurt, so each one you win is sweeter. To get five championships, I am blessed. I hope it holds records for quite a while.”
After three days of exciting racing action at LaCrosse, focus will now shift to Sunday’s Oktoberfest 200 for the ARCA Midwest Tour Super Late Models and the JMck 63 Big-8 Invitational.
Race fans unable to make it out to the track will be able to watch all of Sunday’s action via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com.
-Story by Caleb Slouha, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com