Loves Park, IL- Coming off the biggest win of his career, Austin Nason returns to his home track this Saturday night, June 29, with hopes of defending his 2018 Kar Korner All-Star 100 victory at Rockford Speedway. Nason, the former Rockford Speedway Sportsman Champion, won the Father’s Day 100 at The Milwaukee Mile two weeks ago and finds himself atop the point standings headed into Saturday night’s ARCA Midwest Tour event at the quarter-mile high banked paved oval.
Nason who resides from nearby Roscoe, IL is amongst the favorites when the ‘Stars and Cars’ of the ARCA Midwest Tour make their annual stop at Rockford Speedway. Matching Nason’s win total of two last year is 2011 Midwest Tour Champion Andrew Morrissey. Morrissey has quietly positioned himself as one of the toughest short track competitors in the Midwest each season. Joining the Midwest Tour All-Star 100 will be the Stanley Steemer Late Models in the Star Spangled 76, the first ever celebrity Spectacular Drags as well as a giant Fireworks Display.
Four former winners of Rockford’s heralded National Short Track Championships have filed entries for Saturday’s Kar Korner All-Star 100. Casey Johnson, the 2016 NSTC Champion is currently second in Midwest Tour points and won the Tour’s Memorial Day Weekend visit to Jefferson Speedway, where he is a three time Champion. The 2018 Fox River Racing Club Champion has been collecting checkered flags this season and will be in the hunt for another one Saturday after finishing second in last year’s All-Star 100. Two-time and defending Rockford Speedway NASCAR Late Model Champion Jon Reynolds, Jr will be pulling double duty Saturday night as the NSTC 15 victor will also be competing in the Star Spangled 76, a race which he has won numerous times. Driver ‘X’ is still searching for his first Midwest Tour feature win, he did win a Match Race in 2017. With a new book debuting next month, former NASCAR front runner Rich Bickle, Jr continues to put his #45 machine at the front of the field. Backing up his 1990 NSTC win with a popular victory in 2012, Bickle recorded the runner-up finish during the Joe Shear Classic 200 this May at Madison. Making his first start of the season, Steve Rubeck another two-time NSTC Champion (2002, 2014) will once again wheel his familiar #61. Rubeck, known as ‘The Flyin’ FIB’ is a former Big 8 Series Champion and Dells Raceway Park Super Late Model Champion.
A pair of Chicagoland Champions will lead the charge for the Windy City. 2013 Illiana Motor Speedway Champion Paul Shafer, Jr and two-time Grundy County Speedway Champion Ricky Baker both know how tough it is to win not only in Midwest Tour action, but at Rockford Speedway. Both drivers are ‘owed one’ from the tough Rockford track as both drivers experienced hard impacts in 2018 ending their bid at All-Star 100 glory. Former Chicagoland standout Steve Seligman and Illini Midget front runner Scott Koerner. 2015 Rockford Speedway NASCAR Late Model Track Champion is rallying to complete his car for Saturday night’s Super Late Model event. Also entered will be three drivers that have found success at Rockford will be former Slinger Super Speedway Late Model Champion Wayne Freimund, Curt Tillman and Jim Olson. Multi-time Midwest Truck and Mid-American Stock Car Series Champion James Swan will return to Super Late Model action Saturday and will be joined by former Mid-Am Champ and Big 8 Series winner Rick Corso.
A strong youth movement will be attempting to add their name into the All-Star 100 record book as well. Having led the most laps in the Joe Shear Classic in May, John DeAngelis, Jr is looking for that breakthrough win, Rockford may be the place for that to happen. DeAngelis finished sixth in last season’s All-Star 100. Hot off of two wins this month, John Beale returns to Rockford with 2018 Tour Champ Dalton Zehr calling the shots from atop the pit box. Zehr set a new track record last June and the combo celebrated Beale’s wins at Wausau and Marshfield earlier this month. State Park Speedway Point Runner-Up Justin Mondiek returns to the site of his tenth place effort last year while New Smyrna Speedway World Series of Asphalt runner-up Gabe Sommers will make his first visit to Rockford. Currently fifth in Tour points, Ryan Farrell leads the Rookie standings and posted an impressive fast time last weekend at the Dells. Carson Kvapil recorded his lone tour win last summer during his first ever tour appearance, now he will travel from North Carolina to compete at the track his father Travis won the American Short Tracker Division Championship in 1994.
Adult general admission tickets are $25, kids 6-11 are $10 with kids 5 and under admitted free. Spectator gates open at 5, qualifying begins at 6:10pm with the first race at 7:07pm. Rockford Speedway is located at 9572 Forest Hills Road in Loves Park, IL. For additional information visit www.rockfordspeedway.com or call the Speedway Box Office at 815-633-1500.
-ARCA Midwest Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo