Jon Reynolds Jr. won the 48 lap feature for the Big 8 Late Models on Salute to America Night at Madison International Speedway.
Jon Reynolds Jr. and Kevin Knuese paced the field of twenty-four to the green flag. Reynolds Jr. took the lead from the top with Dan Lensing, Dale Nottestad, and Bobby Wilberg up to second through fourth. Nottestad and Wilberg were both able to pass Lensing on lap 5 but were still eight lengths behind the leader. The caution flag came out on lap 8 when Chris Marek’s machine stopped on the backstretch.
Reynolds Jr. maintained the lead with Nottestad, Wilberg, Tim Sargent, and Knuese in pursuit before the caution flag came out on lap 8 when Brady Liddle’s car spun in turn three. Wilberg had mechanical issues and was forced to take his car to the pits ending his night.
The race stayed green for just one lap before Michael Clapper spun on the backstretch. On the restart Reynolds Jr. and Nottestad jumped ahead of the field followed by Sargent, Knuese, and Lensing. A spin in turn two brought out the caution flag on lap 14.
Reynolds Jr. and Nottestad once again put more than ten lengths between themselves and the field while Lensing and Sargent were fighting it out for third. By lap 25 Reynolds Jr. had built a five car length lead over Nottestad with Lensing a distant third followed by Knuese and Sargent. On lap 33 Reynolds Jr. had to slow to get around lapped traffic allowing Nottestad to cut into his lead. But two laps later the lead was back to seven car lengths and growing. On lap 42 Casey Johnson was up to fourth after passing Knuese.
Only a caution flag could slow down Reynolds Jr., but it didn’t happen tonight as he cruised to victory lane. Nottestad finished second followed by Lensing, Johnson, and Austin Nason.
“I’ve spent most of my life up here watching my dad and other people race…I just love this place. It’s cool winning here,” said Reynolds Jr. from victory lane.
J Herbst won the twelve lap last chance race with Michael Clapper, Dave Edwards, and Casey Strese also transferring.
Transferring to the feature from the qualifying races were Bill Baumeister and Casey Johnson from the first race and Steve Dobbratz and Mike Ehde from the second.
Jon Reynolds Jr. won the first six lap dash while Kevin Knuese took home the win in the second. Both races determined the starting fourteen in the feature.
Bobby Wilberg set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 18.930 (95.087 mph).
1. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 2. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 3. Dan Lensing, Roscoe; 4. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 5. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 6. Kevin Knuese, Waukesha, Wis; 7. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 8. Gregg Pawelski, Muskego, Wis; 9. Ryan Goldade, Edgerton, Wis; 10. Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan, Wis; 11. Mike Meyerhofer, Burlington, Wis; 12. Steve Dobbratz, Rio, Wis; 13. John DeAngelis, Jr, Hubertus, Wis; 14. Shane Morrissey, Cuba City, Wis; 15. Billy Baumeister, Janesville, Wis; 16. J. Herbst, LaCrosse, Wis; 17. Jacob Gille, Machesney Park; 18. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 19. Casey Strese, Johnson Creek, Wis; 20. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 21. Michael Clapper, Dane, Wis; 22. Brady Liddle, Oregon, Wis; 23. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 24. Christopher Marek, Lakeville, Minn..
– Big 8 Series Press Release Photo Credit: Mark Melchiori