OREGON, WI – Rich Bickle Jr. is back in victory lane at Madison after winning tonight’s 50 lap feature in Round Two of the Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge. Brian Beale took home the checkered flag in the Late Models while Robert Hansberry Jr. (Sportsman), Steve Dickson (Bandits), and Mike Bollinger (6Shooters) were also victorious all on Bobcat of Janesville Night at the Races.
Rich Bickle Jr. held off Dan Fredrickson to win the second round of the Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge. The win was Bickle Jr.’s eighteenth in his career at Madison that includes two track championships in 1985 and 1986.
Dean LaPointe and Travis Sauter brought the field of twenty cars to the green flag. Sauter took the early advantage followed closely by Rich Bickle Jr. and Jeff Van Oudenhoven. Moving up from his eighth starting position was quick qualifier Austin Nason who was all the way up to fourth on lap 3. Casey Johnson broke into the top five on lap 4. Nason took the third spot from Van Oudenhoven on lap 5.
The first caution flag of the race came out on lap 11 when Mikie Breiner spun coming out of turn two.
Sauter chose the outside on the restart allowing Bickle Jr. to line up on the inside. Bickle Jr. was able to power his way to the lead with Nason passing Sauter for second one lap later. Dan Fredrickson was up to fourth as the top four started to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the field.
On lap 20 Fredrickson found the room on the inside and passed Sauter for third and began to hunt down Bickle Jr. and Nason. At the half-way point Bickle Jr. had increased his lead to four car lengths as Nason was dealing with the hard charging Fredrickson. Nason got a little loose coming out of turn two on lap 27 allowing Fredrickson to take over the second spot.
In a scene very similar to the first race when he was chasing down Bobby Wilberg, Fredrickson was closing the gap on Bickle Jr. as they worked around lapped traffic.
With ten laps to go Bickle Jr.’s lead was down to a single car length. Fredrickson looked for any opportunity he could find to get by the leader just before the caution flag came out with six laps to go when Nason had a tire go down bringing out the caution flag.
The stage was set for an exciting restart. Lining up side by side, Bickle Jr. was able to regain the lead over Fredrickson with John Beale moving up to third ahead of Sauter. Again Fredrickson did everything possible to get by Bickle Jr. but was unable to do so as Bickle Jr. held him off for the win.
“I started here back in 1981. It’s been a long time. I’ve given away over 450 trophies to kids over my career so this will be another one,” said a very happy Bickle Jr. from victory lane who continued his tradition of presenting his trophy to a lucky fan.
Austin Nason set fast time with a lap of 17.511 (102.793) and took home the Power Source Bonus money for being fastest in both Triple Crown events so far. Bobby Wilberg, Dan Fredrickson, and Austin Nason won the heat races
-Madison Int’l Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Jess Riedner