by Jason Luter
Sunday, September 30, 2018 - Rockford, IL-They say when you don’t use your skills, you get rusty. 

Although, with only a handful of late model starts in 2018, Michael Bilderback would beg to differ. 

Bilderback is always a threat at his home track of Rockford Speedway and he proved why when

he doubled-up with a win in the Big8 88 lap feature event during the 53rd National Short Track


Throughout the main event, Bilderback battled with Jefferson Speedway champ, Dale Nottestad.   

The duo clipped off laps mainly in the second and third spots.  Rockton’s Matt Lundberg held the

early lead through three cautions and looked like the car to beat.  Lundberg stretched his lead to

almost a straightaway until he caught lapped traffic during the mid-stages.  That allowed

Nottestad and Bilderback to close the gap and challenge.

Each lap Lundberg would get loose accelerating out the corners and soon, Bilderback dove inside,

three wide around lap traffic.  Bilderback launched to the lead with less than twenty laps to go

and brought Nottestad with him.  After handedly at the front, Lundberg found himself in the

throngs of competition and brought out a caution when his mount mounted the wall in turns

one and two riding the wall and billboards coming to a stop in the infield to end his day.

Upon the restart, Big8 Series point leader and Faster than a Speeding Bullet fast qualifier Jeremy

Miller, was collected in a spectacular accordion wreck on the front stretch.  The same caution

claimed Jon Reynolds Jr., while not involved in the accident.  Miller returned without a radiator

to record a couple more laps and add valuable points to his season long efforts.

Bilderback quickly opened up a six car length lead, but the race was far from over.  Rockford

Speedway rookie, Max Kahler already had raced near the front, went to back and now he was

near the front again.  Kahler was able to maneuver by Nottestad for second and closed within

a car length of Bilderback at the checkers.  Jim Olson raced to a fourth place finish with multi-time

multi-track champion Bobby Wilberg rounded out the top five.

“Wow.  Awesome.  What a race,” Bilderback exclaimed in victory lane.  Immediately after exiting

his car, Bilderback walked to Nottestad’s car and shook hands.  “It is rough, banging, hard racing

today.  The track is really fast with a lot of grip.  Dale (Nottestad) and I trust each other and know

we can race hard and hurt each other.”  The win was Bilderback’s second Big8 feature event of

the 2018 season and his third Big8 NSTC Championship.

Runner-up Max Kahler was frustrated, but happy with his second place finish.  “We had some big mistakes that took us to the back, but we were able to race back to the front.”  Nottestad also had positive comments.  “I really enjoy coming and racing at Rockford.  It’s tough, but we usually do pretty good.”

The final Big8 Series event is schedule for Saturday night during next week’s Oktoberfest Race Weekend in LaCrosse, WI.

Rockford Speedway 2018 Sportsmen champion Howie Ware lead the Great Northern Sportsman Series to the green with Patrick Featherston on the outside.  Ware wrestled the lead on lap two.  Featherston’s second place would be short lived as he received a bump from Chad Smith in turn four bringing out the race’s only caution.

On the restart, Ware and GNSS point leader Jason Thoma waged a fierce battle with Thoma finally clearing Ware and assuming the point on lap five.  David Borntreger passed Ware just a couple laps later for second.  Ware settled into third until the checkered flag.  The Great Northern Sportsman Series finale is scheduled for next week’s Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway.

Justin Okruhlica made the most of his first visit to Rockford Speedway thundering to victory in the twenty lap Modified feature.  Okruhlica won seven features at the Dells Raceway Park this season before taking home the traditional NSTC eagle.  MidAm veterans Bill Prietzel and James Swan come home second and third.

In action completed Saturday night, George Sparkman earned his record seventh NSTC American Short Tracker win ahead of Brandon DeLacy.  Sparkman launched to the lead on lap five, matching his car number.  Early leader Justin Pearson was able hold on the fourth ahead of former champ Kelly Evink.  While DeLacy wasn’t able to complete the win, he caught Sparkman with three laps to go and made the old timer sweat.

In Super Late Model action, former Rockford Speedway track champion Alex Papini earned the Faster Than a Speeding Bullet trophy while Alex Prunty, Josh Nelms and Jim Olson earned preliminary wins.



Saturday, September 29, 2018 Race RESULTS

​Big 8 Late Model Series
88 lap FEATURE
 --  1. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 2. Max Kahler, Caledonia; 3. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 4. Jim Olson, Harvard; 5. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 6. Jacob Nottestad (r), Stoughton, Wis; 7. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 8. Dennis Smith, Jr, South Beloit; 9. Steve Vaughn, Maple Park; 10. Jeff Wakeman, Streator; 11. Nick Egan (r), Slinger, Wis; 12. Tyler Hromadka, Brookfield, Wis; 13. Kyle Shear, Roscoe; 14. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 15. Matt Lundberg, Rockton; 16. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 17. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 18. Grant Brown (r), Prior Lake, Minn.; 19. Tom Gille, Winnebago; 20. Jerry Stafford II, South Beloit.
Heat 01 --  1. Matt Lundberg, Rockton; 2. Jacob Nottestad (r), Stoughton, Wis; 3. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 4. Jim Olson, Harvard; 5. Grant Brown (r), Prior Lake, Minn.; 6. Steve Vaughn, Maple Park; 7. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 8. Patrick Featherston II, Byron.
Heat 02 --  1. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 2. Dennis Smith, Jr, South Beloit; 3. Max Kahler, Caledonia; 4. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 5. Tom Gille, Winnebago; 6. Jeff Wakeman, Streator; 7. Tyler Hromadka, Brookfield, Wis; 8. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis.
Heat 03 --  1. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 2. Nick Egan (r), Slinger, Wis; 3. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 4. Kyle Shear, Roscoe; 5. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 6. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 7. Hunter Drefahl, Evansville, Wis; 8. Jerry Stafford II, South Beloit.
Time Trial --  1. Jeremy Miller, Rockford; 2. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 3. Brody Willett, Alburnett, Iowa; 4. Jacob Nottestad  (r), Stoughton, Wis; 5. Max Kahler, Caledonia; 6. Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis; 7. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 8. Jerry Mueller, Richfield, Wis; 9. Bobby Wilberg, Beloit, Wis; 10. Matt Lundberg, Rockton; 11. Tom Gille, Winnebago; 12. Kyle Shear, Roscoe;  13. Jim Olson, Harvard; 14. Dennis Smith, Jr, South Beloit; 15. Nick Egan (r), Slinger, Wis; 16. Steve Vaughn, Maple Park; 17. Chris Storey, Burlington, Wis; 18. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 19. Grant Brown (r), Prior Lake, Minn.; 20. Jeff Wakeman, Streator; 21. Jerry Stafford II, South Beloit; 22. Patrick Featherston II, Byron; 23. Tyler Hromadka, Brookfield, Wis; 24. Hunter Drefahl,
Evansville, Wis.

Great Northern Sportsman Series
40 lap FEATURE
 --  1. Jason Thoma, Jefferson, Wis; 2. David Borntreger, Muscoda, Wis; 3. Howie Ware, South Beloit; 4. Jacob Gille, Winnebago; 5. Rich Schinderling, Jr (r), Winnebago; 6. Adam Cartwright (r), Rockford; 7. Andrew Meyerhofer, Menasha, Wis; 8. Chad Smith, Davis Junction; 9. Joshua Lundy, Roscoe; 10. Cheryl Hryn, Blue Island; 11. Brandon Herb, Marion, Iowa; 12. John Featherston (r), Loves Park.
Heat 01 --  1. Jason Thoma, Jefferson, Wis; 2. Joshua Lundy, Roscoe; 3. Tyler Sauter, Necedah, Wis; 4. John Featherston (r), Loves Park; 5. Chad Smith, Davis Junction; 6. Andrew Meyerhofer, Menasha, Wis; 7. Cheryl Hryn, Blue Island.
Heat 02 --  1. Jacob Gille, Winnebago; 2. Garrick Fry, Durand; 3. Adam Cartwright (r), Rockford; 4. Howie Ware, South Beloit; 5. David Borntreger, Muscoda, Wis; 6. Brandon Herb, Marion, Iowa; 7. Rich Schinderling, Jr (r), Winnebago.
Time Trial --  1. Jason Thoma, Jefferson, Wis; 2. David Borntreger, Muscoda, Wis; 3. Chad Smith, Davis Junction; 4. Jacob Gille, Winnebago; 5. John Featherston (r), Loves Park; 6. Howie Ware, South Beloit; 7. Tyler Sauter, Necedah, Wis; 8. Rich Schinderling, Jr (r), Winnebago; 9. Andrew Meyerhofer, Menasha, Wis; 10. Garrick Fry, Durand; 11. Joshua Lundy, Roscoe; 12. Brandon Herb, Marion, Iowa; 13. Cheryl Hryn, Blue Island.

American Short Trackers
25 lap FEATURE
 --  1. George Sparkman, Loves Park; 2. Brandon DeLacy, Stoughton, Wis; 3. Nick Cina, Jr, Belvidere; 4. Justin Pearson, Belvidere; 5. Kelly Evink, Machesney Park; 6. Franc Beldowski, Rockford; 7. Kyle Voss, Woodstock; 8. Todd Snow, Rockford; 9. Melody Boyle (r), Kirkland; 10. Todd Bridges, Winnebago; 11. David Pautsch, Jr, Roscoe; 12. Bill Tuckwell, Springbay; 13. Aaron Rude, Cambridge, Wis.
Time Trial --  1. Nick Cina, Jr, Belvidere; 2. Franc Beldowski, Rockford; 3. Brandon DeLacy, Stoughton, Wis; 4. Kelly Evink, Machesney Park; 5. George Sparkman, Loves Park; 6. Aaron Rude, Cambridge, Wis; 7. Justin Pearson, Belvidere; 8. Kyle Voss, Woodstock;  9. Todd Snow, Rockford; 10. Bill Tuckwell, Springbay; 11. Melody Boyle (r), Kirkland; 12. Todd Bridges, Winnebago; 13. David Pautsch, Jr, Roscoe.

20 lap FEATURE
 --  1. Justin Okruhlica, Jackson, Wis; 2. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, Wis; 3. James Swan, Genoa City, Wis; 4. Rick Coppernoll, Stoughton, Wis; 5. Bill Tandetzke, Milwaukee, Wis; 6. Kevin Seidler, Kendall, Wis; 7. Cole Howard, Baraboo, Wis.
Heat 01 --  1. Rick Coppernoll, Stoughton, Wis; 2. James Swan, Genoa City, Wis; 3. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 4. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, Wis; 5. Bill Tandetzke, Milwaukee, Wis; 6. Justin Okruhlica, Jackson, Wis; 7. Kevin Seidler, Kendall, Wis; 8. Nick Quinell, Arkdale, Wis; 9. Cole Howard, Baraboo, Wis.
Time Trial --  1. Dave Edwards, Salem, Wis; 2. Justin Okruhlica, Jackson, Wis; 3. Rick Coppernoll, Stoughton, Wis; 4. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, Wis; 5. James Swan, Genoa City, Wis; 6. Bill Tandetzke, Milwaukee, Wis; 7. Kevin Seidler, Kendall, Wis; 8. Nick Quinell, Arkdale, Wis; 9. Cole Howard, Baraboo, Wis.

Super Late Models
Heat 01
 --  1. Jim Olson, Harvard; 2. Jeremy Spoonmore, Leland; 3. Mike Meyerhofer, Burlington, Wis; 4. James Swan, Genoa City, Wis; 5. Jacob Vanoskey, Hartford, Wis; 6. Carson Kvapil;; 7. Mike Beyer, Machesney Park; 8. Curt Tillman, Rockton.
Qualifying Dash 01 --  1. Josh Nelms, Lockport; 2. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 3. Jeff Holmgren, Jr, East Troy, Wis; 4. Rich Bickle, Madison, Wis; 5. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 6. Alex Papini, Rockford.
Qualifying Dash 02 --  1. Alex Prunty, Lomira, Wis; 2. Paul Shafer, Jr, Portage, Ind.; 3. Jacob Gille, Winnebago; 4. Grant Griesbach, Waukesha, Wis; 5. Brian Johnson, Jr., Machesney Park; 6. Brad Mueller, Random Lake, Wis.
Time Trial --  1. Alex Papini, Rockford; 2. Brad Mueller, Random Lake, Wis; 3. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Loves Park; 4. Carson Kvapil;; 5. Brian Johnson, Jr., Machesney Park; 6. Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis; 7. Alex Prunty, Lomira, Wis; 8. Rich Bickle, Madison, Wis; 9. Grant Griesbach, Waukesha, Wis; 10. Josh Nelms, Lockport; 11. Paul Shafer, Jr, Portage, Ind.; 12. Jeff Holmgren, Jr, East Troy, Wis; 13. Jacob Gille, Winnebago; 14. Jacob Vanoskey, Hartford, Wis; 15. Jeremy Spoonmore, Leland; 16. Jim Olson, Harvard; 17. Curt Tillman, Rockton; 18. Mike Meyerhofer, Burlington, Wis; 19. James Swan, Genoa City, Wis; 20. Mike Beyer, Machesney Park.