Here Come the Big 8 Late Models


By: Eric Huenefeld

With Fourth of July holiday week looming, it is once again time for the “Best Weekly Warriors in the Country” to descend on Madison International Speedway.

For the 13th time in series history, the Big 8 Late Models presented by Gandrud Chevrolet will battle on the high banked half-mile at Madison International Speedway this Friday night, June 28. The best drivers the Big 8 Series has to offer will compete in the ‘Salute to America 48’ lap Late Model feature at MIS, looking to add their name to a long list of winners at the historic southern Wisconsin speedway.

The early entry list for the second event of the 2013 Big 8 Series season is filled with a long list of contenders. Last year’s Madison International Speedway track champion Dale Nottestad will be one of the favorites to win Friday night’s 48 lap main event. Nottestad, who also claimed the 2004 track championship at MIS, is a former Big 8 winner at the track and was runner up to Alex Papini in the season opening Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway back in April.

Two time Jefferson Speedway champion Casey Johnson comes into Madison with momentum and a win at MIS already under his belt this 2013 season. Johnson topped a field of 25 Super Late Models on June 16, claiming victory in the first “Triple Crown Challenge” race of the season. Another driver with momentum heading to Madison is “Driver X” Jon Reynolds Jr. Reynolds has captured two of the last three NASCAR Late Model features at Rockford Speedway and traditionally has been a tough competitor during the summer months.

Multi-time Madison champion Bobby Wilberg has thrown his hat into the ring for the Friday night affair. Wilberg, despite his great consistency through the years with the Big 8 Series, is still searching for that elusive first-ever series victory. Several other drivers with Madison experience are also on the entry list, including Shane Morrissey, “Pastor Don” Wickstrum and Andy Evraets.

There are a host of other drivers who have captured track championships throughout the region who have yet to capture a Big 8 checkered flag and will be looking to do so Friday night. Those names include Dan Lensing and Rich Schumann Jr, both former champions at Dells Raceway Park and J Herbst, a two-time champion at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.

Young hard chargers like Johnny DeAngelis, Jesse Bernhagen, Austin Nason, Adam Peschek and Natalie Decker have also filed their entries and will try their hand against the Big 8’s best this Friday night.

Joining the Big 8 Late Model Series on card will be the Midwest Trucks and the IMCA Vintage Racers. After the races, the famed “Thundercat Fireworks” Display will light up the night sky. Pit gates open Friday afternoon at 3:30 PM, with rotating practice starting at 4:45 PM. Qualifying, including Quartermaster Time Trials for the Big 8 Late Models presented by Gandrud Chevrolet, will begin at 6:15 PM. Green flag racing commences at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $15.00 (Ages 13 and up), $5.00 (Ages 6-12), Free for 5 and under

For more information on Madison International Speedway, call 608-835-9700 or visit For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, check out



Pre Entries (as of 6/25/13)

Salute to America 48

Madison International Speedway


1 -Jesse Oudenhoven                               Freedom, WI

2- Tim Sargent                                         South Beloit, IL

4- Tom McClintock                                    Onalaska, WI

04- Natalie Decker                                    Eagle River, WI

5- Dave Edwards                                    Salem, WI

5- Casey Johnson                                    Edgerton, WI

7- John DeAngelis Jr.                                    Hubertus, WI

7- Don Wickstrum                                    Monroe, WI

9- Danny Church                                    Williams Bay, WI

X- Jon Reynolds Jr.                                    Rockford, IL

17- Eric Connell                                       Fort Atkinson, WI

18- Mike Ehde                                          Prairie Du Chein, WI

19- Dan Lensing                                        Poplar Grove, IL

21- Shane Morrissey                                    Cuba City, WI

23- Austin Nason                                    Roscoe, IL

23- Casey Strese                                    Johnson Creek, WI

28- Jesse Bernhagen                                    Stevens Point, WI

28- Jake Finney                                          Sycamore, IL

28- Bobby Wilberg                                    Beloit, WI

38- Jeff Holtz                                          Franksville, WI

46- Tom Jasinski                                    Pewaukee, WI

49- Andy Evraets                                    Menomonie Falls, WI

50- Jake Gille                                           Machesney Park, IL

51- Dale Nottestad                                    Cambridge, WI

52- Steve Dobbratz                                    Rio, WI

54- Rich Schumann Jr.                             Portage, WI

66- Adam Peschek                                    Oconomowoc, WI

82- J Herbst                                              West Salem, WI

84- Jake Vanoskey                                    Hartford, WI

89- Ryan Ferrell                                         East Troy, WI