BIG 8 WEEKLY WARRIORS TACKLE ‘WISCONSIN’S FASTEST HALF MILE’ THIS FRIDAY NIGHT!
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 www.madisoninternationalspeedway.com. For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, check out www.big8series.com.
BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES
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