By: Eric Huenefeld
Despite losing power to his car and losing the lead late in last Saturday night’s Big 8 Late Model Series marathon at Rockford Speedway, Michael Bilderback still had the kind of night he needed to make his trip to LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway as much of a coronation as a competition.
Bilderback’s sixth place finish and second quickest qualifying time at Rockford was enough to give him a 164 point lead at the end of the night and helped the South Beloit Illinois racer clinch his second straight Big 8 Late Model Series championship.
Through seven races, the 25 year old has turned in one of the most consistent seasons in Big 8 history, winning four races and finishing no worse than sixth place in any Big 8 Late Model Series race. The Big 8 Series championship is Bilderback’s second straight, making him just the third man to win multiple Big 8 championships, joining Jeremy Miller (2007, 08, 10, 12) and Casey Johnson (2013 & 14).
But the action is far from over heading to La Crosse, as Bilderback looks to capture his first ever win at Oktoberfest. And along with Bilderback’s quest for a fifth win of 2016, there are several battles to be decided within the Top 10 in Big 8 Series points.
The battle for second in points is far from over heading to ‘Fest,’ with Minnesota’s Michael Ostdiek holding a 25 point advantage over J Herbst and a 43 point advantage over Jeremy Miller. Ostdiek is looking to end his season in style with a second Big 8 Series win and a seventh win overall in 2016, while Herbst is looking for his breakthrough Big 8 win on his hometrack. Miller, the fast qualifier last week at Rockford, looks to become just the second driver to win multiple features on the Big 8 Series in 2016 while also pursuing his first ever win at Oktoberfest.
The Loves Park Motorsports Rookie of the Year battle is set to be determined at Oktoberfest also, with a pair of 14 year old drivers vying for the honor. Waukesha Wisconsin’s Grant Griesbach leads Alburnett Iowa’s Brody Willett by just 57 points as the two youngsters speed towards this weekend’s finale.
Each and every year, the Big 8 Late Model Series race at Oktoberfest boasts one of the most diverse lineups of “weekly warriors” from across the Midwest and this year promises more of the same. With nearly 50 drivers trying for 24 spots into the 68 lap Championship Feature, sparks are sure to fly this Saturday night.
BIG 8 LATE MODEL SERIES POINT STANDINGS (Top 10)
1. #2 Michael Bilderback 792
2. #18 Michael Ostdiek 628
3. #82 J. Herbst 603
4. #5 Jeremy Miller 585
5. #95 Wayne Freimund 495
6. #17 Grant Griesbach 428
7. #54 Rich Schumann, Jr. 393
8. #3 Tyler Hromadka 372
9. #00 Brody Willett 371
10. #03 Cody Kippenhan 320
What: 47th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend
Where: La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway (N4985 County Road M, West Salem, WI 54669)
When: Saturday October 8
Schedule and Information:
8 AM- Pits Open
9:25 AM- Practice Begins
2:05 PM- Qualifying
5 PM- Racing begins
Big 8 Late Model Series along with ARCA Midwest Tour, Mid American Stock Car Series and Midwest Dash Series
Adults (18 +) $25, Students (ages 12-17) $12, Children (ages 6-11) $6, Kids ages 5 and under FREE
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit big8series.com