Story by: John Wells
Although he might not race at Madison as much as he did last year, Michael Bilderback made the most of his visits tonight by winning the Montgomery Ward 48 for the Big 8 Late Models as part of Colony Brands Salute to America Night at Madison.
Jacob Nottestad and John Baumeister Jr. brought the field to the green flag with Nottestad gaining a slight advantage before the first caution flag waved on lap 2 for an incident back in the pack.
Nottestad was able to maintain his lead after the restart followed by Baumeister Jr. who passed Ryan Kamish for second on lap 3. Bilderback moved into third on lap 5 followed by Bobby Wilberg shortly before the caution flag waved on lap 6 for a spin.
Bilderback moved into second on the restart and on lap 9 worked his way to the inside of Nottestad coming out of turn four to take the lead. Back in the pack past winners Dale Nottestad and Jeremy Miller were up to the seventh and eight place positions.
Out front it was smooth sailing for Bilderback as he gladly welcomed the tight competition for top five positioning in his rear view mirror. By lap 20 his lead was up to ten car lengths while Jacob Nottestad and Baumeister Jr. were in a spirited battle for second.
Bilderback’s advantage would be negated when Pat Richgels made heavy contact with the wall in turn one bringing out the caution flag on lap 23.
Again, the restart was favorable for Bilderback as he quickly took a three car length lead over Baumeister Jr. who had overtaken Jacob Nottestad for second. But the car on the move now was Dale Nottestad who had worked his way up to fourth and pulled alongside Jacob Nottestad on lap 27 and eventually took the third position two laps later before the caution flag was displayed again for two cars that got together in turn two.
The cat and mouse game with the Big 8 cone continued as drivers chose the inside or outside lines behind Bilderback. After the green flag, Miller was now the car on the move as he moved up to fourth and on lap 33 would pull to the inside of Dale Nottestad and take over the third spot.
Three more cautions, the third on lap 42 involving top five cars of Dale Nottestad and Wilberg, and three more restarts were no problem for Bilderback who held off the hard-charging Miller to pick up the victory.
It was Bilderback’s first Big 8 win at Madison.
Miller set fast time in qualifying and also picked up a win in the heat races along with Zack Riddle, Kamish, and Baumeister Jr.
Big 8 Late Model Series
Official Race Results
Montgomery Ward “Salute to America” (48 laps)
Madison International Speedway
1. Michael Bilderback South Beloit, IL
2. Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL
3. John Baumeister Jr Beloit, WI
4. Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
5. Jacob Nottestad Utica, WI
6. Zack Riddle Brooklyn, WI
7. Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
8. Ryan Kamish Farmington, MN
9. Nick Egan Slinger, WI
10. Brent Edmunds Monticello, WI
11. Grant Brown Prior Lake, MN
12. Troy Hintzsche Genoa, IL
13. Dale Nottestad Cambridge, WI
14. Bobby Wilberg Beloit, WI
15. Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
16. Brady Liddle Oregon, WI
17. Justin Neisius Eagan, MN
18. Matt Lundberg Rockton, IL
19. Chris Storey Burlington, WI
20. Pat Richgels Watertown, WI
21. Shane Morrissey Cuba City, WI
22. Dylan Moore Northfield, MN
23. Hunter Drefahl Evansville, WI
24. Bill Drefahl, Jr Evansville, WI
25. Michael Haggar Hanover, MN
26. Joe Neisius Rosemount, MN
27. Mark Greb Coralville, IA
Preliminary Race Winners: Miller, Riddle, Kamish, Baumeister
Fast Qualifier: Miller (18.703)
Car Count: 28 Big 8 Late Models