Story By: John Wells
Dale Nottestad of Cambridge, Wisconsin, held off Michael Bilderback and Riley Stenjem to win the Big 8 Late Model Salute to America 48 at Madison International Speedway.
The twenty-one car field was brought to the green flag by Nick Egan and Shane Morrissey. Egan jumped out to the lead with Jon Reynolds Jr. moving to the inside of Morrissey to take second On the move was Jacob Nottestad who was up to challenge Morrissey for third. Nottestad would take the position on lap 3 with Brody Willett grabbing fourth one lap later.
Willett worked his way past Nottestad for third on lap 6. Two laps later Austin Nason worked to the inside of Nottestad to take fourth with Michael Bilderback up to fifth. Out front Egan had opened up a ten car length lead over Reynolds Jr.
Egan’s lead would be negated when the first caution came out on lap 15 for a spin in turn two.
On the restart, Egan paced the field back to green but drifted up the track in turn two allowing Reynolds Jr. to take the lead only to give it back to Egan before the lap was done. However, it was Dale Nottestad who made the biggest move jumping up to second with Nason and Bilderback side by side for third.
The caution flag came out on lap 20 for a front stretch incident involving Nason and Bobby Wilberg.
Once again Egan would pace the field back to green and maintain his lead over Nottestad and Bilderback. Disaster would strike one lap later for Egan who experienced rear end issues bringing out the caution flag and ending his night.
Now it was Dale Nottestad’s turn to bring the field back to the green flag. Nottestad and Bilderback were able to break away from the pack while Riley Stenjem and Jacob Nottestad were racing for third. Out front Dale Nottestad had opened a two car length lead over Bilderback. On lap 30 Willett took the fourth spot from Jacob Nottestad who was also passed by John Baumeister Jr. one lap later.
With ten laps to go the lead was still two car lengths for Dale Nottestad. With nine laps to go the lead was down to one length with Bilderback and Stenjem both within striking distance. But Dale Nottestad was able to increase his lead back up to two car lengths with six laps to go and three car lengths with five to go.
The last five laps belonged to Dale Nottestad who cruised to victory lane. Bilderback, Stenjem, Willett, and Baumeister Jr. would complete the top five. However, Stenjem’s car failed to pass post race inspection.
“The car was fast tonight. It’s been a struggle so far. It’s cool to be back, but it wasn’t easy. We’re glad to get it done,” said Nottestad.
“There were a lot of good cars here tonight. It was a lot of fun,” said runner-up Bilderback.
Dale Nottestad set quick time with a lap of 18.567 (96.946 mph) edging Bobby Wilberg who turned a lap of 18.572. Heat races were won by Shane Morrissey, Wilberg, and Michael Bilderback.
Official Race Results
'Salute to America' (48 laps)
Madison International Speedway (Oregon, WI)
1. Dale Nottestad
2. Michael Bilderback
3. Brody Willett
4. John Baumeister Jr.
5. Bobby Wilberg
6. Jacob Nottestad
7. Justin Neisius
8. Austin Nason
9. Shane Morrissey
10. RJ Braun
11. Ryan Kamish
12. Tom Gille
13. Chad Walen
14. Jerry Mueller
15. Jeff Watters
16. Luke Westenberg
17. Nick Egan
18. Jon Reynolds Jr.
19. Brent Edmunds
20. Michael Grueneberg
21. Riley Stenjem (DQ)
Did Not Start: Tyler Kingery, Jesse Bernhagen
Preliminary Winners: Morrissey, Wilberg, Bilderback
Fast Time: Dale Nottestad
Car Count: 23 Big 8 Series Late Models