Nottestad captures Big 8 Spring Classic
By Stan Kalwasinski
Loves Park, Ill., April 17—Dale Nottestad won the 88-lap Big 8 Series Spring Classic late model stock car race at the Rockford Speedway Saturday afternoon.
Nottestad wheeled his Glass Works/Badger Realty Team/Seitz Towing/Club LaMark-sponsored Chevrolet to the victory after setting fast time at the high-banked, quarter-mile, paved oval earlier in the day.
Hailing from Cambridge, Wis., Nottestad had a 0.768-second lead at the checkered flag over Nick Egan. Two-time Rockford late model champion Jon Reynolds Jr., Tom Berens, early race leader Mike Lloyd and Jerry Mueller rounded out the top six finishers.
Six yellow caution periods, including a mandatory stop after 45 laps were complete, slowed the action. Nottestad used an inside move on leader Will Rece after a restart at the 27-lap mark to take the lead after starting 12th in the field.
“I had a good car all day. It just took a few laps to get going (after the restarts),” said Nottestad. “It worked out. I didn’t want another caution though. I was taking my time and trying to stay out of trouble. Definitely, it (trouble) can happen quick here.”
The win was Nottestad’s second Spring Classic victory at the Rockford oval – his first coming in 2011. The last three Spring Classic races had been cancelled – last year’s because of the COVID 19 pandemic and the 2018 and 2019 events because of weather.
Nottestad’s initial plans were to bypass the Rockford race.
“I was planning on going to the Dells (Dells Motor Speedway in Wisconsin) to practice all day,” Nottestad said. “I got to thinking why wouldn’t I go to Rockford? I love racing here. It’s probably one of my best tracks. It (the win) made it worth coming down here.”
Coming back from a broken driveshaft in the heat race, Ron Vandermeir Jr. was the winner of the Mid-Am Racing Series 40-lap stock car feature. Vandermeir, from Sheridan, Ill., raced side-by-side with Josh Nelms and finally grabbed the top spot as the race wound down. Vandermeir, a three-time Mid-Am champion including last year’s title, had a 1.250-second lead over Nelms at the finish. Cody Clubb, Andrew Meyerhofer and Steve Blair rounded out the top five.
“Josh (Nelms) is a class act and I knew if there was anyone we could run door-to-door with it was him,” said Vandermeir. “There was a little bit of rubbing, but that racing at Rockford. We ran a heck of a race between the two of us and we prevailed.”
Dale Nottestad, Nick Egan, Jon Reynolds Jr., Tom Berens, Mike Lloyd, Jerry Mueller, Jacob Vanoskey, Mitch Haver, Randy Sargent, Grant Brown, Jeff Wakeman, Josh Thiering, Tyler Hromadka, Hunter Drefahl, Jeff Holtz, Jerry Stafford II, Will Rece, Mark Simonsen, Willie Nelson, Zach Braun, Austin Nason, Mike Beyer.