Jefferson Speedway Race Report:

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Bilderback Claims Overall Big 8 Series Win at Jefferson
by Kevin Ramsell

Saturday, September 16, 2006 (Jefferson, WI) – Ricky Bilderback claimed the overall championship at the 26th Annual Pepsi Wisconsin State Championships at the Jefferson Speedway for the Big 8 Series. Luke Westenberg and Bob Kahler scored the wins in the Twin 50-lap feature events.

Photo Highlights

 

Westenberg held off a late race challenge from Ricky Bilderback to take home the first 50-lap feature event for the Big 8 Series.

Westenberg and Jason Dunn led the field of 26 cars to the start of the first of two 50-lap feature events. The two battled side-by-side for the first four laps until Dunn pulled out to the top spot on lap 4.

Westenberg tried to get on the inside of Dunn on lap 7 when it appeared that Dunn began to spin and then was tagged by Westenberg, collecting Preview Feature winner Ryan Carlson. Westenberg inherited the lead after the caution.

“I got a good run going in underneath him,” Westenberg stated after the race. “If I touched him, I barely did. I felt terrible about that and I told my spotter to go and apologize if I did it.”

Westenberg held off multiple challenges from Steve Dobratz and Jason Schuler. The packed house kept a close eye on Bilderback as he marched from his 12th starting position to 5th by lap 24. It took only 11 laps for Bilderback to get past Schuler for second and set his sights on Westenberg.

On lap 38, Bilderback caught Westenberg and made multiple attempts to pass Westenberg on the inside. The two were running side-by-side when they came upon heavy lap traffic with three laps to go.

As the two received the white flag from Greg Oliver, they went into turn one where Westenberg got into the back of Rob Braun causing him to spin. Westenberg retained the lead because Braun did not heed to the move over flag. This set up a green-white-checkered finish where Westenberg held off Bilderback to take the win.

Dobratz would hold on to third with Doug Hahn coming home fourth. Schuler would round out the top five.

“It feels awesome to beat a guy like Ricky. He is a great champion. It’s a great feeling, very emotional,” an exhausted Westenberg stated after the race.

Kahler and Jerry Gille led the field to the green flag of the second 50-lap feature event. Gille would get the jump over Kahler for the early lead. The lead would only last for 11-laps as Kahler would get on the inside of Gille on lap 10 and take over the lead on lap 11.

Defending champion, John Ovadal Jr. ended his night on lap 21 when he made hard contact with the turn two wall.

Kahler would cruise to an easy victory, but the fans were watching a great battle behind him where positions two through six were in a tight battle at the finish. At the line it was Miller in second with Gille in third. Kyle Jarlsburg would hold off Hahn for fourth. Bilderback would come home sixth.

Both Bilderback and Miller had second and sixth place finishes resulting in a tie for the overall championship. The officials reverted back to their qualifying times to use as a tiebreaker. Bilderback was declared the overall winner as he qualified third. Miller was fifth.

“This is only the second time I have been here (to Jefferson Speedway),” Bilderback stated. “It was a hard track to figure out. It’s a fun track, a little bit rougher than Rockford, but it was really fun to run. We will definitely be back.”

Bilderback’s win moved him to second in points. He is only 57 points behind Miller with three events remaining.

John Ovadal Jr. and Ken Olson finished first and second in first last chance race while Noel Ramge and Jerry Eckhardt were the top two the second. All four drivers advanced to the Twin 50-lap main event.

This was a successful return visit for the Big 8 Series to Wisconsin’s Action Track. A total of 50 cars arrived with 48 participating in qualifying. Last year a total of 44 cars competed at this annual event.

The Big 8 Series will be in action next Saturday, September 23rd at the 41st Annual Chicago International Trucks National Short Track Championships at the Rockford Speedway. The Series will be competing in Twin 75-lap feature events. A total of 10 divisions will be competing in 689 laps of feature racing action over September 22-24th.

Tickets are on sale now by calling the track’s office at (815) 633-1500 or by visiting their website at www.rockfordspeedway.com.

Big 8 Series Limited Late Models

Overall -- 1. Ricky Bilderback, Rockton; 2. Jeremy Miller, Rockton; 3. Doug Hahn, Whitewater, Wis; 4. Bob Kahler, Belvidere; 5. Jerry Gille, Roscoe; 6. Kyle Jarlsberg, Cambridge, Wis; 7. Steve Dobbratz, Rio, Wis; 8. Jason Schuler, Cambridge, Wis; 9. Luke Westenberg, Watertown, Wis; 10. Jason Erickson, Lake Mills, Wis; 11. Tim Noble, Janesville,Wis; 12. Nick Wendt, Lake Mills, Wis; 13. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 14. Chad Stevens, Orfordville, Wis; 15. Curt Thompson, Ft. Atkinson, Wis; 16. John Ovadal Jr., Watertown, Wis; 17. Jerry Echardt, Johnson Creek, Wis; 18. Ken Olson, Ft. Atkinson, Wis; 19. Tony Koepke, Fort Atkinson, Wis; 20. Kris Kelly, Norway, Mich.; 21. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 22. Rob Braun, Wales, Wis; 23. Noel Ramge, Helenville, Wis; 24. Jason Dunn, Sun Prairie, Wis; 25. Roger Behlke, Jefferson, Wis; 26. Ryan Carlson, Loves Park.

Feature #1 -- 1. Luke Westenberg, Watertown, Wis; 2. Ricky Bilderback, Rockton; 3. Steve Dobbratz, Rio, Wis; 4. Doug Hahn, Whitewater, Wis; 5. Jason Schuler, Cambridge, Wis; 6. Jeremy Miller, Rockton; 7. Kyle Jarlsberg, Cambridge, Wis; 8. Jerry Gille, Roscoe; 9. Bob Kahler, Belvidere; 10. Jason Erickson, Lake Mills, Wis; 11. Curt Thompson, Ft. Atkinson, Wis; 12. Tim Noble, Janesville, Wis; 13. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 14. John Ovadal Jr., Watertown, Wis; 15. Jerry Echardt, Johnson Creek, Wis; 16. Nick Wendt, Lake Mills, Wis; 17. Tony Koepke, Fort Atkinson, Wis; 18. Chad Stevens, Orfordville, Wis; 19. Kris Kelly, Norway, Mich.; 20. Ken Olson, Ft. Atkinson, Wis; 21. Rob Braun, Wales, Wis; 22. Noel Ramge, Helenville, Wis; 23. Roger Behlke, Jefferson, Wis; 24. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 25. Jason Dunn, Sun Prairie, Wis; 26. Ryan Carlson, Loves Park.

Feature #2 -- 1. Bob Kahler, Belvidere; 2. Jeremy Miller, Rockton; 3. Jerry Gille, Roscoe; 4. Kyle Jarlsberg, Cambridge, Wis; 5. Doug Hahn, Whitewater, Wis; 6. Ricky Bilderback, Rockton; 7. Jason Schuler, Cambridge, Wis; 8. Jason Erickson, Lake Mills, Wis; 9. Steve Dobbratz, Rio, Wis; 10. Tim Noble, Janesville, Wis; 11. Nick Wendt, Lake Mills, Wis; 12. Luke Westenberg, Watertown, Wis; 13. Chad Stevens, Orfordville, Wis; 14. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit; 15. Ken Olson, Ft. Atkinson, Wis; 16. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien, Wis; 17. Kris Kelly, Norway, Mich.; 18. Tony Koepke, Fort Atkinson, Wis; 19. Rob Braun, Wales, Wis; 20. Jerry Echardt, Johnson Creek, Wis; 21. John Ovadal Jr., Watertown, Wis; 22. Noel Ramge, Helenville, Wis; 23. Curt Thompson, Ft. Atkinson, Wis; 24. Jason Dunn, Sun Prairie, Wis.

Last Chance "A" 01 -- 1. John Ovadal Jr., Watertown, Wis; 2. Ken Olson, Ft. Atkinson, Wis; 3. Tony Koepke, Fort Atkinson, Wis; 4. Nick Wendt, Lake Mills, Wis; 5. Don Mattrisch, Whitewater, Wis; 6. Jason Deppe, Waterloo, Wis; 7. Mark English, Janesville, Wis; 8. Nick Shutkas, Loves Park; 9. Tim Petrie, Ft. Atkinson, Wis; 10. Tom 'Slick' Schuette, Fort Atkinson, Wis; 11. Jeff Falbe, Beaver Dam, Wis; 12. Andy Niles, Holmen, Wis.

Last Chance "A" 02 -- 1. Noel Ramge, Helenville, Wis; 2. Jerry Echardt, Johnson Creek, Wis; 3. Chad Stevens, Orfordville, Wis; 4. Kris Kelly, Norway, Mich.; 5. Mike Taylor, Stoughton, Wis; 6. John Wasserberger, Dodgeville, Wis; 7. Michael Kruschke, Greenfield, Wis; 8. Chris Quam, Stoughton, Wis; 9. Allen Petrie, Jr, Sun Prairie, Wis; 10. Brent Knight;; 11. Travis Dodson, Marathon, Wis; 12. Brady Liddle, Oregon, Wis; 13. Mark Miller, Columbus, Wis; 14. Greg Bowers, Waterloo, Wis.