By: Eric Huenefeld
Bob Bertolozzi was not only glad he won the Goblin 250, he’s glad the race WAS the Goblin 250.
The Rock Falls native, nursing a tattered and torn racer around Rockford Speedway for the final ten laps, limped across the finish line first Sunday afternoon, topping 116 other competitors in the 250 laps test of man and machine.
Bertolozzi kept himself in contention for most of the 250 laps, running in one of the top four positions for over 200 circuits. On lap 180, when then leader Rick Zifko was sidelined temporarily with a flat tire, Bertolozzi inherited the top spot. However, ten laps after snagging the lead, Bertolozzi came upon danger in turn four as Jay Orr’s automobile lie stranded in the middle of the speedway. Both Bertolozzi and Destiny Robinson had no escape, meeting at the front end of Orr’s disabled machine. Despite the contact, Bertolozzi and Robinson continued on, however Bertolozzi suffered moderate front end damaged to his car after the direct hit to Orr.
Bertolozzi initially showed few ill effects until lap 230, when his pace began to slow slightly. By lap 240, Bertolozzi brought his car to the bottom side of the track, merely nursing his vehicle to the checkered flag. With a three lap buffer between he and the field, Bertolozzi’s choice of car preservation worked to perfection, as he coasted to the win. Bertolozzi’s triumph was his first ever in six previous attempts at Rockford.
Zifko, who led over 100 laps of the race before relinquishing the lead to Bertolozzi fought back from his tire issues at lap 180. The Aurora native returned to the track in short order, racing back into contention by races end, settling for a second place finish. Janesville’s Derek Dixon was very steady throughout the race, making a slow climb in the second half of the 250 lap affair. Dixon’s day ended in the third position. Kyle Stark finished the race in fourth spot, while central Illinois driver Tyler Griswold rounded out the top five.
Eleven four cylinder cars later returned to the track for the “Big Swarm” Demo Derby, with Beach Park’s Bruce Stonecipher outlasting Machesney Park’s Stephan Hillary for the trophy. Andy Die of Burlington WI (Super Stock) and Cory Huebbe of Granville IL (Trucks) were the big winners in the “Reckless in Rockford’ Demo Derby presented by Damaged Goods.
Demo A-Main 01 — 1. Bruce Stonecipher, Beach Park; 2. Stephen Hillary, Machesney Park; 3. William Quinonez, Chana; 4. Michael Sorensen, Jr, Woodstock; 5. Jon Eggert, Machesney Park; 6. Paul Bass;; 7. Joseph Palello, Wonder Lake; 8. Tim Deering, Elk Grove Village; 9. Doss Shultis, Elizabeth; 10. Joey Fortune, Sterling; 11. Scott Gagen, Roselle.
Goblin Enduro A-Main 01 — 1. Bob Bertolozzi, Rock Falls; 2. Rick Zifko, Aurora; 3. Derek Dixon, Milton, Wis; 4. Kyle Stark, Waterloo, Wis; 5. Tyler Griswold, Pontiac; 6. Ted Diangikes, Montgomery; 7. Troy Boss, Rock Falls; 8. Ed Gutzeit, Des Plaines; 9. Dale Markham, Maple Park; 10. Joe Labombarbe, Aurora; 11. Mike Cunz, Cortland; 12. Jody Purdy, Milton, Wis; 13. Ryan Lagestee, Schererville, Ind.; 14. Scott Schlafke, Cleveland, Wis; 15. Destiny Robinson, Beloit, Wis; 16. Justin Pearson, Belvidere; 17. Fred Wittmann Sr., Des Plaines; 18. Douglas Finnern, Des Plaines; 19. Timmy Brannam, Holiday Hills; 20. Linda Sparks, Belvidere; 21. Peter Hayes, Romeoville; 22. Kyle Smith, South Elgin; 23. Caleb Shultis, Stockton; 24. Joey Fortune, Sterling; 25. Tony Doherty, Aurora; 26. Matthew Andrus, Rockford; 27. Kyle Wittmann, Des Plaines; 28. Jay Orr, Milwaukee, Wis; 29. Dennis Doherty, Elgin; 30. Derek Walker, Marengo; 31. Seth Pippel, Rockford; 32. Shane Reppen, Broadhead, Wis; 33. Brendan O’Regan, Buffalo Grove; 34. Mike Nelms, Lombard; 35. Camden Murphy, Itasca; 36. David Keuhs, Hobart, Ind.; 37. Jacob Aldrich, Rockford; 38. Charles Chism, Jr., Batavia; 39. Scott Vetter, Union; 40. Justin Colley, Aurora; 41. Jerid Butram, Rockford; 42. Joey Quinonez, Rochelle; 43. Thomas Andrus, Rockford; 44. Mike Smith, Marengo; 45. Peter Shelley, Edgerton, Wis; 46. Mike VanHowe, Crestwood; 47. Jerry Mesch II, Rockford; 48. Mitch Maloney, Lake Zurich; 49. Tony Bores, Rockton; 50. Bernard Robinson, Beloit, Wis; 51. Jason Dull, Machesney Park; 52. Steve Warren, Portage, Ind.; 53. David Demeny, Janesville, Wis; 54. Jeremy Colley, Aurora; 55. Rich Schinderling, Machesney Park; 56. Tyler Wheaton, Lansing; 57. Anthony Sluga, Woodstock; 58. Tadd Reiter, Waterman, Wis; 59. Jon Eggert, Machesney Park; 60. John Blair, Rockford; 61. Michael Brown, Aurora; 62. Doss Shultis, Elizabeth; 63. William Quinonez, Chana; 64. Tom Crawford, Sr, Griffith, Ind.; 65. Mike Lindsay, Aurora; 66. Devon Dixon, Janesville, Wis; 67. Michael Sorensen, Sr, Huntley; 68. Brad Henrey, Rockford; 69. Matt McCain, Aurora; 70. Brian Walsh, Crestwood; 71. Morgan Breeding, Woodstock; 72. Melissa Keuhs, Hobart, Ind.; 73. Jimmy Hartmann, Carpentersville; 74. Dave Gagen, Roselle; 75. Shawn Whalen, Cortland; 76. Michael Karels, Pingree Grove; 77. Joseph Palello, Wonder Lake; 78. Austin Runge, Lake Zurich; 79. Ryan Gordon, Rockford; 80. DJ Sparks, Belvidere; 81. Gabriel Alvarado, Barlett; 82. Aaron Pearsall, Lake in the Hills; 83. Katherine Bass, Janesville, Wis; 84. Michael Sorensen, Jr, Woodstock; 85. Mike Gossett, Cortland; 86. Steve Goll, East Dundee; 87. Adrian Roscelli, Dekalb; 88. Stephen Hillary, Machesney Park; 89. Jim Klingel, Aurora; 90. Tim Deering, Elk Grove Village; 91. Tony Segneri, Rock Falls; 92. Bobby Frisch, Beloit, Wis; 93. Mitch Moag, Oswego; 94. Joel Hernandez, St. Charles; 95. Tyler Andrus, Rockford; 96. Jay Kincaid, Lake Geneva, Wis; 97. Dave Hodd, Lake Geneva, Wis; 98. Nate Finney, Sycamore; 99. Dan Ressins, Wheaton; 100. Charlie Olson, Kingston; 101. Alex Treptow, Lansing; 102. Blake Andrus, Rockford; 103. Jerry Mesch, Rockford; 104. Karl Adolphson, Rockford; 105. Brandon Mesch, Rockford; 106. Trenton LaBrie, Waukesha, Wis; 107. Bruce Stonecipher, Beach Park; 108. Jeff Paul, Janesville, Wis; 109. Alan Bekielewski, Roscoe; 110. Justin Mikel, Montgomery; 111. Steve Andres, South Elgin; 112. Joe Darnell, Machesney Park; 113. Jeff Myers, Elgin; 114. Nick Chiapetta, Downers Grove; 115. Cameron Poci, Rock Falls; 116. Neils Kruse, Cary; 117. Josh McCoy, Cary.