YOUNG MINNESOTA TRIO ENTERS SPRING CLASSIC!

By: Eric Huenefeld

The state of Minnesota will be well represented this weekend at Rockford Speedway’s 37th Annual Spring Classic, as three young and accomplished drivers have filed their entries for the opening event of the 2014 Big 8 Late Model Series season.

Leading the charge is Lakeville Minnesota’s Chris Marek, the 2013 Elko Speedway Track Champion. The 25 year old ended last season red hot behind the wheel of a Big 8 Late Model, winning two of the Series’ final three races (Elko and LaCrosse), while also winning the ‘JMcK 63’ Big 8 Late Model Invitational at Oktoberfest.

23 year old Kyle Kirberger has also filed his entry for this weekend’s Rockford opener. The Ramsey Minnesota native was last year’s Late Model ‘Rookie of the Year’ at Elko Speedway and also pocketed his first ever Late Model feature win last season at his hometrack. The “Ramsey Rocket” makes his first trip to Illinois this weekend looking to tame Rockford’s high banks.

One of the youngest drivers in the field this weekend will be Hugo Minnesota’s Collin Olson. At just 15 years old, Olson hops behind the wheel of a Big 8 Late Model for the first time at Rockford Speedway. Despite his youth, Olson already has racked up some major racing accomplishments, including the 2012 USAC Quarter Midget Championship.

The 37th Annual Spring Classic kicks off the Midwestern racing season this Sunday April 13 at Rockford Speedway. The Big 8 Late Model Series will headline the day, running a 108 lap feature event. Also on the Spring Classic card are the Mid American Stock Car Series and the Illinois Vintage Racing Series. Gates open at 11 AM, with the first green flag at 1 PM.

For more information on Rockford Speedway and the 37th Annual Spring Classic, please visit www.rockfordspeedway.com or call 815-633-1500.

For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit www.big8series.com.

LOCAL FAVORITES SET TO DEFEND THEIR HOME TURF THIS WEEKEND AT SPRING CLASSIC!

By: Eric Huenefeld

When the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet rolls into Rockford Speedway this Sunday afternoon April 13 for the 37th Annual Spring Classic, the “Best Weekly Warriors in the Country” will be greeted by a strong local contingent looking to keep the winner’s trophy close to home.

Over the last several years, the local talent at Rockford Speedway has made things tough on the Big 8’s best. Thirteen of the twenty-one Big 8 Series events held at Rockford Speedway since September of 2004 have been won by Rockford regulars. Most recently, Rockford regulars have won the last four Big 8 races held at the high banked quarter mile.

“Driver X” Jon Reynolds Jr has been the man to beat when the Big 8 Series competes at Rockford Speedway. The 2005 Series champion has visited Big 8 Series victory lane five times at his hometrack. Reynolds himself has captured four of the last six National Short Track Championships as well as the 2012 Spring Classic.

2013 Rockford Speedway Track Champion Alex Papini plans to challenge for victory Sunday afternoon. Papini, who collected eight feature wins last summer en route to the Rockford track championship, is also the defending Spring Classic winner. Last April, Papini held off numerous challenges on the way to his first ever Big 8 series triumph.

Three former Rockford Speedway Track Champions also plan to run Spring Classic this weekend, including seven-time track champions Ricky Bilderback and Bobby Wilberg and 2010 track champion Tim Sargent. Bilderback, the 2006 Big 8 Series champion, won last year’s ‘Star Spangled 76’ at Rockford, charging from his 15th starting spot to claim the win. Wilberg, one of the most consistent drivers in Big 8 history and always a threat at Rockford, will go into Sunday still looking for his first ever series win. Sargent comes into Rockford riding the momentum of 2013, which included five Big 8 Series top-five’s and a pair of podium finishes.

Michael Bilderback, the 2008 Spring Classic champion, returns to Rockford this weekend. Bilderback aims to become only the second Big 8 driver to win multiple Spring Classics, joining Mike Beyer, who accomplished the feat in 2005 and 2006.

Teenager Austin Nason, the 2012 Rockford Speedway Rookie of the Year, is set to compete at Spring Classic. Nason was among the Big 8’s elite in 2013, finishing fourth in series points, with two runner-up finishes. Jake Gille, a multi-time feature winner at Rockford, is also entered for the weekend’s events, along with former Slinger Speedway champion “Insane” Wayne Freimund and Former Spring Classic NASCAR Touring Series competitor Mark Hartline

The 37th Annual Spring Classic is set for this Sunday afternoon, April 13 at 1 PM, with the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet headlining the day with a 108 lap main event. The season-opening card also includes the Mid American Stock Car Series and the Illinois Vintage Racing Series.

For more information on Rockford Speedway and the 37th Annual Spring Classic, please call 815-633-1500 or visit www.rockfordspeedway.com. For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit www.big8series.com.

Rockford Speedway to Maintain Same Point System as 2013

“I made a mistake,” admitted Speedway General Manager Gregg McKarns. “After reviewing my notes from our Competition Council Meeting I realized that we had decided collectively as a group to keep the point system in place that we have utilized for numerous years. I erroneously tweaked the system and announced those changes at our Orientation Meeting in February. We will once again use the same system as in years past.”

The standard point system which will once again be used for all divisions at Rockford Speedway awards 50 points for a feature event victory and subtracts two points from each position thereafter. Championship points racing begins when NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Racing gets underway on April 19 during the Mtn Dew KickStart 67th Season Opener featuring the NASCAR Stanley Steemer Late Models, Bargain Hunter Sportsman, Miller Lite American Short Trackers, Mtn Dew KickStart RoadRunners and Sam’s Drive-In Fan/Driver Easter Egg Toss. For additional information visit www.rockfordspeedway.com

SHULTIS IS ‘ROCK SOLID’ EN ROUTE TO STONE & DOUBLE T 200 WIN

By: Eric Huenefeld

Saturday afternoon’s Stone and Double T 200 was a back and forth affair, featuring multiple lead changes and plot twists at nearly every turn.

When the checkered flag flew, Caleb Shultis stood in victory lane, victorious for the first time in ten tries at Rockford Speedway. The Stockton Illinois native took the win after inheriting the lead from Kyle Stark, who fought issues under the hood of his racer for much of the second half of the event.

Shultis and Stark traded the lead for a majority of the 200 laps. Stark was first of the pair to lead, taking the top spot at lap 25. Shultis, who ran a steady race throughout the day, then slid into the lead at lap 50. The two drivers then swapped the lead for the remainder of the day, and seemed to be destined for a one-on-one race for the win with 80 laps remaining. However, near lap 125, Shultis tangled with a lapped car and then made frontal contact with a tire barrier. Shultis quickly stomped on the gas and rejoined the field, stayed in contention. The eventual winner reclaimed the lead with under 50 laps to go, when Stark’s car began to slow.

Shultis ended the race as the only driver on the lead lap, finishing ahead of former race winner Jay Orr, who claimed second. Devon Dixon came home in third, while last October’s Goblin 250 winner Bob Bertolozzi finished fourth. Rick Zifko rounded out the top five.

2014 Stone and Double T 200 Results

1. Caleb Shultis, Stockton; 2. Jay Orr, South Milwaukee, Wis; 3. Devon Dixon, Janesville, Wis; 4. Bob Bertolozzi, Rock Falls; 5. Rick Zifko, Aurora; 6. Josh Nelms, Lockport; 7. Dale Markham, Maple Park; 8. Kyle Stark, Waterloo, Wis; 9. Seth Pippel, Rockford; 10. Tyler Griswold, Pontiac; 11. Brian Hillringhouse, South Milwaukee, Wis; 12. Joe Labombarbe, Aurora; 13. Tyler Wheaton, Lansing; 14. Mark Ross, Jr, Highland, Ind.; 15. Scott Vetter, Union; 16. Lenny Schlafke, Sheboygan, Wis; 17. Justin Pearson, Belvidere; 18. Douglas Finnern, Des Plaines; 19. Melissa Keuhs, Hobart, Ind.; 20. Mitch Moag, Oswego; 21. Jim Klingel, Aurora; 22. Alan Bekielewski, Roscoe; 23. Joey Fortune, Sterling; 24. David Prince, Rockford; 25. Troy Boss, Rock Falls; 26. Blake Andrus, Rockford; 27. Ryan Lagestee, Schererville, Ind.; 28. Erik Nevoso, Twin Lakes, Wis; 29. David Isbell, Rockford; 30. Adrian Roscelli, Dekalb; 31. Steve Warren, Portage, Ind.; 32. Jeff Hooker, Sycamore; 33. Mike Cunz, Cortland; 34. Eddie Brown, Sandwich; 35. Peter Hayes, Romeoville; 36. Justin Colley, Aurora; 37. Ed Gutzeit, Des Plaines; 38. Jason Bonsky, Freeport; 39. David Keuhs, Hobart, Ind.; 40. Jacob Adolphson, Rockford; 41. Jason Dull, Machesney Park; 42. Ethan Diesing, Rockford; 43. Ted Diangikes, Montgomery; 44. Ryan Gilliam, Matteson; 45. Chad Crawford, Rock Falls; 46. Mike Patterson, Freeport; 47. Trevor Tichy, Plainfield; 48. David Demeny, Janesville, Wis; 49. Tom Happ, Alsip; 50. Doss Shultis, Elizabeth

2014 Stone and Double T Results

Enduro
A-Main 01 — 1. Caleb Shultis, Stockton; 2. Jay Orr, South Milwaukee, Wis; 3. Devon Dixon, Janesville, Wis; 4. Bob Bertolozzi, Rock Falls; 5. Rick Zifko, Aurora; 6. Josh Nelms, Lockport; 7. Dale Markham, Maple Park; 8. Kyle Stark, Waterloo, Wis; 9. Seth Pippel, Rockford; 10. Tyler Griswold, Pontiac; 11. Brian Hillringhouse, South Milwaukee, Wis; 12. Joe Labombarbe, Aurora; 13. Tyler Wheaton, Lansing; 14. Mark Ross, Jr, Highland, Ind.; 15. Scott Vetter, Union; 16. Lenny Schlafke, Sheboygan, Wis; 17. Justin Pearson, Belvidere; 18. Douglas Finnern, Des Plaines; 19. Melissa Keuhs, Hobart, Ind.; 20. Mitch Moag, Oswego; 21. Jim Klingel, Aurora; 22. Alan Bekielewski, Roscoe; 23. Joey Fortune, Sterling; 24. David Prince, Rockford; 25. Troy Boss, Rock Falls; 26. Blake Andrus, Rockford; 27. Ryan Lagestee, Schererville, Ind.; 28. Erik Nevoso, Twin Lakes, Wis; 29. David Isbell, Rockford; 30. Adrian Roscelli, Dekalb; 31. Steve Warren, Portage, Ind.; 32. Jeff Hooker, Sycamore; 33. Mike Cunz, Cortland; 34. Eddie Brown, Sandwich; 35. Peter Hayes, Romeoville; 36. Justin Colley, Aurora; 37. Ed Gutzeit, Des Plaines; 38. Jason Bonsky, Freeport; 39. David Keuhs, Hobart, Ind.; 40. Jacob Adolphson, Rockford; 41. Jason Dull, Machesney Park; 42. Ethan Diesing, Rockford; 43. Ted Diangikes, Montgomery; 44. Ryan Gilliam, Matteson; 45. Chad Crawford, Rock Falls; 46. Mike Patterson, Freeport; 47. Trevor Tichy, Plainfield; 48. David Demeny, Janesville, Wis; 49. Tom Happ, Alsip; 50. Doss Shultis, Elizabeth

RACING RETURNS THIS SATURDAY WITH ENDURO AND OPEN PRACTICE!

After a long and agonizing winter, it’s finally time to put cars on the track and hear the sound of engines at Rockford Speedway! Join us this Saturday April 5 for a full day of on-track activities, highlighted by the return of the WXRX Stone and Double T 200 lap four cylinder enduro. The activities begin at 11 AM, as drivers will have a first chance to fire up their machines and race fans will have their first chance to see these machines as the Open Practice Session begins. The Practice runs until 2:30 PM. Then, at 3 PM, it’s all-out motorized madness with the running of the WXRX Stone and Double T 200 featuring four cylinder cars, trucks and vans. The event runs ‘rain or shine’ and is always a fun way to get the new season started. Adult admission for Saturday’s WXRX Stone and Double T 200 is $12, Students 12-17 are $8, Children 6-11 are $5 and Kids 5 and under are admitted FREE! We hope to see you at the track this Saturday as we officially say ‘hello’ to racing and ‘good riddance’ to winter!

SPRING CLASSIC ON DECK NEXT WEEKEND!

Next Sunday afternoon April 13, it’s the Midwest’s first major asphalt race of the season, with the running of the 37th Annual Spring Classic. Once again, the Big 8 Late Models presented by Gandrud Chevrolet are the featured attraction. The Big 8 Series races at Spring Classic have long been known as an early season ‘Clash of the Champions’ and already this year’s Spring Classic entry list features thirty-four track or series championships between all drivers planning to compete. The “Best Weekly Warriors in the Country” will contest a 108 lap feature as the day’s main event. The Mid American Stock Car Series and Illinois Vintage Racers are also set compete as part of Spring Classic. Gates open at 11 AM next Sunday, with the first race going green at 1 PM. Adult admission is $20, Students 12-17 are $10, Children 6-11 are $5, with kids 5 and under free!

SEASON OPENER, DAY FULL OF ACTIVITIES SET FOR SATURDAY APRIL 19!

Saturday April 19 is set to be a full day of activities leading up to Opening Night at Rockford Speedway! The day gets started at 11 AM with a Preseason Car Show at ONYX Bar and Grill (located at the corner of Highways 251 & 173 in Machesney Crossing). The Preseason Car Show gives fans an up-close look at some of the cars & stars that will take to the track later that night and throughout the season at Rockford Speedway. Fans are also invited inside ONYX to not only enjoy the wide variety of items on the lunch menu, but to vote for the “Best Appearing Car” at the Car Show. The winner of “Best Appearing” will be announced during pre-race ceremonies Saturday night and is set to receive a huge prize pack courtesy of Mountain Dew and Kickstart. After the Car Show, it’s time for short track excitement ‘under the lights’ and the Mountain Dew Kickstart 67th Season Opener! The Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Models, Bargain Hunter Sportsman, Miller Lite American Short Trackers and Kickstart Roadrunners will be ready for action along with the Sam’s Drive-In ‘Drive/Fan Easter Egg Toss.’ Gates open at 5 PM, with the Stateline Staffing Services Fast Dashes going green at 7:07 PM. Adult admission is $12, Students 12-17 are $8, children 6-11 are $5 with Kids 5 and under FREE! Join us and be part of a busy and exciting opening day Saturday April 19!

Upcoming Events
Sat April 5 3 pm- WXRX Stone & Double T 200 Enduro
Sun April 13 1 pm- 37th Annual Spring Classic presented by Yellowbook
Sat April 19 11 am- Preseason Car Show @ ONYX Bar & Grill
Sat April 19 7:07 pm- Mtn Dew Kickstart 67th Season Opener
Sat April 26 7:07 pm- Mobil 1 ‘Dollar Night’ (Select concession and drink items just $1)
Sat May 3rd 7:07 pm- Tractor Town Kid’s Night (Kids 11 & under FREE, Tractor Rides, Candy Scramble)

SPEEDWAY CHAMPION LAWVER TO BECOME ROCKFORD RACE DIRECTOR

By: Eric Huenefeld

Seven-time Rockford Speedway Track Champion Scott Lawver is trading in his steering wheel for a headset.

The Rockford Speedway “Walk of Fame” Member has been named the new Saturday night Race Director at the track he calls home.

Lawver moves into the role after a trial period as Race Director in 2007. The Beloit native, who has accumulated over 100 career wins, retired from driving last season after collecting his eighth overall driving championship in the Street Stock division at Columbus 151 Speedway in Wisconsin.

“We are excited to have Scott in our tower,” said Rockford Speedway General Manager Gregg McKarns. “We tested Scott at this position in the past with hopes that he would be able to assume this role in the future and that day is today. With his upbringing as a crew member, fan and driver we are confident that Scott will be a great addition to our team of officials here at Rockford.”

Lawver replaces long-time Race Director Steve Dickson, who officially announced his retirement during the 66th Champions Banquet in January at Forest Hills Lodge in Loves Park. Dickson had been an official at Rockford Speedway for over 20 years.

Engines come back to life this Saturday April 5 at Rockford Speedway, with an Open Practice Session from 11 AM until 2:30 PM. Following the Open Practice Session, four cylinder cars trucks and vans take to the track for 200 unpredictable laps in the ‘Stone and Double T 200’ enduro, which takes the green flag at 3 PM.

On Sunday April 13, the 37th Annual Spring Classic takes center stage featuring the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet along with the Mid American Stock Car Series and Illinois Vintage Racers. The day’s main event will be a 108 lap feature race for the Big 8 Late Models. The first race on Sunday April 13 gets going at 1 PM.

NASCAR Whelen All American Series Racing returns to Rockford Speedway Saturday night April 19, with the Mountain Dew Kickstart 67th Season Opener. The Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Models, Bargain Hunter Sportsman, Miller Lite American Short Trackers and Kickstart Roadrunners will all be featured on opening night along with Sam’s Drive-In ‘Fan/Driver Easter Egg Toss.’ The first green flag flies Saturday night April 19 at 7:07 PM.

For more information on Rockford Speedway, please call 815-633-1500 or visit www.rockfordspeedway.com.

EARLY ENTRY LIST FOR SPRING CLASSIC FILLED WITH CONTENDERS!

By: Eric Huenefeld

With one of the most relentless winters in recent memory slowly fading away, the thoughts of race fans across the Midwest are shifting towards Rockford Speedway and the season opening Spring Classic featuring the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet.

The ‘Best Weekly Warriors in the Country’ kick off their 10th Anniversary Season Sunday afternoon April 13, testing Rockford’s ‘high banks’ for 108 laps. Over the past two weeks, entries have begun flooding in as drivers throw their hats into the ring for the season opening affair.

Leading the way is 2013 Big 8 Series champion Casey Johnson. The two-time Jefferson Speedway Track Champion is looking to duplicate his success of a season ago, which included a Super Late Model Track Championship at Madison International Speedway and five race wins. Johnson, who is also a past winner of Spring Classic, plans to run a majority of the Big 8 Series events this season, while also vying for ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year.

No driver ended the 2013 season hotter than Lakeville Minnesota’s Chris Marek. The 2013 Elko Speedway Track Champion won two of the last three Big 8 Series races last season while also pocketing the JMcK 63 during Oktoberfest Race Weekend at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. “The Cruiser” has entered his machine for action at Rockford while also eyeing the Big 8 Series championship.

2012 Dells Raceway Park Track Champion “Rocketman” Dan Lensing is focused on being number one this season. Lensing, who finished third in Series points in 2013, is looking to capture his first Big 8 Series win this year and figures to be a contender for the Series Championship. Two-time LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway Track Champion J Herbst also looks to be among the Series’ elite this year. Herbst, an eighth place finisher in 2013 points, will adapt a barnstorming schedule in 2014 while also chasing the Big 8 crown.

Milwaukee area veteran Jeff Holtz is among those planning to open his season at Rockford, along with young hard chargers John DeAngelis Jr and Austin Nason. Holtz, a former Modified and Sportsman champion at Slinger Super Speedway, is looking to shake the bad luck that usually greets him at Rockford. DeAngelis is fresh off a sixth place finish in 2013 Big 8 points while Nason began his racing season in February with solid finishes in New Smyrna Florida during Speedweeks.

2013 Big 8 Series Rookie of the Year Casey Strese and 2012 Big 8 Series Rookie of the Year Jesse Bernhagen are both ready to kick their seasons off at Rockford’s Spring Classic. Strese is eyeing a top ten finish in Big 8 Series points in 2014, while Bernhagen continues to work towards his first Series win.

The sparks are sure to fly when the Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet begins its tenth anniversary season at Rockford Speedway Sunday April 13 for the 37th Annual Spring Classic. The Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet will take center stage, with their 108 lap main event highlighting the day. The season-opening card also includes the Mid American Stock Car Series and the Illinois Vintage Racers. The first green flag flies Sunday April 13 at 1 pm.

For more information on Rockford Speedway and the 37th Annual Spring Classic, please call 815-633-1500 or visit www.rockfordspeedway.com. For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit www.big8series.com.

CHICAGOLAND LEGEND, HALL OF FAMER TOM JONES TO RACE AT SPRING CLASSIC!

by Eric Huenefeld
Tibor Machine Illinois Vintage Racing Series President Art Fehrman announced this week that Chicagoland racing legend Tom Jones will compete in the “Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame Race” on Sunday April 13 as part of the 37th Annual Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway.

The Northbrook native comes out of retirement to replace driver Pat Heaney, who is recovering from extensive shoulder surgery. Jones plans to pilot Heaney’s ‘67 Chevelle in the ‘Hall of Fame Race’ at Rockford, a track he frequented early in his career. Jones last raced competitively at the Lake Geneva Raceway in October of 2006.

Jones, along with Whitey Gerken, Bryant Tucker, Frank Shickel, Howard Tiedt, Bill Koenig and Elmer Steinbeck will be inducted into the Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame’s “Class of 2014” Saturday night April 12 at the Holiday Inn on State Street in Rockford. Earlier that day, several vintage racing machines will be on display at Historic Auto Attractions and the Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame Museum in Roscoe from 1pm to 4pm.

Anyone interested in attending the 2014 Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony at Holiday Inn in Rockford should contact Art Fehrman at 708-254-5196. The deadline to buy tickets is Tuesday April 1st. No tickets will be sold at the door. The reception at Historic Auto Attractions in Roscoe Saturday afternoon is open to the public.

The 37th Annual Spring Classic takes place Sunday afternoon April 13th at Rockford Speedway. The Big 8 Late Model Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet kicks off its tenth anniversary season at Spring Classic and will be joined by the Mid American Stock Car Series and the Tibor Machine Illinois Vintage Series. For more information on Spring Classic, contact Rockford Speedway at 815-633-1500 or visit www.rockfordspeedway.com.

Wing Ding Advance Ticket Sales Begin March 21

ONLINE: Friday March 21, 2014 at 9:00am
Online (Starting Monday March 24, 2014): www.wxrxwingding.com available 24 hours a day, sales end Saturday May 24 at 10:00pm. Option to have ticket(s) mailed will end at 11:59pm Sunday May 11, 2014

PHYSICAL LOCATIONS: Tuesday April 1, 2014
Area Kelly’s Market Locations: Tickets available for purchase during regular business hours, some locations may run short of tickets, if you experience this please check alternate locations. PLEASE NOTE: Sales are Cash or Debit with PIN only. NO Checks or Credit Cards. Sales end at all KW locations Saturday May 24 at 10:00pm

Rockford Speedway Box Office: Tickets available for purchase during regular business hours, credit cards accepted with a transaction fee of $2 per ticket. Sales end at this location Saturday May 24 at 5:00pm

Mid-West Family Broadcasting: Tickets available for purchase during regular business hours, PLEASE NOTE: sales are Cash ONLY. Sales end at this location Friday May 23 at 5:00pm

NO ADVANCE TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AFTER 10:00pm Saturday May 24 AT ANY ADVANCE TICKET SALES LOCATIONS OR ONLINE

Price:
Friday March 21, 2014 9:00am until Wednesday April 30, 2014 11:59pm $30
Thursday May 1, 2014 12:00am until Saturday May 24, 2014 at 10:00pm $40

Day of Event Sales Begin Sunday May 25, 2014 at 10:00am
Day of Event Pricing: $45
Location:
Rockford Speedway Ticket Gates, cash and credit cards accepted.
NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN FOR ANY REASON, ALL SALES ARE FINAL
ADDITIONAL Day of Event INFORMATION
Main Parking Lots: Open at 9:00am
Cost to Park: $5 per car
Gates: Open at 11:00am
Tailgating: Is permitted until 12:00pm Noon
Re-Entry: There is NO re-entry permitted