By: Eric Huenefeld
A near-capacity crowd filled Rockford Speedway Saturday night as part of Kar Korner World Famous Figure 8 Trailer Race Night. Along with the demolition extravaganza at the end of the evening, the thousands in attendance were also treated to a terrific night of short track racing under the lights on a perfect summer evening.
STANLEY STEEMER NASCAR LATE MODELS
For the fourth time this season and for the third time in four races, Michael Bilderback parked his red #2 car in Victory Lane, winning the 30 lap Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Model feature race. Bilderback, who started the race in the sixth position, took the lead on the eleventh lap from outside pole sitter Dennis Smith Jr and never looked back. With the win, Bilderback also increased his lead in the championship standings to 50 points over Matt Berger. Jon Reynolds Jr had the drive of the night, charging from his ninth starting spot to a solid runner up, while Mitch Garfield rounded out the top three. Three-time track champion Jerry Gille settled for fourth place after a race-long battle with Garfield for third while former track champion Jake Gille made his first appearance of 2017 and came home with a fifth place finish.
BARGAIN HUNTER SPORTSMAN
Machesney Park’s Cody Houseweart captured the biggest win of his racing career Saturday night, holding off several challenges from multiple contenders on his way to the checkers in the 25 lap main event for the Bargain Hunter Sportsman division. After starting the race in second place, Houseweart soon found pressure from behind in the form of two-time feature winner Johnny Robinson II. As the race unfolded, Robinson took several peeks below Houseweart for the race lead. In the final laps, Robinson pushed his car further and further below Houseweart, before Robinson eventually lost control entering turn one, spinning out and bringing out the yellow flag with just a handful of laps to go. On the restart, it was point leader Chad Smith who was lined up behind Houseweart for the chase to the checkers, with Smith not able to get close enough to rip victory away from Houseweart. Smith still had another solid evening, collecting another Fast Time Award and finishing runner up, with Terrance Robinson third. Howie Ware made a late charge to fourth place, while Brian White rounded out the top five.
MILLER LITE AMERICAN SHORT TRACKERS
Nick Cina Jr left little doubt on Saturday night, blasting from ninth to first in just five laps on his way to his second win of 2017 in the 25 lap Miller Lite American Short Tracker feature race. Cina, who hadn’t won a feature race since Opening Night, outran point leader Zach Rodriguez in the race’s final laps. Rodriguez ended the race in second place and maintained a seven point lead over Cina in the race for the championship. Brett McCoy came across the line in third, followed by Franc Beldowski in fourth and Shannon Stoltz in fifth.
Though not without a little late-race drama, Josh Thiering picked up his seventh total win in the Roadrunner division on Saturday night, outlasting Chad Lounsbury to claim first place in the 20 lap Kickstart Roadrunner feature race. Thiering took the lead on the race’s fourth lap and seemed to have a solid cushion until Lounsbury appeared in his mirror in the late laps. Despite the last-minute challenge, Thiering held on while Lounsbury settled for second. The two drivers head into their off-weekend with Thiering ahead of Lounsbury in the championship standings by just 15 points. Jeff Allendorf was credited with third in the race, with Adam Cartwright fourth and Robert Roush fifth.
WORLD FAMOUS FIGURE 8 TRAILER RACE
“Scary Gary” Oscarson outlasted 20 other competitors to win the World Famous Figure 8 Trailer Race. The hard-hitting affair produced carnage, lots of action and a three-way battle to the end between Oscarson, Kyle Rush and Collin Day. Rush was eliminated with front suspension issues, while Oscarson and Day ended up attached to each other, leading to a fan vote which determined Oscarson the victor.