It was a rough weather weekend for Rockford Speedway's 53rd National Short Track Championships. I was originally scheduled to attend all three days of the event. But due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to attend Friday and Saturday. Rockford's staff did a great job and completed Friday's events, but on Saturday they were unable to complete the scheduled events. The Great Northern Sportsman Series, Modified Feature and the Big 8 Series races were postponed until Sunday morning. This was a lucky break for me!
Sunday morning broke with cloudy skies. As soon as I arrived, it started to rain again. This delayed the 9:00 a.m. scheduled start. Finally after several hours, the program was set to begin with the running of the 35 lap Great Northern Sportsman Series race.
There was one caution early in the race and on lap 5, Jason Thoma took the lead and held it to the checkers.
Next up was the Big 8 Series. To accomodate the schedule, this was reduced from a 108 to 88 lap race. The race was marred by several wrecks that took out perennial front runners Matt Lundberg, Jon Reynolds Jr. and Jeremy Miller. Michael Bilderback took the lead and battled Dale Nottestad to keep the lead. Michael at one point stretched his lead, however as the laps wound down, it was Max Kahler, coming from the back, to challenge Michael and closed it down to one car length at the finish. This was Michael's second victory of the NSTC, as he also won the Weekly Warrior Late Model race Friday night.
To complete Saturday's schedule, it was the 25 lap Modified Feature.
This was a small but competitive field of modifieds with the lead being swapped numerous times. In the end, it was Jackson, Michigan's Justin Okruhlica taking the win.
It was now time to start the Sunday program. With Mother Nature threatening it was decided to run the NSTC Feature 200 Lap Super Late Model Race first.
It was Lomira, Wisconsin's Alex Prunty taking his second consecutive NSTC Championship. Alex started sixth and took the lead on lap 10. From there it was just holding off the field through six cautions, including one with ten laps to go. He was challenged by former NSTC Champion Casey Johnson, but was able to bring home the checkers.
Alex's comments in Victory Lane to a question asked by Stan Kalwasinski, Race Star Publications.
A little video from the race.
Next up was the 40 lap Mid-American Series. There was a twenty-five car field and numerous cautions in the opening laps. In the end, it was Richfield Wisconsin's Bill Prietzel taking the win.
In the final race of Rockford's 53rd National Short Track Championships, it was the Northern Outlaw Vintage Series. It was a small field of eight cars, but very competitive with former NSTC 200 lap Feature winner Steve Rubeck taking the win.
Ol' Mother Nature tried her best to stop the racing, but by perseverance and hard work by the Rockford Speedway staff, the National Short Track Championships were completed. Kudos to Rockford for a job well done.
To see all the results from all this past weekend's racing click here.
To see all the photos from Sunday's events, please click here.
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