The day at Rockford Speedway started as cold and blustery. It didn't take long for the action to heat up the track as Dale Nottestad won his third Spring Classic race in the Big 8 Series. In the first half of the race there were a couple of dustups. Here is one.
Both Randy Sargent in the #11 and the #99 Trevor Robinson would be able to continue. However, Trevor would do so without his hood and Randy would play a part later in the race.
As the race neared the halfway point, Nottestad had worked his way to the front to battle with Jeremy Miller for the lead but had to settle for second at the break.
At the break, there was a flurry of activity preparing the cars for the second half of the 88 lap affair.
At the restart for the second half, Jeremy Miller was off to the races and without any cautions for the next 39 laps took a straightaway lead.
In the meantime, Nottestad was battling with Jon Reynolds Jr. for second place.
Nottestad was finally able to get by Reynolds Jr., however by that time Miller was gone. As the race was nearing the end, I noticed two cars in mid-pack putting on a great race and were leaning on each other quite heavily at times, Randy Sargent #11 and #49 Jerry Mueller.
This culminated on lap 83, when in turn one Mueller went spinning suffering what was reported as a broken oil line, which resulted in this!
The caution closed up the field and gave Nottestad the chance he had been needing. At the restart Nottestad got under Miller.
It took several laps but Nottestad finally was able to pass Miller for the lead. Just when he thought he was in the clear Max Kahler #14 and Miller got together causing a Green-White-Checker.
At the final restart, Nottestad claimed the lead and battled two former Classic champions, Jon Reynolds Jr. and Alex Papini to take the win.
And the spoils!
Second and third place Jon Reynolds Jr and Alex Papini with Track Announcer Eric Huenefeld.
In the companion races, the Mid Am Racing Series held a 44 lap race with Lockport, Ilinois' Josh Nelms taking the win over Clay Curts, Clay led a good portion of the race. Third place was Dale Lectus Jr.
Some of that action.
In the 25 lap Bandits Blast it was Nick Schmidt from Watertown, Wisconsin taking the caution filled race. Schmidt was followed to the checkered flag by Bart Brockman and Zachary Chanda.
More of the action.
Before the race, I met with Alex Papini. Alex was the Rockford Speedway 2013 Track Champion and Spring Classic winner.
A few years back Alex moved to Pensacola, Florida with his wife Jamie. He has done a little racing there and I was curious about his return to Rockford. Here is the interview.
As I was leaving the track, I looked back and saw Alex drive his racecar and stop between Turns one and two. As many know, Alex' dad Al passed away from a heart attack while racing and crashed there on April 1, 2001. Alex always pays tribute to his Dad!
As I said earlier, it was a cold and blustery day with light snow flurries during the day, however the racing was excellent! It is sad that this will be the last Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway. I hope the memories that have been created over the years will be remembered!