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Rockford Speedway 9-29-19


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LOVES PARK, IL, September 28, 2019 – Always a perennial contender for the Big8 win when he comes to Rockford Speedway, Dale Nottestad finally broke through for his first ever National Short Track Championship win Saturday night at the Rockford Speedway. Nottestad fended off all challengers to write his name in the history books including a final lap charge from Rockford Speedway veteran racer, Tom Gille and Austin Nason.

Jon Reynolds, Jr. raced to the lead around Tom Behrens and held the top spot through three restarts ahead of Nottestad and Michael Bilderback. Nottestad used the restart on lap thirty-one to dive to the inside of Reynolds and wage a battle for the lead. After three laps of side by side racing, the duo got together going into turn one and slid sideways with Nottestad grabbing the lead and Reynolds falling to fourth.

Nottestad still had seventy laps remaining with Bilderback, the 2019 Rockford Speedway champion, and Austin Nason, ARCA Midwest Tour point leader right behind. Bilderback was able to race into second and challenge for command. After Bilderback got by Nottestad, Nottestad shot Bilderback high in turns one and two and regained the lead out of turn four. Like Reynolds earlier, Bilderback gathered it back up in fourth spot.
Nottestad clicked off the laps while Gille and Nason waged a paint swapping battle for second. At each caution, the two swapped spots resulting in Gille taking a commanding second with a mere eight laps to go. While Gille was finally able to chase down Nottestad, he came up less than a car length short at the checkers.

“We needed at least a five to six lap run for the car to really get going,” admitted Gille. “If we had two more laps, we may have got it done.”

After prior wins in the Big8 Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway, Nottestad captured his first ever National Short Track Championship. “Awesome. Man, this car was awesome,” exclaimed Nottestad in victory lane. “The deal with Mikey (Bilderback) was tough. When he got inside me, I had to get after him. If we wrecked, we wrecked. This was an awesome group of cars and to win, was awesome. After finishing in the top three in five of the last six years, we finally did it.”

Nason held on to finish third. “We had a really good car. We only have a few races with it, but it was good tonight.” Brody Willet came home fourth with Bilderback rebounding for fifth. With his fifth place finish, Bilderback retains the Big8 Series point lead heading in to the final event next week.