Defending Champ Sontag Leads Challengers into Rockford NSTC
200-Lap Main Event Set for Sunday, October 2nd
Brett Sontag is always a favorite to find victory lane at Chicagoland short tracks and as of late, Rockford Speedway can be added to the list of bull rings ‘The Jet’ has mastered. After a strong run in the 2009 running of the National Short Track Championships ended after mechanical woes sent Sontag home on the wrecker, he rebounded with a dominant performance during the 2010 edition, claiming the checkers in the 200 lap main event.
Sontag’s name is atop the list of favorites looking to knock the ASA Midwest Touring Stars from the top spot this Sunday October 2 at Rockford Speedway. With touring stars such as seven time NSTC Champion Steve Carlson, Raceway Park victor Nathan Haseleu, the $10,000 kid Skylar Holzhausen, ASA Midwest Tour Point Leader Andrew Morrissey, former Spring Classic winner Michael Bilderback and tour winners Tim Schendel, Ross Kenseth and Jonathan Eilen, it will be a tough task to find victory lane following Sunday afternoon’s Budweiser 200.
A host of non-touring stars that have become NSTC and Rockford regulars have also thrown their name into the mix after stellar 2011 seasons. Jeremy Lepak is a two time NSTC champion and recorded the 2011 Slinger Super Speedway Championship on the strength of an impressive seven triumphs, all eyes will be on his #40 car during ‘One Great Racing Weekend’. Meanwhile 1990 NSTC winner Rich Bickle, Jr looks to build upon his momentum after a podium showing during this July’s All-Star 100 at Rockford while Steve Apel and Brad ‘JJ’ Mueller look to finally capture the title that has eluded them after multiple close calls by the front running duo.
America’s Winningest Driver in 1976 has experienced a career resurgence, as Larry Schuler drove to the Lee Schuler Memorial 61 win Labor Day Weekend at Grundy County Speedway and now brings his Ford to Rockford where he has experienced the thrill of victory previously. 2011 Rockford Speedway Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Model Champion Ryan Carlson will be joined by 2002 NSTC and current Big 8 Series point leader Steve Rubeck and Driver X Jon Reynolds, Jr in an effort to keep the NSTC title amongst the home teams on Sunday.
‘One Great Racing Weekend’ kicks off this Friday night September 30 during Hinckley Springs Night. The Weekly Warrior Late Models, Sportsman, American Short Trackers and RoadRunners will settle the Championship for the Gilley’s Cool 5 Series and will be joined by the Hornet/Bandit Challenge as well as the Figure 8’s. Saturday will see the return of the DOC360 Pit Stop Challenge for Late Models and feature the Big 8 Late Model Series in an 108 lap feature, ASA Midwest Sportsman, Illini Racing Series open wheeled midgets, Illinois Vintage Racing as well as preliminary events for the ASA Midwest Tour Super Late Models. Racing action begins at 7:07pm on Friday and 5:05 on Saturday with an open pit party following Nason’s Faster than a Speeding Bullet Qualifying which begins at 2:15pm.
Championship Day begins with Mid-American Stock Car Series qualifying at 11:15am and a fan autograph session in the pavilion at 11:30am. Preliminary and last chance races begin at 12:30pm and will be followed by the Gerber Collision Challenge event, Mid-American Stock Car Mtn Dew 75 and ASA Midwest Budweiser 200. For more information or to order tickets visit www.rockfordspeedway.com or call the Speedway Box Office at 815-633-1500.