Big 8 Championship Preview

big8 battle

By Jason D Searcy

September 16, 2016 – Elko, MN

The Hiway Federal Credit union Big 8 Championship will be decided on Saturday night at Elko Speedway.  The racing is sure to be intense with three different drivers in the spotlight not only locally but also on a National stage.

The point leader is Dylan Moore #54 from Northfield (MN) who is looking for his first ever Big 8 Championship but he is accustomed to being up front in 2016, he has topped the point standings for a majority of the year, Moore has scored four wins and has twelve Top 5 finishes in 22 starts. 

Moore has raced in the Big 8 division since 2008 and has been oh-so-close to winning a season Championship twice before, finishing second in both 2011 and 2013. 

Winning races is what Moore does best, he scored a division best “most wins” in both 2009 and 2011.  Dylan also can step up when the pressure is on, he won the Big 8 Late Model series invitational event during Thunderstruck93 in 2012.

Dylan Moore has an 11 point advantage coming into Saturday night.

Jon Lemke #17 from Shakopee (MN) is a respected long time racer with incredible credentials, he is currently second in points.

Lemke already has two Late Model Championships at Elko Speedway, in 1991 and in 2004, he also spent some time racing the regional touring series circuit.  Lemke won two races in the NASCAR Midwest Series at Pikes Peak (CO) in 2001 and at Gateway (MO) in 2002.

Lemke has come close to winning a Big 8 Championship in the past as well, he finished runner up to Chris Marek in 2014.

Jon Lemke has had a great season at Elko, just like Dylan Moore, he has Twelve TOP 5 finishes in 22 starts but only one win.  Which might be important if it all comes down to a tie-breaker.

On Saturday night at Elko Speedway the Big 8 cars will go five laps in group qualifying, with times being scored off their transponders.  The fastest car will score 15 points, second fastest 14 points and so on… all the way down to 15th getting 1 point.  So qualifying is very important in the point standings.

The Big 8 cars then will race two separate twenty lap features.  The winner of each race will get 51 points, 48pts for second, 46pts for third, 44pts for fourth, 42pts for fifth, 40pts for sixth, 38pts for seventh, 36pts for eighth, 34pts for ninth, 32pts for tenth.  Then the points go down by 1 per position.  Eleventh 31pts, twelfth 30pts, thirteenth 29pts, fourteenth 28pts, fifteenth 27pts, sixteenth 26pts, seventeenth 25pts then eighteenth place and everyone else all gets 24pts.

So the point standings can change rapidly from lap to lap on Championship night.  Two incredibly deserving drivers will both be racing hard in search of their first Big 8 Championship at Elko Speedway.

Another person the entire NASCAR scene will be watching is #18 Michael Ostdiek a former Great North Legends Champion from Lakeville (MN).  Ostdiek missed a double feature race night early in the year but is still in contention for the Big 8 Championship at Elko, he sits only 37 points out of the lead coming into the final points night.

Maybe an even bigger story is that Ostdiek is tied for the lead in the National NASCAR Whelen All American Series Hometrack point standings for Division II. 

Ostdiek is a college student currently enrolled at Iowa State University, he has had an incredible 2016 season scoring 4 wins at Elko Speedway and knocking out fourteen TOP 5 finishes in only 20 races at Elko. 

Ostdiek is also part of the Kulwicki Driver Development program, he has traveled to many tracks in the Upper Midwest and done very well.  Scoring a Fast Time in the TUNDRA series at Golden Sands and winning a BIG 8 Late Model series event at State Park Speedway.  He is currently second place in the Big 8 Late Model series point standings.

A NASCAR National title is in reach for both Ostdiek and Moore, if that were to happen it would be the second straight year that an Elko Speedway driver would win a National title.  Grant Brown from Prior Lake (MN) won the NASCAR Division IV (Power Stock) Championship in 2015.

The NASCAR points are slightly different than Elko Speedway local point standings.  NASCAR only counts feature events (not qualifying).  In order to get maximum points, you need a minimum of 18 NASCAR licensed drivers to start the feature, a driver will score 2 points for every car he/she finishes ahead of plus a 3 point bonus for winning the race or a 5 point bonus if he/she started the feature in 10th place or further back.  NASCAR only takes a drivers top fourteen finishes to determine the point standings.  (Top 18 finishes for Division I).

Michael Ostdiek is tied for the point lead and Dylan Moore is currently tied for second only 6 points behind Ostdiek.  Jon Lemke is currently seventh and Joe Neisius #75 is now in ninth place in the NASCAR Hometrack point standings.  The reason Elko has four drivers in the TOP 10 in points is because of the consistent high car counts every race night of NASCAR licensed drivers enabling maximum points in every feature event.

Not only will a National NASCAR title be up for grabs in the Hiway Federal Credit union Big 8 division, but also in the MN Corn Growers Super Late Model division.

Ty Majeski #91 from Seymore (WI) will be racing at Elko Speedway in hopes of securing the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Division I title.  Majeski is currently in third place only seventeen points behind the leader who has almost twice as many NASCAR starts as Majeski.  With two really good finishes on Saturday night Majeski could score enough points to come home with a NASCAR National title as well.  Plus, Jacob Goede #72 and Joey Miller #15 are battling for the Elko Speedway points Championship in the Super Late Model division.  (see separate story)

Expect to see high car counts and some extra big name drivers at Elko Speedway on Saturday night (September 17th) as drivers will want to prepare for the upcoming Thunderstruck93 ARCA Midwest tour and BIG 8 Late Model series events on September 24th.  Also racing are the Genz-Ryan Thunder cars, Pepsi Power Stocks, Hornets, Great North Legends and the Bandoleros.

Gates open at 5pm, action begins at 6pm at the 3/8th mile asphalt oval at Elko Speedway located 30 minutes South of Downtown Minneapolis just off of I-35 and County Road 2 in Elko (MN).  Get more information by calling (952) 461-7223, follow Elko Speedway on social media or go to ElkoSpeedway.com