NASCAR Late Model driver Matt Berger stole the show at Rockford Speedway last Saturday night, July 28.
The evening was supposed to be highlighted by a $500 match race between Late Model points leader Ricky Bilderback and challenger Jeremy Miller. The two did go head-to-head in a best-of-three match.
Each race was four laps, and Bilderback took the first and Miller the second. The drama was now set up exactly as hoped, each driver with a win. The rubber match would decide the nights victor.
The two started the final four-lap contest wheel to wheel and even touched going into turn one with two laps to go. Bilderback grabbed the lead, and held on for the win.
Fifteen Late Models began what turned out to be the real race of the night, the 30-lap feature. Berger made his first start of the season on the inside of row two. Less than two laps later, he took the lead from pole sitter Mike Beyer. He held the lead for the remainder of the race, and made it look easy as he finished well ahead of the two match race drivers and the rest of the divisions weekly regulars.
Miller started in the 10th spot and worked his way up to second by the halfway point. He spent the final 15 laps trying to catch Berger. Miller was never able to pull closer than a couple of car lengths from the race leader.
Brett McCoy finished ahead of Bilderback for third and pole-sitter Beyer finished fifth.
Grand National season points leader Brock Behnke won his second feature of the season. He finished ahead of fast qualifier Fred Nason. Third place went to Broadhead, Wis., driver Doug Bennett.
Pat Smith claimed his fourth feature win of the year in the Coca-Cola Road Runners.
This Saturday, Aug. 5, marks the return of the Finnegans RV World Famous Figure 8 Trailer Race. Gates open at 5 p.m., with racing action starting at 7:07 p.m.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Aug. 2-8, 2006, issue