The roster of drivers scheduled to battle for the inaugural Hugh Deery Classic contains a few Rockford Speedway late model champions eyeing the big trophy. Michael Bilderback, Jon Reynolds, Jr. and Jake Gille will be among the favorites contesting Saturday’s super late model event. All three drivers have captured a weekly NASCAR Late Model crown, but are looking to the next level and are excited about their chances to capture the Hugh Deery Classic 99 on Saturday August 17th at Rockford Speedway.
Michael Bilderback is looking to the inaugural Hugh Deery Classic as a must win event. “I love racing super late models. I do it because I haven’t won enough of these races yet.” The two-time Rockford Speedway Late Model champion and three-time Big8 Series champion wants to add this event to his list of growing super late model wins. “We built our own super late model this year for shows just like this one. It would be great to get a win at Rockford in a super.” Bilderback will be pulling double duty in both the Hugh Deery Classic 99 along with the NASCAR Late Models. He is the current point leader and looks ahead to his third track championship.
The driver chasing Bilderback is two time and defending Rockford Speedway late model champ, Jon Reynolds, Jr. Reynolds has only one super late model win on his resume, but it’s a big one with lots of meaning. “I’ve got one; the National Short Track Championship in a super late. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.” While Reynolds has continued success in his NASCAR late model, he is looking forward to the Hugh Deery Classic. “There’s nothing better than four tire, four barrel, super late model racing at Rockford. We have been able to make our old Lefthander fast and I suspect it will be again Saturday night.” That is no surprise as his car owner is his dad who has a long history of his own at Rockford Speedway. The elder Reynolds captured one of the early American Short Tracker track championships and was a perennial contender for a late model championship. Reynolds, Jr. would like nothing more than to give him another big win at their home track.
Another former Rockford Speedway late model champion and second generation driver is Jake Gille. Jake captured his track championship back in 2015 and made the jump to super late models this season. “With another baby on the way, we knew we weren’t able to do a full season. We have had some good super late runs with our Rockford car and wanted a dedicated super late model this season.” Gille’s first attempt proved he has the car and talent to be a contender. “The first time we ran (the super late model) was the All-Star 100 and we broke a trailing arm bracket while leading. I’d like to get a little revenge and redemption at the Hugh Deery Classic.”
With a growing list of super late model stars such as two-time NSTC champ Alex Prunty, Austin Nason and “the Real Deal” John Beale, among others, the three Rockford Speedway champs will have a tough road to victory lane. Come on out to see if one of them can best the field to capture the inaugural Hugh Deery Classic 99. The racing docket includes the NASCAR Late Models, NASCAR Roadruners, Illini Midgets and American Super Cups in addition to the Super Late Model Hugh Deery Classic 99 feature event. Gates open at 5PM with qualifying at 5:55PM and the first race at 7:07. Get tickets now at RockfordSpeedway.com because you’ll want to…BE THERE!