Ricky Bilderback Wins Final Race of The Year
The ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts have completed the 2005 racing season with the Chicago International Trucks/Season Championships 100 at the Rockford (IL) Speedway in Loves Park, Illinois. This event was the conclusion of the 40th annual National Short Track Championships.
back and fourth for the top spot. The third of nine cautions flew on lap 43 when Doug Mahlik spun heading into turn two, Brent Downey had nowhere to go and slammed into the stopped Mahlik and coming to rest on the inside turn three wall and Mahlik’s front end. Both were ok but done for the evening.

On the restart, Carlson was determined to fend off the five-time Rockford Speedway champion, but Bilderback, from near-by Rockton, Illinois had other ideas and finally on lap 61, Bilderback worked his way around Carlson to take over the lead. A lap later, the most serious incident of the afternoon occurred when Leicht and Gille got together in turns three and four resulting in a massive nine car pile-up, forcing Series Officials to throw the red flag.
Stephen Leicht just had to start on Saturday to win the ASA Late Model Series championship.  (Bob Milner Photo)
A slew of Rockford Speedway regulars surrounded pole-sitter, Stephen Leicht at the start and when all was said and done, five-time Late Model Track Champion, Ricky Bilderback defended his home turf and won his first ever ASA Late Model Series Feature event to the roar and approval of the outstanding crowd on hand for the conclusion of one of the most prestigious end of the season events in the country.

Leicht would not leave home empty handed however as the 18-year-old, one of the “Young Lions of the ASA Late Model Series”, who started on the pole of the century grind, took the green flag to officially clinch the 2005 ASA Late Model Series Championship!

Leicht and another hometown favorite, Ryan Carlson would lead the 27-car field to chief starter, Tom Powell’s green flag to begin the 100-lap feature. Carlson would lead a parade of Rockford veterans that included Tom Gille and Ricky Bilderback around the 2005 ASALM Series Champion using the patented outside groove and it would be Carlson leading the first lap with Bilderback and Gille giving chase.

Bilderback was glued to Carlson’s back bumper as they fought
Once the incident was cleaned up, racing resumed with Bilderback maintaining the top spot while Carlson kept Bilderback within striking distance. Bilderback was determined however as the multi-time track champion withstood several late race cautions and a last ditch effort from Carlson to score his first career ASA Late Model Series Feature win!

Carlson settled for second as Peter Cozzolino, Chad Wood, Jesse Saunders, 2005 Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year Brian Campbell, Jack Smith, Steven Krunich from 25th, Jason Dietsch, and Doug True would round out the top 10.
Ricky Bilderback (#02) took the race victory.  (Doug Hornickel Photo)
As for the 2005 ASA Late Model Series Champion, Stephen Leicht, he didn’t have a great day race wise as the Asheville, North Carolina driver was involved in a lap 62 pile-up with Rockford veteran, Tom Gille and would be shown 22nd at the finish.

Back on September 24th, Leicht won his fourth Motive Gear Fast Qualifier award of the season with a lap measured at 13.614 around the rugged ¼ mile high-banked paved oval and also won one of the four 20-lap “Smackdown” Qualifier Heat races. Carlson, Gille, and Bilderback also picked up Qualifier Heat Race wins.
Rockford Speedway, Rockford, IL

1.         4          102 Ricky Bilderback             100
2.         2          32 Ryan Carlson                     100
3.         5          11 Peter Cozzolino                  100
4.         7          2 Chad Wood                          100
5.         9          87 Jesse Saunders                 100
6.         12        29 Brian Campbell                  100
7.         18        28 Jack Smith                         100
8.         25        04 Steven Krunich                  100
9.         22        6 Jason Dietsch                      100
10.       24        93 Doug True                          100
11.       27        7 Landon Cassill                      100
12.       23        88 Mike Satkowiak                 100
13.       17        92 Travis Dassow                   100
14.       20        84 Brett Piontek                      99
15.       19        122 J.D. Leonard                    99
16.       21        1 Greg Nienhouse                   97
17.       26        75 Mike Tetzlaff                      92
18.       15        30 Mark Hartline                     83
19.       6          90 Keeton Hanks                    66
20.       16        81 Jesse Smith                       66
21.       10        23 Kris Stump                         63
22.       1          89 Stephen Leicht                   62
23.       3          35 Tom Gille                           62
24.       13        97 Jason Tyler                        62
25.       11        40 Nick Hammer                    62
26.       8          15 Doug Mahlik                       43
27.       18        25 Brent Downey                    43

Despite the championship, Leicht (#89) was caught up in this accident with Tom Gille (#35) and Peter Cozzolino (#11).  (Bob Milner Photo)
The ASA Late Model Series will have one more event remaining. The All-American 400 at the Music City (TN) Motorplex in Nashville, Tennessee will close out the 2005 season for the ASA Late Model Series/Southern All-Stars Series and the CRA Super Series who will co-sanction the weekend long festivities with the Lexington, Michigan based series on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 4th, 5th, and 6th. For more information about the All-American 400 go to: www.musiccitymotorplex.com or www.craracing.net

For more information about the approaching 2006 season with the ASA Late Model Challenge Series, the ASA Late Model Series Northern and Southern Divisions; check out their websites at www.asalatemodelsnorth.com and www.asalatemodelssouth.com You can also call the ASALM Series home offices at 1 (800) 385-2503 or log onto the main website at: www.asalatemodels.com