Bigley Butcosk 11 26 2022 440
Super late models line up for practice prior to last year's running of the Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial super late model race. (Matt Butcosk photo)

Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128: A New Late Model Crown Jewel?

The Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128 is on its way to becoming a crown jewel in the super late model world.

On Saturday, Nov. 25, the SRL National Super Late Model Tour race will award $30,000 to the winner of the 128-lap feature at Florida’s Freedom Factory. Accordingly, the race has attracted many of super late model’s biggest names — including Ty Majeski, Luke Fenhaus, Johnny Sauter, Derek Kraus and Jeremy Doss.

Held annually in the honor of the late Bill Bigley Sr., who was a track owner and stock car racer, the personal history behind the event only adds to its growing prestige. This season marks the eighth running of the race.  

While it would be easy to view it as just another big-money battle, with the usual suspects vying for the victory, this particular race offers fans a coveted return to old-school racing.

For example, this is the first time in seven years that the Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128 will be held at Freedom Factory in Bradenton, Fla. The three-eighths-mile oval was the stage for the inaugural running of the event in 2016, when the track was still under the Desoto Speedway. 

Bigley Butcosk 11 26 2022 070
Michael Atwell won last year’s Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial super late model race. (Matt Butcosk photo)

As the facility was only recently re-opened by Cleetus McFarland after years of sitting dormant — its first public event under new ownership was in 2021 — it has been more than five years since super late models hit the banked surface.

Meaning, most teams won’t have much of a notebook to rely on.

To further even the playing field, there will be no practice until the day before the race, Nov. 24. It’s strictly a two-day show, with little opportunity for teams to gain an advantage over each other.

And as far as the 128-lap feature goes, it will be a four-tire race. Pending a flat tire, there are no tire changes allowed in Saturday’s event. Thus, the strategy will be something like this: Show up, dial in a setup and go race. And at the end of 128 laps, may the best driver win.

Watch it on Saturday at 6 p.m. (ET) on SPEED SPORT affiliate PitRow.tv or SRLRacing.tv.

Take a closer look at the details, including the purse and entry list, below.

Purse Money

The 128-lap race may award $30,000 to the winner, but there is also a significant amount of money up for grabs for the remainder of the field.

Along with paying $1,200 to start, the feature also offers the best pay per lap of any super late model race in the United States. The fastest qualifier will receive a $4,000 bonus. Another $1,000 will be dished out if the polesitter wins the race. 

Entry List

In addition to the aforementioned entries of Majeski, Fenhaus, Sauter, Kraus and Doss, there are 44 additional entries into Saturday’s race — a total of 49. Michael Atwell, who won last year’s Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128, is also among the entries.

Stephen Nasse, Jared Irvan, Jesse Dutilly, Daniel Webster, Jake Finch, Jett Noland, Patrick Staropoli, Michael Hinde and Derek Griffith are a few of the other notables.

Qualifying Format

With 28 cars starting Saturday night’s feature, qualifying will be of the utmost importance.

It starts with time trial qualifying, with the top 20 locking straight into the feature. From there, a pair of B mains will run, with the top three from each transferring. Finally, two spots are set aside for SRL National provisionals.

There will also be a non-qualifiers race.