Jett Noland earned $30,000 alongside the biggest victory of his career to date in winning the Bill Bigley Sr. Memorial 128 on Saturday at Freedom Factory.
Noland made the winning pass on a dominant Johnny Sauter two laps into the final run and drove away over the final 17 laps to score his first win outside of New Smyrna Speedway. To explain it as a major breakthrough would be underselling it.
“We just got a great run … it’s been a bit of a struggle this year and the team kept working,” Noland said. “Hopefully we’ll end it up on a good note and now we’re headed to the Derby and hopefully can end it on an even bigger note.”
Sauter first took the lead on Lap 15 and led until the moment he was overtaken. He thinks something might have started to fail on the final run.
“I got on the gas out of 2 and it just lit up,” Sauter said. “It was on the chip like halfway around the track so maybe the clutch was slipping or something. I was just on the chip way too hard. Proud of everyone, grateful to Richie Wauters for working on this thing.
“This thing was so good, and it was a little tight, but I was saving, saving, saving. Then on that restart, got on the gas and no one was home. It just didn’t run the same and was on the chip all the way around the race track.”
Sauter did claim $10,000 for the result, more than a win most anywhere else.
For the second year in a row, Ty Majeski was denied the $30k and Bigley win in audacious means. Last year, it was a disqualification in post-race technical inspection after crossing the line first and this year it was contact with the wall while running second before the final caution that resulted in a tire rub and loss of pace.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Doss completed the podium after winning $4000 for the fast time in qualifying but started fifth due to the redraw before the green flag.
“They gave me a good car, and we were just lacking raw speed up the middle,” Doss said. “We were tight and I had to back off just to turn the car and that was just off enough when everyone here is so close.
“But it was a good night and I feel like we’re going to have a good piece for the Derby.”
Some other contenders didn’t make it to the finish.
Derek Griffith made it 46 laps before having to pull the Tim Curry owned Finish Line Fabricating Racecars down to the infield with a mechanical failure.
“I almost lost it into Turn 1,” Griffith said. “I knew we couldn’t limp around like that. I hate it because Tim brought us a really good hot rod and felt like we had something for them. I hope we can do it again someday.”
After a top-five last week at New Smyrna in the Florida Governor’s Cup, Daniel Webster crashed out when Albert Francis spun in front of him and then Webster got hit from behind.
“I just hate it when we’re a small family team, had a top-five at the Gov Cup, it’s just me and my dad working on these cars and I just wish it didn’t happen like this.”
Bill Bigley Sr Memorial 128
November 25 2023
- Jett Noland
- Johnny Sauter
- Jeremy Doss
- Michael Atwell
- Anthony Sergi
- Derek Kraus
- Michael Hinde
- Luke Fenhaus
- Ty Majeski
- Stephen Nasse
- Johnathan Guy
- Paul Shafer Jr
- Nick Neri
- Tim Sozio
- Steve Dorer
- Dylan Bigley
- Tony Elrod
- Dave Farrington
- Granger Perra
- Jared Irvan
- Jeff Storm
- Jesse Dutilly
- TJ Decaire
- Daniel Webster
- Albert Francis
- Derek Griffith
- Colin Allman
- Chad Rutherford
- Cody Krucker